The Rainmaker: A Novel

by John Grisham

Paperback, 2011



In his final semester of law school, Rudy Baylor "finds himself taking on one of the most powerful, corrupt, and ruthless companies in America -- and exposing a complex, multibillion-dollar insurance scam."

Library's rating


(1654 ratings; 3.7)

Media reviews

When Rudy agrees to represent the parents of a dying 22-year-old denied insurance coverage for a bone-marrow transplant, he finds that he is up against the firm that broke contract with him. Melding the courtroom savvy of A Time to Kill with the psychological nuance of The Chamber, imbued with wry humor and rich characters, this bittersweet tale, the author's quietest and most thoughtful, shows that Grisham's imagination can hold its own in a courtroom as well as on the violent streets outside.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Radaghast
I haven't read a John Grisham book since I was in Junior High, but I enjoyed them then, so I was expecting a lot from The Rainmaker. On some level, it delivered, but it was a mixed bag. The problem is the book concentrates on the life of the main character Rudy Baylor much more than the legal drama side of the novel, in contrast to what I remember about Grisham's other books. The first two hundred pages drag on as the character deals with personal issues I found difficult to care about. When we finally see Rudy Baylor sue the villain of the story, insurance titan Great Benefit, the book changes completely. It is a page-turner and you can't put it down.

There are some great moments, some of the best court room drama Grisham has written. But because of the lackluster beginning, it's hard to fully endorse this book.
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LibraryThing member ReneeRobinson
The Rainmaker: A Novel by John Grisham--This is the first book of John Grisham I have ever read and ever since reading it I was completely hooked, lined and sinkered! It is little wonder how this story turned into a great movie. It is compassioned and self, good and bad, and the main character is constantly dealing with what's rights and whats wrong. He got used to a fancy, wealthy live style which is all turned upside-down with the death of his father and the inheritance of his brother. An excellent read which will never disappoint.… (more)
LibraryThing member DoranCalgiano
Grisham is not always great--but I still buy and read all his books. The Rainmaker is far and away my favorite. Funny, good mystery, great characters.
LibraryThing member KathrynCSN
Well, I think the story of this book isn't very new for me. It's about a young and inexperienced lawyer helps a poor person to get justice. The difference between this book and other similar stories is lawyer is not veteran, he is so jerky and enthusiasm, he is very nervous when he first time to appear in court, hesitated when he face to be asked settle out of court, he even asked to check legal provision when he on the court. He made the friends with his three clients which representative of vulnerable groups, the silent final, good person succeed and he win the lawsuit, respect and get his dream girl.
On the other hand, in my opinion, it’s a main social problem that the professional use their professional advantages to get illegal benefits
While their solve the problem, there also make the new problems, like he said every lawyer, at least once in every case, feels himself crossing a line he doesn’t really mean to cross. It just happens. And if you cross it enough times, it disappears forever. And then you’re nothing but another lawyer joke, just another shark in the dirty water.
In short, I always like the story about lawyer, so it’s worth to read for me.
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LibraryThing member karriethelibrarian
Great story. Always like to see the insurance companies take the hit they deserve.
LibraryThing member ctmsdeha
“I was a young teenager, clumsy, embarrassed by my awkwardness, frustrated with life, horrified by puberty, about to be shipped off to a military school by my father for insubordination… Overtime, I’d developed a quick tongue and an aversion to discipline…”

Rudy Baylor, a graduate of the University of Memphis Law School, is trying to find his first job with a law firm in the Memphis area. While searching for a job he is also studying for the bar exam and bartending at a local Memphis bar.

While providing free legal advice at a community center, he meets Mrs. Birdie Birdsong from whom he later rents an apartment. In return for cheap rent, he provides hours of backbreaking labor at her home.

Rudy gets a job interview with J.Lyman “Bruiser” Stone, a strict but successful lawyer whose specialty is personal injury cases. Bruiser gives him a job as an associate. To earn the required $1,000 every month, he must find clients at the local hospital. Deck, another employee who has failed the bar exam 6 times, comes for the ride.

Rudy ends up with just one case, a bad faith suit with a couple, Dot and Buddy Black. Their 22-year old son, Donny Ray, is dying of acute leukemia. A bone marrow transplant could have cured him, but their insurance company, Great Benefit, has denied payment for.

