Book Reviews of The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged)

The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged)
The Broker - Audio CD - Abridged
Author: John Grisham, Dennis Boutsikaris (Narrator)
Audio Books swap for two (2) credits.
ISBN-13: 9780739316443
ISBN-10: 0739316443
Publication Date: 1/11/2005
Edition: Abridged
Rating:
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 64

3.9 stars, based on 64 ratings
Publisher: Random House Audio
Book Type: Audio CD
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

249 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 51 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
I really enjoyed this. I had grown tired of the Grisham formula for awhile- and this book is enough of a departure that I did find it entertaining
reviewed The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I think this is one of Grisham's best. Not a "lawyer" book. Reads really fast.
reviewed The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 54 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Certainly not as good as some of Grisham's earlier works, but not the worst either. Like most Grisham novels, best suited for a long trip. The plot stalls quite a bit in the middle (you get about as frustrated as the main character does with the frequent language tutoring scenes), but does pick up at the end. Good premise, mixed execution.
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Helpful Score: 6
One of his best since the firm! Highly reccomended. Great twists and turns
reviewed The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged) on
Helpful Score: 4
One of Grisham's best works. A story of a man on top, a man broken and removed from his ivory tower. A story of a man deciding to fight back, using his skills at what he does best, to vanquish his opponents and once again prove to himself and the world, he is the master "broker" of deals.
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Helpful Score: 4
The main character engenders no sympathy at all. When he gets his just desserts, I could not care less. Not up to the standards of The Firm or The Client!
reviewed The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged) on
Helpful Score: 4
Very good book. Very good Grisham. More like his older stuff than some of the other "recent" books by him.
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Helpful Score: 4
Another exciting read from John Grisham. Our protagonist is on the run from EVERYBODY in this one. Lots of plot twists.
reviewed The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I really enjoyed this one! once you start reading it you just can't put it down.
reviewed The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 99 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I love Grisham and his way of writing especially this book.

I couldn't predict the outcomes during the start, middle or end of the book which excites me to enjoy and finish the book. Unpredictable style is classic of Grisham and this I think will someday be a real classic.

Very much enjoyed the whole book!
reviewed The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged) on
Helpful Score: 3
This is a book about a man who was a power broker, jailed for 20 years due to shady business practices. After 6 years he gets a surprise pardon by the outgoing President. The book is about how he was smuggled out of the country and the plans of the CIA to leak his whereabouts to the Israelis, the Saudis, the Chinese and the Russians. The question is not will he survive but who will kill him.
A good read if you like John Grisham. I enjoyed this but I have read other John Grishams that I felt were better books.
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Helpful Score: 2
Unlike all of the other Grisham books that I've read this one was NOT one that I just couldn't put down. It was a slow read, and at times I was frustrated by details that didn't bring the character or the story to life. Did pick up at the end and had a good twist.
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Helpful Score: 2
This was a good book. However, anyone who is expecting a typical Grisham legal novel will be a little let down. Not bad for his attempt at a spy novel.
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Helpful Score: 2
Not all that. This book sets up as a "Good guy with lots of secrets on the run from the bad guys" and just fizzles. There's not much in the way of action, twists, or plot wrap-up. Way too much focus on Italy and learning the Italian language.

2 stars out of 5
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Helpful Score: 2
Laying aside his law dramas for another break (like he did with "A Painted House" and "Skipping Christmas"), John Grisham instead brings us "The Broker" sort of an espionage filled spy story... The protagonist is Joel Backman, a former high-powered Washington stockbroker that's hiding some big secrets and is now serving a 20-year prison sentence is solitary confinement. In the waning hours of his 4-year and HIGHLY unsuccessful presidency, Arthur Morgan is pressured by the head of the CIA to pardon Backman. The plan is to smuggle Backman out of the country and sit back and watch to see just who kills him. The CIA believes that the Russians, Chinese, Israelis, and Saudis all have reasons to go after the man. Within a few hours, Backman is transferred out of prison and into Italy...He's quickly given a fake background and a fake name (Marco) and soon begins adjusting to life in Italy. Sure, he's not allowed to have contact with anyone from his past life nor is he allowed to travel anywhere but anything beats prison. One reviewer of this book said "It has major motion picture written all over it" and that's true. It has potential to be a great movie, despite the fact that it's only a good book. It's entertaining and I'm really fond of the protagonist, but it goes on a little too long I guess. Having said that, I must suddenly contradict myself. I felt the novel ended too abruptly;
I wanted to know more about Backman and just kind of cuts the audience off. Whatever though. It's a pretty good book that's worth reading that's better than some of Grisham's other recent literary efforts.
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Helpful Score: 2
I don't think this was one of his better books. It left me hanging
reviewed The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
As with most of John Grisham's books, I could not put it down until finished. The addition of action in Europe added to the enjoyment of the read. One of his very best.
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Helpful Score: 1
Classic Grisham, this is a tale of a Washington Power Brooker who steped over the line, went to jail, and was pardoned as bait. His wits and redemption make this a good read that will keep you uncertain of the outcome until the satisfying ending.
reviewed The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Nice, easy read. Captures you quickly. Enjoyable and suspenseful.
reviewed The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 47 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
great thriller by Grisham, very timely
reviewed The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very good book. Typical Grisham
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Helpful Score: 1
Great legal thriller by John Grisham. the Italian setting brings a new dimension to Grisham's writing.
reviewed The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 69 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great book! Quick read. Fast moving, excellent plot, likeable characters and one of Grisham's best. Well worth reading.
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Helpful Score: 1
My husband loved this book and couldn't put it down.
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Helpful Score: 1
Grisham as usual - wonderful!
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Helpful Score: 1
i love this book, but i didnt like the way it ended, unless it was a series then it would have been good... what happened next i am still wondering .... ?
reviewed The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged) on
Helpful Score: 1
By JANET MASLIN
The New york Times
Published: January 10, 2005

