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Encyclopedia > The Rainmaker (John Grisham)
The Rainmaker
Author John Grisham
Translator spanish
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Legal thriller novel
Publisher Doubleday
Publication date 1995
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 434 pp
ISBN ISBN 0385424736
For the film based on this novel, see The Rainmaker (1997 film).

The Rainmaker is a 1995 novel by John Grisham. It was turned into a film in 1997. It is different from most other novels and books in that it is written completely in the simple present tense. Grisham redirects here. ... For other uses, see Country (disambiguation). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The legal thriller is a sub-genre of crime fiction in which the major characters are lawyers and their employees. ... This article is about the literary concept. ... A publisher is a person or entity which engages in the act of publishing. ... It has been suggested that The Crime Club be merged into this article or section. ... A hardcover (or hardback or hardbound) book is bound with rigid protective covers (typically of cardboard covered with cloth or heavy paper) and a stitched spine. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... ISBN redirects here. ... The Rainmaker is also a 1995 novel by John Grisham that was made into a 1997 motion picture starring Matt Damon, Danny DeVito, Claire Danes and Jon Voight. ... The year 1995 in literature involved some significant events and new books. ... Grisham redirects here. ... The Rainmaker is also a 1995 novel by John Grisham that was made into a 1997 motion picture starring Matt Damon, Danny DeVito, Claire Danes and Jon Voight. ... The year 1997 in film involved some significant events. ...

Plot summary

Rudy Baylor is a law graduate from Memphis State Law School. He secures a position with a Memphis law firm, which he loses when the firm is bought out by another larger firm. As one of the few members of his class without a job lined up, Rudy is forced to apply for part-time and poorly-paid law positions. Then he gets an offer from a large Memphis law firm, but it falls through before he has even begun. Desperate for a job, he reluctantly allows "Prince" Thomas, the crooked owner of a sleazy bar where he's been working part-time, to introduce him to J. Lyman "Bruiser" Stone, a ruthless but successful ambulance-chasing lawyer, who makes him an associate. But to earn his fee, Rudy is required to hunt for potential clients at the local hospital where he must pick up injury cases and sign them up. He is introduced to Deck Shifflet, a less-than-ethical former insurance assessor, now "paralawyer" (having failed to pass the Bar examination after six tries). For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... For other uses, see Memphis (disambiguation). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

Rudy already has one case, a case of insurance bad faith, which he passionately believes in. He represents a poor family, Dot and Buddy Black whom he met through a class visit to a community center. The case could be worth several million dollars in damages, but his personal life is falling to pieces and he is about to declare himself bankrupt. With his employer about to be raided by the police and the FBI, he and Deck set up practice themselves and file suit on behalf of the Blacks, whose son Donny Ray is dying of leukemia but almost certainly could have been saved with a bone marrow transplant because he has an identical twin brother, a fact which would make the procedure virtually certain to work due to the perfect genetic match. The procedure should be covered by their insurance company, Great Benefit Life Insurance. Bankruptcy is a legally declared inability or impairment of ability of an individual or organization to pay their creditors. ... The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a federal criminal investigative, intelligence agency, and the primary investigative arm of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). ... Leukemia or leukaemia(Greek leukos λευκός, “white”; aima αίμα, “blood”) (see spelling differences) is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow and is characterized by an abnormal proliferation (production by multiplication) of blood cells, usually white blood cells (leukocytes). ...

Rudy, having just passed the bar exam, has never argued a case before a judge and jury - but he now finds himself up against a group of experienced and ruthless lawyers from a large firm, headed by Leo F. Drummond. It is a daunting task, but he has several supporters and a sympathetic newly-appointed judge to sustain his commitment. Whilst preparing the case and also waiting about in the local hospital, he meets and later falls in love with Kelly Riker, a battered wife whose husband's beating has put her in the hospital. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For jury meaning makeshift, see jury rig. ...

Before the trial commences, the Blacks' son dies. The case goes to trial and Rudy uncovers a scheme Great Benefit ran throughout 1991 to deny every insurance claim submitted, regardless of validity. Great Benefit was playing on the odds that the insured would not consult an attorney (which Dot Black didn't until it was too late for Donny Ray). A former employee of Great Benefit testifies that the scheme generated an extra $40 million in revenue for the company. The trial ends with a plantiff's verdict of $50.2 million which is somewhat symbolic because it is the total of the $200,000 transplant Donny Ray should have received, the $10 million Rudy originally sued for and the $40 million the scheme that killed Donny Ray generated. Year 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the 1991 Gregorian calendar). ...

Great Benefit quickly declares itself bankrupt, thus allowing it to avoid paying the verdict. There is no payout for the grieving parents and no fee for Rudy, although Dot Black was never concerned with the money from the trial. In fact, she testified that if awarded any money from Great Benefit, she would donate all of it to the American Leukemia Society.

During the Black trial, Rudy continues to pursue Kelly, and eventually ends up in a violent fight with her husband while helping Kelly retrieve items from her home. At the end of the fight, with Rudy (the child of an abusive father himself) about to beat the husband to death, Kelly intervenes and tells him to leave. She then apparently finishes the job (or Cliff dies from the previous beating after Rudy leaves). Kelly spends some time in jail before Rudy gets her charges thrown out. Rudy is shaken by these events and wary of the practice of law. He takes Kelly and they leave the area, heading for someplace where Rudy can become a teacher and Kelly can go to college. Rudy vows to leave Memphis and never return. He also will let his law license expire and wants nothing to do with the law or anything else that has happened to him within the last year sans Kelly.

Preceded by
The Chamber
John Grisham Novels
Succeeded by
The Runaway Jury

  Results from FactBites:
'Rainmaker' showers audience with safe adaptation of Grisham novel (957 words)
John Grisham's "The Rainmaker" is as gleefully, indulgently glossy and pristine as perhaps any movie to emerge from Hollywood since the 1940s.
That's largely because "The Rainmaker" is the lightest on its feet of the recent flood of John Grisham adaptations, and Coppola definitely deserves the credit for lending just the right self-knowing sense of a good homespun yarn, to what might otherwise have become very self-serious proceedings.
There's an undeniably grave side to Grisham's treatise constantly trying to break through Coppola's comedic veneer, and while the director is wise to hold back on any pretentious pontificating about domestic violence and corrupt insurers, he's nevertheless torn between Grisham's histrionics and his own more balanced sense of storytelling.
  More results at FactBites »



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