Rudy meets and falls in love with a woman named Kelly Riker, who has been hospitalized by continuous beating from her husband. They get a chance to meet at the hospital and Rudy helps her up to her room.

Drummond, the lawyer leading Great Benefit in the trial, uses Rudy’s inexperience to his advantage. Rudy’s determination and precision cross-examination fought back hard. The jury’s verdict is…

If you want a book you can’t put down, look no further. The Rainmaker is a detailed, well thought out book with well developed characters. When the characters were described by the author, I could clearly see them in my mind. While reading the dialogue, I felt like I was inside the story. I could feel Rudy’s emotions and see inside his thoughts. The first person perspective of the book made it seem more real.

This perfect mix of comedy and romance is not one to miss. If I were to describe this book with one sentence: This book is a page turner. I tore through this book and really enjoyed the balance of law, romance and comedy within the story. I did have some problems with the lack of action in the court scenes, since I am used to seeing more action when watching court-based TV shows. I also would have preferred a different ending, because I didn’t agree with Rudy’s decisions about his career at the end of the book.

There were many times while reading the story that I felt I could relate to Rudy. For example, when he was trying to get a job, but kept getting turned down, I was reminded of how I’m not really popular and have often been turned down when trying to make friends.

I really like the plot of the story, even though I did have a little problem with the romantic part because I felt uncomfortable since I have never experienced true love.

If I were to give this book a rating, I would give it 4 out of 5 stars. The book is not perfect, but it was a nice read. If you ever see this book on a shelf somewhere, definitely consider picking it up. This book was great and I hope you think so too.

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LibraryThing member rustbucket
Third year law student, young Rudy Baylor has a moment to envision himself a Rainmaker-a shooting star- bringing his first wealthy client to the firm he'd been hired by. He would revel in the fact that his father would abhore his son's success as just another dirty lawyer. The rains come, but not as he expected. In fact, he finds himself deluged with
bankruptcy, eviction, and losing his job before he'd even started. Although drowning himself, a mother implores him to save her son by gaining insurance coverage for surgery that would save his life. Realism of the job hits him hard, and the only solace he finds is in the precarious company of a beaten wife.
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LibraryThing member melorem
It's been a while since I've picked up a John Grisham book. This one is well developed and really maintains your interest. The main character, Rudy Baylor, is believable and likable. He recently graduates law school to discover his prospective job offer is no longer valid. He stumbles across the case of a lifetime. The lawsuit involves the insurance industry and a typical family that seems as if they have lost the battle with the insurance giant.… (more)
LibraryThing member bennyb
Good story, worth a read.
LibraryThing member dbree007
I loved this book, finally, the insurance company gets its due. I also loved the movie .
LibraryThing member bratt82
This is a great book! It didn't end the way that I had anticipated. It seems a little long but it is really worth it in the end.
LibraryThing member Omrythea
Classic Grisham at his best.
LibraryThing member joycrazy
Mad, Sad, and Laugh out Loud funny! The movie tries but its just not possible to convey the humor. But along with the humor comes absolutely infuriating heartbreak. Reading this I'm reminded why I Hate the Insurance Agencies. I firmly believe that insurance agencies have far too many loopholes to wriggle out of and way too many political friends to help them do so. But the insurance agencies are just the example of how Big Business gets thing done on the broken backs of common people. They call it the disappearing middle class. How the divide between rich and poor just keeps getting wider. Basically it just shows how the rich screw the the little guy or in this case a sick young man and hos devastated family. It happens everyday. When you make make less than minimum wage because you get tips but you are required to split your tips with chefs, busboys, and whoever else your employer deems worthy (co-workers that already make more then you). Oh and if you don't get tipped you have to make up the shortfall. Not a waitress but that is outright unfair and the employers get away with it. When (here in Canada) the government makes it so that you have to work 5hrs to get a 15min break when it used to be four. That's especially nice for all the after school kids that work all evening from 4 to 8 (schools out at 3:30 so they rush to work and don't get supper till they get home at 8:30 or 9). I'm so grateful my employers don't do that to these kids. Its also fantastic the pension we pay politicians in this country for their few years of "service". This book brilliantly highlights the corrupt immorality of the whole system. It should make you furious and sad.… (more)
LibraryThing member lchs.mrso
In John Grisham’s The Rainmaker, Rudy Baylor, a recent graduate of the law school of Memphis State, finds himself in dire need of a job in a very competitive market. Through a class before he graduates, he is introduced to Dot Black, whose son is on his deathbed due to the fraud and delay tactics used by their insurance provider, Great Benefit. In his desperate search for a job, Rudy finds himself under the employ of “Bruiser” Stone. At Stone’s sleazy firm, Rudy meets Deck Shifflet, a quirky man who has been through law school, but isn’t a lawyer due to failing the bar six times. When the law begins to catch up to Stone (for the plethora of inconsequential illegal things he’s done), Rudy hires Shifflet as his paralegal and opens his own firm. The duo tread water long enough for Rudy to go to court against a platoon of Great Benefit’s lawyers, led by Leo F. Drummond. Both the law and the judge are on Rudy’s side, so he succeeds in suing Great Benefit for $50.2 million. Days later, Great Benefit declares bankruptcy, allowing the company to avoid paying the settlement. Rudy, upset about winning the case but gaining nothing, resolves to become a teacher and live with Kelly Riker, a woman he fell in love with and helped to divorce her husband. The cover art of The Rainmaker is fairly minimalistic. It doesn’t add much, but it certainly isn’t an eyesore. I’d recommend this book to young people aspiring to undertake careers related to the law, and to those interested in dramatized courtroom novels.… (more)
LibraryThing member steffiindrajana
The beginning is quite boring to be honest, but if you survive, you'll find interesting story about lawyer and his client. About how his struggle facing big fat company and big fat lawyer. This book also talk about idealism in the law world.
LibraryThing member LillyParks
Fast-paced legal thriller!