Birds sing. Fish swim. John Grisham dreams up thriller plots that begin at full throttle, then move through their early stages in a series of flying leaps. For Mr. Grisham, who is now on his 18th novel, this style of jump-starting a story is part of the natural order of things.


So off goes "The Broker," starting with a partisan swipe at a lame duck in the White House. "In the waning hours of a presidency that was destined to arouse less interest from historians than any since perhaps that of William Henry Harrison (31 days from inauguration to death)," the book begins, a president named Arthur Morgan is cashing in.

"How sad that after four tumultuous years of leading the free world it would all fizzle into one miserable pile of requests from a bunch of crooks," Mr. Grisham writes scornfully. But President Morgan is strapped for cash, so he is ready to sell those crooks some high-priced pardons.

Cut to the federal prison where Joel Backman, former wheeler-dealer, has spent six years in solitary confinement. Backman embodies everything that Mr. Grisham currently chooses to detest. He is a former power broker (see title): "He'd been the epitome of money and power, the perfect fat cat who could bully and cajole and throw around enough money to get whatever he wanted."

Worst of all in Mr. Grisham's eyes, Backman was an embarrassment to his profession. The firm that he founded "was a lobbying machine, not a place where real lawyers practiced their craft," the book explains. "More like a bordello for rich companies and foreign governments." In other words, the world is a better place with Backman behind bars.

But along come a couple of mysterious operatives. They plan to spirit Backman into a new life, 14 years ahead of schedule. They sneak him out of prison, put him in an Army jumpsuit and load him onto a cargo plane, destination unknown. Quicker than you can say "Buon giorno, Marco," Backman has been handed a new identity in sunny Italy. All he need do is follow strict orders on how not to resemble an American. "No shorts, no black socks and white sneakers, no polyester slacks, no golf shirts," he is told, "and please don't start getting fat."

From now on the broker's responsibilities will be as follows: He must lounge in cafes. He must enjoy the espresso. He must learn to ask for "panino prosciutto e formaggio" when he wants a ham-and-cheese sandwich. He must savor Italian cuisine, architecture, history and joie de vivre. Backman has effectively died, been reborn as Marco Lazzeri- "that's you, pal, a full-blown Italian now" - and gone to tourist heaven.

As Marco studies Italian, he learns to distinguish tortellini from tortelloni, and to ask "Dov'é suo marito?" ("Where is your husband?") of the beautiful Italian tutor who has been hired to help him. He walks around with surveillance equipment hidden in his shoe, but this is the only minor residue of the book's original setup. What is the Italian word for plot? Marco doesn't need to know it and you don't either. Once it hits its first picturesque little piazza, "The Broker" has effectively gone fishing.

Mr. Grisham points out that he gained 10 pounds while doing the grueling research for this story. "I adore Italy and all things Italian," he writes in an author's note, "and I have to confess that I was not blindfolded when I threw the dart." Hardly. He was in the mood for an Italian idyll, and he presents the reader with a vicarious equivalent of that pleasure. Even the cover art for "The Broker," the blurry image of a man running past a row of classical arches, is more redolent of a postcard than of an action story.

It's certainly Mr. Grisham's prerogative to try new things, and to make his own personal escape from the thriller format. But "The Broker" switches gears so drastically that it seems to be two separate novels in a single binding. The same kind of contradiction applies to Backman: he is supposed to be the embodiment of corruption, and the book jacket promises that the C.I.A. will engineer his demise. "The question is not whether Backman will survive - there is no chance of that," says the jacket copy.

But Backman is happily admiring his grandchild at the end of the story. And reports of the broker's odiousness are greatly exaggerated. Actually, Backman makes a companionable figure, if a completely inconsistent one, in ways that make nonsense of the novel's moral distinctions. Even if scales fall from the broker's eyes and allow him to see the error of his former ways, this guy's wicked side is seriously unconvincing. And by the finale, when Mr. Grisham halfheartedly returns to the intrigue plot to throw one final whammy, the reader has long since begun rooting for Grandpa Backman's new lease on life.

