The Rooster Bar

The Rooster Bar

A Novel

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
40
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Three students who have borrowed heavily to attend a third-rate law school realize they have been caught in a scam when they discover that the school's owner also owns a bank specializing in student loans, and plot to expose the scam.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, ©2017.
ISBN: 9780385541176
0385541171
Characteristics: 352 pages :,25 cm.

Opinion

From Library Staff

The novel has some strikingly well-drawn characters and a plot that edges tantalizingly close to a full-on caper story, but it also boasts some shrewd commentary on the scourge of fraudulent for-profit universities and the disastrous impact they can have on people's lives. It feels like this is a... Read More »


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a
ailenemc
May 26, 2018

Very disappointed with this book. Author must have been in a dark place to write this. Trying too hard to make a political statement about abuses in student loans and banking and in doing so loses his audience. More of an opinion piece than a good story.

j
JILLYJELLY
May 08, 2018

I loved this book! A great, sort of easy read. Amusing and you're rooting for them all the way.

f
fred98115
May 04, 2018

Lesser effort by the author. Three law school dropouts practice law without a license and bring down a scam involving schools and banks. Reveals sordid side of school debt on students. Trite plot.

l
lpreston214
May 04, 2018

This book was just ok. I think Grisham missed an opportunity to explore for-profit school rip-offs a little more. I would have loved to have seen the protagonists somehow bilk the school for money more directly. How they got their money is just confusing and when they decide to practice law without a license that's confusing too. Grisham's successes are based solely on plot and this one was a bit lacking.

s
sklance
May 02, 2018

This was an enjoyable read but only if you suspended disbelief. The only person in the book with any kind of moral character was Zola Maal. Things picked up enough in the last quarter or so of the book to make it an enjoyable read. The one thing I would commend the author for would be his bringing attention to the deplorable state of higher education in this country which seems to be all about how much government money that colleges and universities can glom onto. Also the false premise that has been sold that everyone needs a college education. Just another symptom of the greed and corruption endemic in our decaying culture. Otherwise, John Grisham, like so many best-selling authors of long standing who write pop fiction, just seems to be phoning it in these days.

t
TRoake
May 02, 2018

A literary equivalent of fake news (not the kind the person elected by the electoral college refers to, but genuine false news). A possible exception can be found in his Author's Note: "As usual, I played fast and loose with reality, especially the legal stuff. Laws, courthouses, procedures, statutes, firms, ... all have been fictionalized at will to suit the story." As one who practiced securities litigation (defense side) for many years, Grisham's depiction of how class actions work is ludicrous -- firms are not required to nor do they sign up "thousands" of clients to file a class action. I find it difficult to believe that he ran any of this nonsense by any lawyer with knowledge of the rules of civil procedure or experience in class actions. I suspect that many reading this stuff will think that this stuff is true, and for that, we all suffer. Further, writing is not Grishham's strong suit.

f
findyourreason
Apr 27, 2018

I have enjoyed a number of Grisham's books, this one is not one of them. The plot took way to long to develop and I was frequently asking myself, "Do I really care about this?" Additionally, the premise that law students who had attended a crappy law school on easily borrowed government money were justified in representing themselves fraudulently as attorneys were characters the reader can relate to is a stretch.

d
darladoodles
Apr 08, 2018

Mark, Todd and Zola are devastated by the suicide of their friend Gordy just before they are to begin their last semester of law school. They have also discovered that their law school is nothing more than a diploma mill with only a 50/50 chance of passing the bar. Were they to acquire a job in a law firm, it is unlikely their sizable loans will be paid off before they are old and gray. They hatch a scheme to practice law without licenses and the plot continues from there. The upside is seeing their shenanigans as they attempt to stay one step ahead of the police and FBI while also taking revenge on the man who controls their law school, loan companies and any firm that might have hired them if they had graduated and passed the law. The system stinks and they are out to use it to their advantage. The downside is the many laws being broken on the side of our protagonists and the seams underside of the corporations at the top. There is also a discouraging glimpse into the deportation process via Zola's family. Classic Grisham!

t
talk2terih
Apr 01, 2018

I always hesitate to bash a book as I know they take hard work to write and are very personal to the writer. But, this is not a good book. While the reader is supposed to draw a clear line between the "good guys" and the "bad guys", the good guys are such awful, miserable people in most regards, that you find yourself ambivalent about the characters from both sides.

For profit schools are execrable and have received a rich castigation in the media that is well-deserved. And yes, in many cases, lawyers aren't great human beings possessed of sterling moral character, nor are big time banks and private investors plumbing every conceivable loophole. But the bad guys here are drawn with such a broad and one-dimensional stroke that I felt a bit insulted as a reader.

So little of what the main characters say or do is plausible, or even possible, that I found myself throwing the book down in disgust on several occasions. I did not want these characters to get away with their crimes and to profit from them in the end. Do yourself a favor and pick up another of Grisham's books. He has numerous good titles out there. This isn't one of them.

f
firefly5
Mar 11, 2018

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Good read!

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