The King of Torts

Version: Abridged
Author: John Grisham
Narrator: Dennis Boutsikaris
Genres: Fiction & Literature
Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
Published In: May 2005
# of Units: 5 CDs
Length: 6 hours
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The office of the public defender is not known as a training ground for bright young litigators. Clay Carter has been there too long and, like most of his colleagues, dreams of a better job in a real firm. When he reluctantly takes the case of a young man charged with a random street killing, he assumes it is just another of the many senseless murders that hit D.C. every week.

As he digs into the background of his client, Clay stumbles on a conspiracy too horrible to believe. He suddenly finds himself in the middle of a complex case against one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, looking at the kind of enormous settlement that would totally change his life—that would make him, almost overnight, the legal profession’s newest king of torts...

Reviews (45)

Written by Savannah S. on January 26th, 2020

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Absolutely love this novel, and Michael Beck!!


Written by Andy on December 28th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 2/5

I'm guessing it's because of the abridged version, but this story was dull, never got you involved, and was over before it could even get started. If the abridged is the only one available, just skip it.

King of Torts

Written by betty from Ethel, AR on December 25th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I was not very fond of this Grisham book. It was rather boring and predictable.

Good Grisham

Written by Anonymous on March 19th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 5/5

If you like Grisham you will definitely like this book. I really enjoyed the story and the characters. It is a good quick listen.

King of Torts

Written by Barbara C from New York, NY on February 13th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Wow! John Grisham is such a wonderful writer. I really enjoyed this story... I also learn about class action lawsuits.


Written by Anonymous on November 3rd, 2008

  • Book Rating: 2/5

Really, really boring ending... actually most of his books are like that. I am not going to waste me time reading or listening to anymore Grishambooks.

Good Listen

Written by Sharden from San Diego, CA on June 19th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Typical Grisham - you love and hate the main character. Very good listen. The reader is adequate - there were times when all the characters sounded the same. Did not like the ending. This is the second Grisham novel I've listened to recently where the ending did not suit the crimes committed - as far as I'm concerned. I'm sure others will disagree - so is life.


Written by Colby Bodzick on May 30th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 2/5

The ending was abrupt, almost like Grisham knew this book was a stinker. It would be a good thing if we cared at all about the characters, but these characters - especially the main one - is not at all worthy. If I wanted an education every time I read a book, I would read only non-fiction. Grisham seems more inclined to preach than write a good story. Maybe he should stick to non-fiction like "The Innocent Man".


Written by Anonymous from Franklin, MA on May 14th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Suspenseful, great book for the long commutes. Held my interest - fast moving plot line.

King of Torts

Written by Pamela Christensen on April 30th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Wow! John Grisham is such a great writer and not only did I really enjoy this story, I learned alot about class action lawsuits! It was really interesting to see how these tort lawyers operate with an almost complete lack of conscience!

Author Details

Author Details

Grisham, John

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, and The Broker) and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 225 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 29 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) marks his first foray into non-fiction.

Grisham lives with his wife Renee and their two children Ty and Shea. The family splits their time between their Victorian home on a farm in Mississippi and a plantation near Charlottesville, VA.

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.