While "The Broker" might uncharitably be described as lazy - especially in comparison with its immediate predecessor, "The Last Juror," one of Mr. Grisham's best - it is also notably relaxed. Yes, it falls hard for stereotypical distinctions between Italians (happy, sensual, steeped in history) and Americans (scowling, hurried, crass). And it demonstrates that Mr. Grisham can barely do Crichton Lite (the cloak-and-dagger part involves encrypted e-mail messages and a spy satellite), let alone offer any semblance of Alan Furst's richly atmospheric view of Americans abroad. But "The Broker" is a novel for, by and about somebody taking a vacation. Birds sing. Fish swim. Armchair travelers like a getaway even if they can't leave home.
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Helpful Score: 1
Not only is it a fast-paced story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, but you'll also pick up a little Italian too.
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Helpful Score: 1
This is one of Grisham's best. Pardoned from prison, Joel Backman is sent to a safe house in Italy, but many want him dead. Find out how he deals with his new life.
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Helpful Score: 1
!! THE BEST FROM ONE OF THE BEST !!
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Helpful Score: 1
Very gripping story. Excellent book.
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Helpful Score: 1
A really tough book to put down. The Broker, even though a "crook" is a very sympathetic character whom you hope will survive. (At least I hoped he would!) Grisham knows how to tell a story and I will look for more of his books. Paul C.
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Helpful Score: 1
Boy, Grisham can sure write complex plots. This one involves CIA shinnanigans, a Presidential pardon, a villa in Italy, spys and assassins from Israel, China, Russian and even the Saudis...all while the CIA watches--and waits. Another good one by Grisham.
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Helpful Score: 1
Very slow start. Continued to read based on my husband's statement it got better. Really only liked the last 100 pages. But then I'm not a big Grisham fan to begin with!
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Helpful Score: 1
really enjoyed this book. Typical Grisham.
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Helpful Score: 1
First rate Grisham.
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Helpful Score: 1
Action packed. Another winner!
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Helpful Score: 1
It's a page-turner. Interesting premise, a little too formulaic for my taste though.
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Helpful Score: 1
I gobbled this one up just like the other John Grismah's. I practically read them straight through. This one is truly awesome! If you're a Grisham fan, this is a must read.
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Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book! With the twists, turns, and lies concerning the CIA and FBI this book would make an awesome movie! I usually get lost in books like this because there are so many characters and twists but Grisham has a way of making sure that the reader stays with the program. This was a great book.
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Helpful Score: 1
Excellent storytelling, as usual!
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Helpful Score: 1
The Broker, Joel Backman, is on the run from Saudi, Isreali and Chinese assassins, and even from the CIA. He's carrying around secrets that everyone wants to know and several people have already died for. It's a little hard to feel sorry for him, considering what he's done, but I did get caught up in his flight and was rooting for him in the end.
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Helpful Score: 1
I really enjoyed this one...you won't want to get out of the car if you are listening on your way to work!
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Helpful Score: 1
Excellent Grisham novel in 5 CDs!
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Helpful Score: 1
Awesome! Love Grishams Books...Legal Thrillers by John Grisham are A+++
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Helpful Score: 1
Different beginning from most Grisham books...almost a farcical bent and characters. When it got rolling, it again had the intrigue, twists and turns of a Grisham novel.
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Helpful Score: 1
We listened to this on a road trip and hated to push pause while stopping for gas! It was a great book and kept you wondering how it would end the whole time.
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Helpful Score: 1
Not a courtroom drama, this Grisham novel is a spy thriller. The American President pardons Joe Backman, a Washington D.C. power broker languishing in prison. The CIA takes him to Italy for his own protection against the foreign powers who want him dead, and then he has to create a new identity and life in a foreign country, and then stay alive. The second half of The Broker is classic Grisham--a fast-paced, thrilling cat and mouse chase pitting Backman against the numerous agencies that want him dead.

Grisham is a little out of his comfort zone in this one, but he is still a great writer who can tell a terrific story. And if you love all things Italian as well as spy novels, you'll love this!
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Helpful Score: 1
As always, easy to read and follow with plot twists and turns that don't get in the way. Love him.
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I really enjoyed the book--Good quick read, very clean.
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read the book 2 times not lot of action, but lots 1ntrigue
Dave
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Excellent.
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another Grisham thriller.
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A must-read for any Grisham fan, includes international intrigue, spies, government double-dealing, and romance.
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Once again Grisham did a great job. Kept my interest right from the beginning.
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I couldn't put this book down. It was not what I expected. Very fast-paced and thrilling!
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tHIS is a great book involving the CIA instead of his typical lawyer- client books I feel it was a great read
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If you like John Grishham books you will really like this one.
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Not his best but very readable and now I want to visit Bologna.
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THIS WAS ONE OF THE BETTER BOOKS THAT I HAVE READ.
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Another Grisham winner.
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very good
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Great book to read.
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Great read!
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A wonderful read, typical Grisham.
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Did I like the book? Well, I had it finished less than 24 hours after I received it! Another excellent Grisham novel.
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In true Grisham style, this book is thrilling and thought provoking. A fast-paced page turner.
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Typical Grisham gripping plot, but a rather flat ending. Good summer read.
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typical grisham book. good read
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John Grisham has done it again..nother great book
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GREAT BOOK
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Great international story with neat ending.
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A departure from the normal courtroom setting, this is an excellent mystery.
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Very good book to read. Hard to put down.
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The end of this book is exciting. Once things get heated up you will not want to put it down.
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A page turner like all John Grisham books
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another great story about a litle guy and the powerful
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Another John Grisham winner....NY Times bestseller (am I surprised??). Great story, as usual.
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typical grisham book, but still a great read, this is a HC book club edition
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A bit different from the usual Grisham but a fun read.
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GREAT BOOK - made our travels much more enjoyable!!
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4 cassettes, 6 hours - abridged
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With 6 hrs. of story this one is great for those that don't drive on really long trips and want to be able to finish a book on a single trip.
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Well read and excellent Audio CD recording.
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Ending is a little odd but overall an enjoyable book. Lots of action in Italy w/ a little Italian thrown in.
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Good book!
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A good spy novel by one of the best.
A nice story that has little sex and violence, little religion and politics, but lots of suspense about a lobbyist and lawyer who along with the CIA moves to Italy then back to Washington with lots happening in-between.
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Grisham is, of course, the best! This is the first time I have gotten one of his Audio CDs and I picked it up to keep me company while driving from NJ to VA. The story did exactly what I wanted and needed.