An amazing legal thriller. The story has a little bit of everything; from the law student who finds himself in the role of David versus Goliath, the comical character played by Deck, there are the complimentary thugs and the token beautiful woman. Grisham weaves the story together magically and it makes for a very exciting read, building into a crescendo at the end with an unexpected twist.
While you read it all kinds of emotions penetrate your heart and soul.At one time you can be close to tears.At another time a smile can be curved on your face.In addition don't feel surprised if you catch yourself jittering with excitement over the final outcome of the facts being laid ahead of you.
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LibraryThing member Snukes
I read it for something to do. I've never been able to come up with much enthusiasm for Grisham's books.
LibraryThing member andreancarr
great story
LibraryThing member Rachelle_Ockert
Meh. I liked the main character thought process and how he was written.
LibraryThing member brone
Check your insurance policies after reading this
LibraryThing member diananagy
My Second Fave Author After James Patterson is of course, John Grisham! His books are absolutely amazing and they keep you on a going!
LibraryThing member gilroy
This book is dry. Slow. Boring. I'm only to Chapter 33 and I'm using it as a sleeping aid. It has such limited forward motion. Still want to finish, as I want to know what happens, so more to come, but a very MEH offering.
LibraryThing member jguidry
This was way better than the movie. Most of the changes that were made for the movie were better in the original. That's what happens when you have to edit for time. I loved watching Leo Drummond go down in flames in the book way more than in the movie. For such a long book (14 discs), the action kept moving along and truly kept my interest. Thanks for the recommendation, Andrew!… (more)
LibraryThing member repb
I enjoyed this Grisham novel about as much as any of his I've read. David versus Goliath in the courts. And written with good taste. I'm surprised Grisham was able to keep my interest with so many facts and figures and information on the court system. I didn't particularly care for the way the story ended ... but 9 out of 10 is still pretty great! What a great author.… (more)
LibraryThing member HenriMoreaux
I really liked this book overall, it had a great beginning, great intermediate and excellent courtroom action however I found the ending to be a bit of a let down. I understand where the author was going with it, however I found it didn't really fit the tone of the book for a character whose been fighting hard and overcome some pretty significant adversity to take the course he did.… (more)


Dell (2011), Edition: Reprint, 608 pages

Original publication date





0345531930 / 9780345531933


Original language

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