The Rooster Bar
By: John Grisham
Publication Date: 10/24/2017
My Rating: 5 Stars #1 New York Times bestselling author John Grisham’s newest legal thriller takes you inside a law firm that’s on shaky ground. Mark, Todd, and Zola came to law school to change the world, to make it a better place. But now, as third-year students, these close friends realize they have been duped. They all borrowed heavily to attend a third-tier, for-profit law school so mediocre that its graduates rarely pass the bar exam, let alone get good jobs. And when they learn that their school is one of a chain owned by a shady New York hedge-fund operator who also happens to own a bank specializing in student loans, the three know they have been caught up in The Great Law School Scam.
But maybe there's a way out. Maybe there’s a way to escape their crushing debt, expose the bank and the scam, and make a few bucks in the process. But to do so, they would first have to quit school. And leaving law school a few short months before graduation would be completely crazy, right? Well, yes and no . . .
Pull up a stool, grab a cold one, and get ready to spend some time at The Rooster Bar.
#1 New York Times bestselling author, John Grisham returns following Camino Island with his 25th novel THE ROOSTER BAR — a legal thriller exploring conspiracies inside for-profit law schools and the lives it destroys in this modern-day scandal ripped from today’s headlines. Inspired by an article in the Atlantic called “The Law-School Scam,” a lengthy investigation of for-profit law schools, the author takes off an inside look at corruption in the legal field and student loans. Gordy, Mark, Todd, and Zola each have their own stories and how they landed at Foggy Bottom— a third-tier for-profit law school. Each has borrowed heavily and student loans are enormous, there is no way they will ever attain a job to begin paying back this debt. Each of the three is drowning in student debt, which it would seem will be impossible to ever pay off. Mark owes $266,000; Todd, $195,000; Zola, $191,000. Foggy Bottom had enticed them to take out huge federally backed loans — from an equally disreputable bank that offered easy money with the false prospect that they would get high-paying jobs immediately upon being graduated and passing the bar. They each had high expectations as well as their families. Soon they realize there is more to the story. Gordy (bi-polar), is engaged to be married (to wealthy white girl from his hometown); however, seeing Zola on the side. She is black Muslim-American. Gordy has done much research and lays out all the players for the group. His obsession turns to madness quickly and they all are concerned. Their school is owned by a corrupt New York hedge-fund operator Hinds Rackley, who also happens to own a bank specializing in student loans, and connected with various law firms. He is a billionaire and using thousands of students to bankroll his lifestyle. A scam. However, what will they do with this information? Who will believe them? They are in their third year and the $$$ and interest are mounting daily. Drowning in debt, pressures from debt collectors, and no promise of a job, they set out on a dangerous course to try and outsmart the conman. They will never be able to repay this debt. Gordy cannot take it anymore. After he is gone, they decide they will honor him by fighting back the best way they can to survive.
Taking a page from SUITS, (even though I think Michael Ross is smarter); they decide they will practice law without a law degree. Going rogue is a little difficult when they do not have the funds to make this work, or will they?
Will they be able to pull off their own scam to con a con, (David vs. Goliath) without being sent to prison before they are found out? In the meantime, who will bring down the bigger scam that drove them to desperate measures?
With only Mark, Todd, and Zola remaining, they will have to stay one step ahead of the impending danger, in order to beat the system.
Mixed with legal-drama, suspense, action, and humor, THE ROOSTER BAR uncovers greed, conspiracies and throws Zola’s family issues (deportation) for added conflict in this compelling thriller.
"More than 44 million Americans who have borrowed money to pay for college owe over $1.4 trillion in student loan debt."
More fact than fiction — we are well aware, the significant number of real-life American millennials duped by unscrupulous banks and businesses today, is astounding.
I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Ari Fliakos for an entertaining listening experience.
The entire time I was reading/listening kept thinking about Roosters, the popular gay bar here in West Palm Beach, FL with the Best Drag Show and has been around for over 30 yrs.
Love the Cover and the Title!
About the Author
Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi, law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel.
Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn’t have the right stuff for a pro career, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi State University. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. In 1983, he was elected to the state House of Representatives and served until 1990.
One day at the DeSoto County courthouse, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl’s father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood Press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988.
That might have put an end to Grisham’s hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career—and spark one of publishing’s greatest success stories. The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on another novel, the story of a hotshot young attorney lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared. When he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures for $600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers, and book rights were bought by Doubleday. Spending 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991.
The successes of The Pelican Brief, which hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and The Client, which debuted at number one, confirmed Grisham’s reputation as the master of the legal thriller. Grisham’s success even renewed interest in A Time to Kill, which was republished in hardcover by Doubleday and then in paperback by Dell. This time around, it was a bestseller.
Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year (his other books are The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, The Partner, The Street Lawyer, The Testament, The Brethren, A Painted House, Skipping Christmas, The Summons, The King of Torts, Bleachers, The Last Juror, The Broker, Playing for Pizza, The Appeal, The Associate, The Confession, The Litigators, Calico Joe, The Racketeer, Sycamore Row, and Gray Mountain) and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 300 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 40 languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas), as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man. The Innocent Man (October 2006) marked his first foray into non-fiction, and Ford County (November 2009) was his first short story collection.
Grisham took time off from writing for several months in 1996 to return, after a five-year hiatus, to the courtroom. He was honoring a commitment made before he had retired from the law to become a full-time writer: representing the family of a railroad brakeman killed when he was pinned between two cars. Preparing his case with the same passion and dedication as his books’ protagonists, Grisham successfully argued his clients’ case, earning them a jury award of $683,500—the biggest verdict of his career.
When he’s not writing, Grisham devotes time to charitable causes, including most recently his Rebuild The Coast Fund, which raised 8.8 million dollars for Gulf Coast relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He also keeps up with his greatest passion: baseball. The man who dreamed of being a professional baseball player now serves as the local Little League commissioner. The six ballfields he built on his property have played host to over 350 kids on 26 Little League teams. Read More