One of the things I love about Grisham is his ability to get you to ~ dare I say "love" ~ his main character who isn't really lovable. But as you go along in the story you are pulling for him, encouraging him along, getting tense when he is in trouble, etc, etc. You don't need to know any more about the story . . . the synopsis is here for you. Just know that Grisham will do what he always does ~ he will engage you on a level that goes beyond your expectations.

Can you tell I really loved this Audio CD? I did indeed!

JoAnn
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One of John Grisham's BEST!!!
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Excellent read with some very clever twists.
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One of Grisham's best books in my opinion.
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Very Good Book - Grisham does it again.
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Up till now I have managed never to read anything by John Grisham. No particular reason, just none of book descriptions really appealed to me. But I found THE BROKER in my TBR pile the other day, someone must have given me a copy at one point, so I pulled it out. I won't go into the plot, which I found slow and riddled with holes. Biggest problem, I just didn't have the feeling that the author gave me any insight into the protagonist, what he was planning or what he wanted. He apparently has some sort of moral awakening that makes him a nice guy at the end, but it's hard to say why that happened. I won't be keeping this book.
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Wonderful book. spell binding!! Cannot put it down
The President has pardon a notorious power broker from Washington. The intrigue heightens when the CIA gets involved because of secrets that the parole might have.

Edge of your seat - up all night reading, what happens next !!

John Grisham at his best....
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This is one of Grisham's most recent books. A man is suddenly released from prison as part of a larger political scheme.
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as always another good reading
from john grisham
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Another Grisham page turner!
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In his final hours is office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six months hidden away in a federal prison. Whas no one knows is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems Backman, in his power broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system.

Backman is quietly smuggled out of the country in a military cargo plane, give a new name, a new identity, and a new home in Italy. Eventually, after he has settled into his new life, the CIA will leak his whereabouts tothe Israelise, the Russians, the Chinese, and the Saudis. Then the CIA will do what it does best: sit back and watch. The question is not whether Backman will survive, there is no chance of that. The question the CIA needs answered is, who will kill him?
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this is a really great read...enjoyed it alot
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In this novel, the president pardons Jack Backman, a power-broker with a past. The CIA becomes involved as well as foreign countries. A good read.
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Very good book. One of his best.
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Love his books,read all the time.
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Grisham at his best!
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An OK legal thriller.
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Another great John Grisham!!
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solid Grisham
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Absolutely one of Grisham's best! No courtroom scenes here; this book is set primarily in Italy, so that's a fun change from his usual. 'The Broker' is a very greedy and crooked attorney who was contacted by a group of Pakistanis who had hacked into an advanced system of spy satellites that, before they discovered it, had been unknown to most of the world's governments, except, obviously, whoever put them into space. As it became obvious that someone would kill to keep the satellites a secret, Joel, the 'Broker,' decided to turn state's evidence and go to prison for his company's bilking a lot of people out of a lot of money, rather than stay free and risk being killed. But since the shadowy parts of the U.S. gov't still didn't know who put those spy satellites into space, a decision was made to pardon Joel to see who killed him. Because if they could determine what country the killer was from, they'd know who the now-useless satellites belonged to. He was taken to Italy, ostensibly to hide, but really to act as bait. It becomes a wild game of cat-and-mouse that will keep you riveted.
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good book. I recommend it to other people.
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Very intense, keeps you on your toes, very quick read!!!! Loved it!
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This is one of John Grisham's best stories, and true to the form of his early successes. If you enjoyed "The Pelican Brief," "The Firm," or "A Time to Kill," you will find this book hard to put down!
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good read
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The last time I read a book by John Grisham was in high school after The Rainmaker with Matt Damon came out and I was on a Grisham kick for a while. I remember liking the pacing of his novels, the characters doing what is right despite the odds being stacked against them, and Grisham's easy writing style that provided enough detail to sympathize with the underdogs but never crossed into too much familiarity. So when I came across the paperback of The Broker memories did their thing and the book came home with me. It sat on the shelf through my well-intentioned "reading schedule" phase, got passed over a couple of times after that until finally I was in the mood for it.
Almost immediately I saw that either my memories were flawed or The Broker didn't fit in with the Grisham novels I read. In the beginning there was a lot of backstory setting the scene for Joel Backman's release from prison. It painted him as a ruthless, greedy man unfamiliar with the very concept of morality, and even as freedom was offered to him after years in solitary confinement in conditions that were clearly meant to break him he accepted it as if it was his due. And then Joel was moved to Italy and with the new clothes and a pair of Armani glasses he seemed to take on a new identity in more than just name - still demanding and knowing exactly what he wanted, he at the same time has acquired an appreciation for the simpler things in life, and seemed to have re-evaluated his past and was determined to live differently. Unfortunately this transformation got almost no page time, it was more or less just there, leaving the reader to arrive at their own conclusions as to how Joel got from point A to point B.
Pacing left much to be desired as well. Events rolled along leisurely for about three quarters of the book with Joel endlessly going from Italian lessons to meals and back, and things started to feel a bit like Groundhog Day, until in a blink of an eye our protagonist transformed from a frustrated tourist into a man of action masterminding his true freedom and once again manipulating some of the highest powers in Washington into doing his bidding. This transition, though not unexpected, was so sudden and swift that it almost gave me whiplash and once again left me with a sense of dissatisfaction.
My favorite scenes in the book were where Joel was shown adjusting to life in Italy. His first attempts to order food in a foreign language, his growing familiarity with Bologna, even his overwhelming drive to learn Italian made him into a sympathetic character despite his thoroughly unsympathetic past. I really could do with more of that because I think it would develop the characters and the book wouldn't feel so much like a chronology of events past and present.
All in all it was a decent read and I was glad for the way things turned out. I just wish it was more fleshed out in every aspect.
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Very good book hard to get started but once you do and it a page turner like all of Grishams the ending is VERY different then I had guessed. Different then his other books not at legal but touches on the legal system but a very good addition
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Another fast read from John Grisham!!!
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If your looking for a vacation book, then this is a good choice. It's entertaining with a lot of information about Italy. It's not his best but still enjoyable, Grisham fans will enjoy.
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This book is about a person that has possession of information about the powerful and influential. The story will take you to Italy as the character deals with uncertainty, enemies, and the art of hiding and seeking (spying). Truly a wonderful novel to let your mind wander off.
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Grisham with an espionage twist
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Great book. I couldn't put it down.
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This was not a typical Grisham book....I could not stop reading it....his legal thrillers were getting a bit monotonous. This book is only peripherally a legal novel.
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I love John Grisham. You don't have to be a fan to enjoy this one.
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Not his best.
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A classic Grisham book! A must read!
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In typical John Grisham fashion a tale of suspense and espionage unfolds. Fast-paced, fun read.
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Latest Grisham book, good as all the others
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I could not put it down.
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Enthralling!
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Not bad but not as good as some of his others.
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Gripping story of intrigue in the world of big time lobbyist in Washington.
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"Just read it on vacation in Florida. Great read for the beach....or anywhere!
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Really good book. Keeps you on the edge of your seat
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I don't think this was as good a Grisham's past novels. I waited so long for it to come out in paperback, then was disappointed. It just wasn't worth the price to me. It was worth reading...I just wish I had waited and got it from here.
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Grisham at his best. Follow the "Broker" as he's pardoned out of prison by the outgoing president and relocated to Italy by the CIA in hopes of watching him killed by a foreign government. Great Page turner and keeps you guessing throughout.
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Love all of his books!
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Fast paced and exciting. Classic Grisham!
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Enjoyable....sort of an unfinished work though.
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Grisham always keeps me in suspence until the end and this book is no exception.
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Super story.
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Fantastically written in typical Grisham fashion!
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Excellent reading!
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Very different for Grisham, as more of a spy thriller. Very well done and thought out!
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One of his best, you will wake up at night wanting to keep reading!
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In his final hours in the Oval Office,the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman,a notorious Washington power broker who has spent his last six years hidden away in a federal prison
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It was alright but not as good as some of his others which was disappointing. A lot slower then most of his books. Each time a semi-suspencful event started to happen it wrapped up quickly.
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In the final hours in the oval office, the out going President grants controversial last minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in prison.
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Excellent!
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very good exciting and suspenseful, detailed and a great read
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Before he was sent to federal prison for treason (among other things), Joel Backman was an extremely powerful man. Known as "the broker," Backman was a high roller--a lawyer making $10 million a year who could "open any door in Washington." That is, until he tried to broker a deal selling access to the world's most powerful satellite surveillance system to the highest bidder. When caught, Backman accepted prison as the one option that would keep him safe and alive, since the interested parties (the Israelis, the Saudis, the Russians, and the Chinese) were all itching to get their hands on his secrets at any cost. Little does he know that his own government has designs on accessing that information--or at least letting it die with him. Now, six years after his incarceration, the director of the CIA convinces a lame duck president to pardon Backman, and the broker becomes a free man--and an open target.
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This was a very good book. Interesting how things don't turn out the way you absolutely KNEW they would. Makes you wonder how much of this really happens today.
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Good plot, interesting story, as usual, John Grisham doesn't disappoint. I always seem to enjoy his books. It is nice to know that you can count on Grisham to give you a good book for the money.
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Great story keeps you going till the end
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It was merely ok. Not a thriller, but not too boring. The ending was a bit surprising and disappointing.
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Probably my favorite of all the Grisham books I've read!
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Well written and enjoyable read.
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Another great for Grisham! Kept me reading until finished!
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I like John Grisham and this book was no exception. I enjoyed reading this one very much!
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This book was okay. It was like some of Grisham's other books, some are great and are okay.
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an excellent read...fast paced, exciting.
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typical Grisham, that's why I like his books. Good descriptions of Bolonga and learning Italian. The ending is farfetched but held my attention.
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Great Book. A really good read.
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This is one of his best I think. Couldn't put it down.
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Another great Grisham.
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Other great read by John Grisham, don't miss this one!
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Wonderful read..couldn't put it down. In the Grisham style but with a different twist rather than the courtroom.
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Great book. Read in 2 days
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Quite a bit different than the lawyer types, but well-written and fascinating.
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Pretty good story line, easy and fast to read like other Grisham books.
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Love Grisham
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Very intriguing!
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very detailed john grisham book, interesting book and details of italian countryside.
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Loved the book. Could not put it down!
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Another glorious tale by Grisham. Joel Backman, a power broker, being locked up in the state pen for years, is set free. Instantly, a game for his life is played by those who need his secrects: that being software that can change the face of the world as we know it.

Grisham again takes us on a fairytale ride through the law and govt.
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I loved this book! If you are a Grisham fan, you will not be disappointed.
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A John Grisham book is always a fun read.
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Good book, pretty similar to other grisham books.
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Another "can't-put-down" read from Grisham.
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Another great book by Grisham! It is a fast paced book about a man that the president releases from prision after receiving pressure from the CIA. He receives a new identity and the CIA looks on and waits to see what is going to happen!
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It's not about lawyers and courtroom drama, but it's prime John Grisham. Not only can he tell an engrossing story, he makes you care about a character you would despise in the hands of a lesser writer. The man can tell a story!
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Really enjoyed this one. It has it all, romance, family, intrique, spies, food, etc.
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Grisham spy mystery set in Italy. Imprisoned former power broker is given a new identity and relocated to Italy so the CIA can see who comes after him.
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Hard to put down when I wanted to sleep. Great story.
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Excellent, engaging book!
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Great Grisham novel. A real page turner. I read this on a three-hour flight.
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never disappointed in his books again a great read
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Pure Grisham!
In his final hours in the Oval Office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems Backman, in his power broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system. Backman is quietly smuggled out of the country in a military cargo plane, given a new name, a new identity, and a new home in Italy. Eventually, after he has settled into his new life, the CIA will leak his whereabouts to the Israelis, the Russians, the Chinese, and the Saudis. Then the CIA will do what it does best: sit back and watch. The question is not whether Backman will survive--there is no chance of that. The question the CIA needs answered is,
Who will kill him?
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I was disappointed that this was not a legal novel but some sort of spy novel with a scenario that was so unlikely that it made no sense at all to me. I think Grisham shook stick to courtroom drama.
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5 cd's.
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A very good read.
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Great - Exciting read.
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I didn't really like this book. To much runnin' around in cities that are ancient at best,& boring at worst.
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Typical Grisham. Great read.
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very good
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Great mystery in the usual style of John Grisham. Good and intriguing story with lots of twists and turns.
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This book starts out kind of slow but once you get started its pretty good. If you like John Grisham, this is one to read.
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A good thriller Grisham style. Kept me awake during a 6 hour drive
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This is not one of his better ones. Very slow.
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A little different style from Grisham, but still an excellent read! He could write the phone book and make it a good story. Highly recommended!
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Grisham wins with this story of a lawyer pardoned by an outgoing President. The lawyer is then used for bait and we follow the story through his eyes as he tries to find a way out.
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Very Good! Hard to put down!
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A good read.
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Awespme book! Definitely one of John Grisham's best!
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Good book
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In his final hours in office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems Backman, in his pwer broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system. Backman is quietly smuggled out of the country in a military cargo plane, given a new name, a new identity, and a new home in Italy. Eventually, after he has settled into his new life, the CIA will leak his whereabouts to the Israelis, the Russians, the Chinese, and the Saudis. Then the CIA will do what it does best" sit back and watch. The question is not whether backman will survive-there is no chance of that. The question the CIA needs answered is, who will kill him?
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Another great one by Grisham. Definitely worth reading.
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great read, almost up there with the 1st book Iread by him, the firm!
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Classic Grisham - a good read!
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Great book as all Grisham books are!
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A controversial Presidential pardon to a notorious power broken so the CIA can force him to reveal secrets that may compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system. Good Grisham novel.
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Grisham is just one of those authors who keeps you captivated. This book was kind of motivational to learn some Italian. That was my favorite part, the time in Italy. Highly recommended.
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Another outstanding John Grisham book!!
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What can I say? I love John Grisham.
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I enjoyed it.
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Great read!
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Typical John Grisham book.
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This was really good. It sure made a long trip seem to go faster because it really held my attention.
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Compelling read that is fast paced and stretches your imagination.
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from inside jacket....In his final hours in the Oval Office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems Backman, in his power broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system.
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In the last few hours of his presidency the president issues a pardon to a notorious D.C. power broker who ends up in a safe house in Italy. He has to learn the language & falls in love in the process while trying to evade killers sent by several governmnets to find & destroy him. I loved the book, particularly the Italian setting.
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Grisham does not disappoint. His usual style of twists and turns keeps the reader's interest.
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Good book.
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Joel Backman was a high-roller D.C. lawyer sent to prison for trying to broker a secret satellite system. When he's pardoned and sent by the CIA to Bologna, Italy as a decoy to draw out the owner of the satellite system--Israelis? Russians? Chinese?--he rebuilds his life while learning to speak Italian with a beautiful & mysterious tutor. Great travelogue, as well as a fun read and good mystery.
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Joe starts out in prison, then is pardoned and takes an interesting tour though Italy..always watching his back.
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John Grisham book, what more do I really need to say. He is an awesome writer, I have read EVERY book he has written. Fast paced.
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an outgoing president grants a pardon to a corrupt broker in prison. the cia wants this man pardoned, so other countrys will have the opportunity to kill him and take him off the u.s. hands
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"A Fast-Paced, fun read with echoes of something deeper, the autor's command of Pop Fiction delivers crisp, sharp prose."--Boston Globe

This is a start to finish type of book. Once you start reading, it's hard to put this book down.
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The President has pardoned power broker Backman and the CIA has set him up in Italy with a new identity. Who will finish him off, the Israelis, the Chinese, the Russians, the Saudis or some unknown agency?
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EXCELLENT!!!!!!!!
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Got this book for christmas, very interesting book. In his final hours in office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last 6 months hidden away in a federal prison. What no one know's is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure for the CIA. It seems Back man in his ppower broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system. Backman is secretly smuggled out of the country in a military cargo plane, given a new identity and a new home in Italy. CIA will now leak his whereabouts to the Isralis, the Russians, the Chinese, and the Saudisl Then the CIA will do what it does best, sit back and watch. The question is not whether he will survive---It is who will kill him.
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John Grisham book. What else can I say?
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Loved it.
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My parents really like John Grisham. Although my dad did mention that it takes Grisham 300 pages to set up the situation and 10 pages to solve the crime. Now that they're finished reading all of his books, they are now going on to James Patterson.
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In the final hours in office the president grants a pardon to a notorious power broker. What no one knows is the president was pressured to make the pardon by the CIA. Very good
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In his final hours in office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six months hidden away in federal prison. What no one knows is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems Backman, in his power broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system. Backman is quietly smuggled out of the country in a military cargo plane, given a new name, a new identity. Eventually, after he is settled, the CIA wil leak his whereabouts to the Israelis, the Russians, the Chinese and the Saudis. Then the CIA will do what it does best. Sit back and watch.

A fast, action packed adventure - I think one of Grisham's best. I enjoyed it tremendously.
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#1 NY Times Bestseller
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In his final hours in the Oval Office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems Backman, in his power broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system.
Backman is quietly smuggled out of the country in a military cargo plane, given a new name, a new identity, and a new home in Italy. Eventually, after he has settled into his new life, the CIA will leak his whereabouts to the Israelis, the Russians, the Chinese, and the Saudis. Then the CIA will do what it does best: sit back and watch. The question is not whether Backman will survivethere is no chance of that. The question the CIA needs answered is, who will kill him? Great 'scenes' of Italy made me want to go there - good story!
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In his final hours in office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six months hidden away in a federal prison. What noone knows is that the President issues the pardon only after recieving enormous pressure from the CIA. Backman may have obtained secrets that compromise the worlds most sophisticated satellite surveillance system.
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Amazon.com: "Before he was sent to federal prison for treason (among other things), Joel Backman was an extremely powerful man. Known as "the broker," Backman was a high roller--a lawyer making $10 million a year who could "open any door in Washington." That is, until he tried to broker a deal selling access to the world's most powerful satellite surveillance system to the highest bidder. When caught, Backman accepted prison as the one option that would keep him safe and alive, since the interested parties (the Israelis, the Saudis, the Russians, and the Chinese) were all itching to get their hands on his secrets at any cost. Little does he know that his own government has designs on accessing that information--or at least letting it die with him. Now, six years after his incarceration, the director of the CIA convinces a lame duck president to pardon Backman, and the broker becomes a free man--and an open target.
The first half of the book focuses on Backman's transformation from infamous power broker to helpless victim in his own game. Upon his release from prison, Backman is taken into "protective custody" and whisked off to Italy where he is assigned a new identity, and a tutor to help him blend in. Sure he is on the run, but some readers may feel that Backman's time spent in Bologna is a bit too leisurely--readers join him on an almost cinematic tour through the Italian town, complete with language and history lessons. Impatient readers will be happy to know that the final half of the novel is classic Grisham--a fast-paced, thrilling cat and mouse chase pitting Backman against the numerous agencies that want him dead--as the broker makes a move to take back his life. --Daphne Durham
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In his final hours in office, the outgoing President grants a controveersial last minute pardon to Joe Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six months hidden away in a federal prison.
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In his final hours in office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six months hidden in a ferderal prison. What no one know is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA....
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In his final hours in the Oval Office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems Backman, in his power broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system.
Backman is quietly smuggled out of the country in a military cargo plane, given a new name, a new identity, and a new home in Italy. Eventually, after he has settled into his new life, the CIA will leak his whereabouts to the Israelis, the Russians, the Chinese, and the Saudis. Then the CIA will do what it does best: sit back and watch. The question is not whether Backman will survive?there is no chance of that. The question the CIA needs answered is, who will kill him?
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In his final hours in office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six months hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems Backman, in his power broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system.
Backman is quietly smuggled out of the country in a military cargo plane, given a new name, a new identity, and a new home in Italy. Eventually, after he has settled into his new life, the CIA will leak his whereabouts to the Israelis, the Russians, the Chinese, and the Saudis. Then the CIA will do what it does best: sit back and watch. The question is not whether Backman will survive--there is no chance of that. The question the CIA needs answered is, who will kill him?
reviewed The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 34 more book reviews
In his final hours in the Oval Office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems Backman, in his power broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system.
Backman is quietly smuggled out of the country in a military cargo plane, given a new name, a new identity, and a new home in Italy. Eventually, after he has settled into his new life, the CIA will leak his whereabouts to the Israelis, the Russians, the Chinese, and the Saudis. Then the CIA will do what it does best: sit back and watch. The question is not whether Backman will survivethere is no chance of that. The question the CIA needs answered is, who will kill him?
reviewed The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 17 more book reviews
In his final hours in office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six months hidden away in a federal prison. Backman, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system.
reviewed The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 50 more book reviews
In his final hours in office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six months hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems Backman, in his power broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system. Backmanis quietly smuggled out of the country in a military cargo plane, given a new name, a new identity, and a new home in Italy. Eventually, after he has settled into his new life, the CIA will leak his whereabouts to the Israelis, the Russians, the Chinese and the Saudis. Then the CIA will do what it does best: sit back and watch. The question is not whether Backman will survive -- there is no chance of that. The question the CIA needs answered is, who will kill him?
reviewed The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 249 more book reviews
#1 New York Times Bestseller
"In his final hours in office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six months hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems Backman, in his power broker heyday, may have obtained secrets tha compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system.
Backman is quietly smuggled out of the country in a military cargo plane, given a new name, a new identity, and a new home in Italy. Eventually, after he has settled into his new life, the CIA will leak his wherabouts to the Isreais, the Russians, the Chinese, and the Saudis. Then the CIA will do what it does best: sit back and watch. The question is not whether Backman will survive-there is no chance of that. The question the CIA needs answered is, who will kill him?"
reviewed The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 130 more book reviews
In his final hours in the Oval Office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems Backman, in his power broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system.
Backman is quietly smuggled out of the country in a military cargo plane, given a new name, a new identity, and a new home in Italy. Eventually, after he has settled into his new life, the CIA will leak his whereabouts to the Israelis, the Russians, the Chinese, and the Saudis. Then the CIA will do what it does best: sit back and watch. The question is not whether Backman will survivethere is no chance of that. The question the CIA needs answered is, who will kill him?
reviewed The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 8 more book reviews
In his final hours in office, the outgoing President granta a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six months hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seens Backman, in his power broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that conpromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system.
Backman is quietly smuggled out of the county in a military cargo plane, given a new name, a new idenity, and a new home in Italy. Eventually, after he has settled into his niew life, the CIA will leak his whereabouts to the Iraelies, the Russians, the Chinese, and the Saudis. Then the CIA will do what it does best: sit back and watch. The question is not whether Backman will survive- there is no chance of that. The question the CIA needs answered is, who will kill him?
reviewed The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 90 more book reviews
In his final hours in office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six months hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems Backman, in his power broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system.

Backman is quietly smuggled out of the country in a military cargo plane, given a new name, a new identity, and a new home in Italy. Eventually, after he has settled into his new life, the CIA will leak his whereabouts to the Israelis, the Russians, the Chinese, and the Saudis. Then the CIA will do what it does best: sit back and watch. The question is whether Backman will survive--there is no chance of that. The question the CIA needs answered is, who will kill him?
reviewed The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 25 more book reviews
"Before he was sent to federal prison for treason (among other things), Joel Backman was an extremely powerful man. Known as "the broker," Backman was a high roller--a lawyer making $10 million a year who could "open any door in Washington." That is, until he tried to broker a deal selling access to the world's most powerful satellite surveillance system to the highest bidder. When caught, Backman accepted prison as the one option that would keep him safe and alive, since the interested parties (the Israelis, the Saudis, the Russians, and the Chinese) were all itching to get their hands on his secrets at any cost. Little does he know that his own government has designs on accessing that information--or at least letting it die with him. Now, six years after his incarceration, the director of the CIA convinces a lame duck president to pardon Backman, and the broker becomes a free man--and an open target."*

*Borrowed from Amazon.com
reviewed The Broker (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 75 more book reviews
IN HIS FINAL HOURS IN OFFICE, THE OUTGOING PRESIDENT GRANST A CONTROVERSIAL LAST MINUTE PARDON TO JOEL BACKMAN, A NOTORIOUS WASHINGTON POWER BROKER WHO HAS SPENT THE LAST SIX MONTHS HIDDEN AWAY IN A FEDERAL PRISON. WHAT NO ONE KNOWS IS THAT THE PRESIDENT ISSUES THE PARDON ONLY AFTER RECIEVING ENORMOUS PRESSURE FROM THE CIA. IT SEEMS BACKMAN, IN HIS POWER BROKER HEYDAY, MAY HAVE OBTAINED SECRETS THAT COMPROMISE THE WORLD'S MOST SOPHISTICATED SATELLITE SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM. BACKMAN IS QUIETLY SMUGGLED OUT OF THE OCUTNRY IN A MILITARY CARGO PLANE, GIVEN A NEW NAME, A NEW IDENTITY, AND A NEW HOME IN ITALY. EVENTUALLY, AFTER HE HAS SETTLED INTO HIS NEW LIFE, THE CIA WILL LEAK HIS WHEREABOUTS TO THE ISRAELI'S, THE RUSSIANS, THE CHINESE AND THE SAUDIS. THEN THE CIA WILL DO WHAT IT DOES BEST: SIT BACK AND WATHC. THE QUESTION IS NOT WHETHER BACKMAN WILL SURVIVE, THERE IS NO CHANCE OF THAT. THE QUESTION THE CIA NEEDS ANSWERED IS WHO WILL KILL HIM?