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Extended Audio Sample The Brethren Audiobook, by John Grisham Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (42,854 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Grisham Narrator: Michael Beck Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2000 ISBN: 9780553753677
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They call themselves the brethren: three disgraced former judges doing time in a Florida federal prison. One was sent up for tax evasion. Another, for skimming bingo profits. And the third, for a career-ending drunken joyride.

Meeting daily in the prison law library, taking exercise walks in their boxer shorts, these judges-turned-felons can reminisce about old court cases, dispense a little jailhouse justice, and contemplate where their lives went wrong.

Or they can use their time in prison to get very rich—very fast. And so they sit, sprawled in the prison library, furiously writing letters, fine-tuning a wickedly brilliant extortion scam … while events outside their prison walls begin to erupt.

A bizarre presidential election is holding the nation in its grips—and a powerful government figure is pulling some hidden strings. For the brethren, the timing couldn’t be better. Because they’ve just found the perfect victim …

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Terrific storytelling by one of the masters of the game.”

    USA Today

  • “Gripping…will hook you from the first page and won’t let you go.”

    New York Post

  • “A crackerjack tale.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “With startling good writing and plotting, Grisham tells an entrancing tale.”

    San Antonio Express-News

  • “Grisham does such a terrific job of inventing clever twists and devising a compelling momentum that readers can’t help but be intrigued.”

    Chattanooga Free Press

  • “Fast-paced and action-packed…You’ll be thoroughly entertained.”

    Times-Picayune

  • “Skillfully written and plotted with an eye for logic as well as humor.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “An intricately plotted tale.”

    Atlanta Constitution

  • “An exciting read right up to the end.”

    Legal Intelligencer

  • “Crackling suspense and high-stakes…a most satisfying [story].”

    Barnes & Noble, editorial review

  • “[The Brethren is] as grippingly sardonic yet bitingly moral a scenario as [Grisham has] ever imagined.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • A #1 USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gene | 2/19/2014

    " the book that sort of failed to end "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Whitney | 2/18/2014

    " boring, leads to nothing, but might be entertaining if, (as i said for his other book i reviewed) you can read very fast. i have been disappointed by the endings of his books. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Erna | 2/9/2014

    " Not a up to Grisham`s usual standard. I didn`t find one character that was really likeable in this story. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sunnymyres | 2/7/2014

    " I love Johan Grisham, but this book is not worth your time. I powered through thinking it would get better. Nope and a super lame ending. Very disappointing. Shame on you John. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angela | 2/4/2014

    " Good easy read. I found it highly predictable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aldafan | 1/25/2014

    " A good one, as usual, by Grisham. There seem to be two separate stories and it takes awhile to figure out how the judges in prison are related to a presidential election. With a real election coming up, this is a scary one to think that power may be used that way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenny | 1/25/2014

    " I wasn't as impressed with this book as by most of Grisham's books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 1/23/2014

    " Grisham is always good for a quick and interesting read full of plot twists when I need a break from heavier reading. The Brethren didn't let me down. I recommended it if you've liked other Grisham books, but don't expect deep character development or unexpected endings. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Herrick | 1/22/2014

    " Grisham tried something different here, adding a heavy dose of comedy. I loved this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amber | 1/18/2014

    " I have read quite a few John Grisham books, and this is one of my least favorite. No real plot twists and not a lot of suspense. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dana | 12/2/2013

    " This was one of the better Grisham books, I thought he was very creative with this one. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kennie | 11/12/2013

    " This book is the reason I stoped reading John Grisham. It felt like he slapped a plot together so he could put another book out. The old men were just ridiculus. Although I did go to the bar in Jacksonville that was mention as a hang out. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hayley | 11/9/2013

    " Simply could not put it down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 11/7/2013

    " I really enjoyed this. I was an early fan of Grisham. I loved 'The Firm' and 'The Pelican Brief', but some of his later works didn't hold me as well. I decided to revisit Grisham with this one, and was not diasppointed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Phil | 11/2/2013

    " I liked this better than the Chamber. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shane Fritz | 10/30/2013

    " Two separate seemingly unrelated plots come together, and remain intertwined. Intersting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kaden | 10/24/2013

    " Like all Grisham books, this had a very good ending and wasn't ever boring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie Graves | 9/28/2013

    " This was an okay John Grisham book. Not my favorite, but also not a total waste of time. Just eh. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 James Loftus | 9/23/2013

    " This book is awful, not much else to say. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alysa | 7/11/2013

    " This book was good up until the end. It seemed to just suddenly stop. I was probably 20 pages from the end when I realized I was that close. I thought, "how is he going to wrap this all up in 20 pages?" He didn't, really. Yes, the book was done but I felt like it needed some more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tori | 4/28/2013

    " By far, my favorite John Grisham book. It had the best plot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sqyire21 | 1/3/2013

    " A good book that I might recommend. Bottom line, I've never read a John Grisham book I didn't enjoy a little. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kendar88 | 9/15/2012

    " Story was a bit unusual, but that was rather nice and refreshing. I didn't get into it much at first, but after a few hours I was hooked and was interested to find out where this was going. The story wrapped up pretty quickly and I was hoping for a bit more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thomas William H. Mc Kinty | 9/8/2012

    " Great stuff... I love Grisham "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kendall | 6/27/2012

    " Not one of the more memorable Grisham novels. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Eric | 4/21/2012

    " Read half the book and said enough. Hated it. Too many characters, too much going on. Terrible. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debbie Duran | 1/16/2012

    " Learned a lot about the judicial system from reading this comprehensive book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Meghan | 9/30/2011

    " I was never able to finish this book. It just didn't capture my attention. I have enjoyed his previous books, but this one just didn't interest me at all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maggie | 9/27/2011

    " Thought this was a great Grisham book, though a bit predictable, it was well-written, suspense-driven, fast-paced, a book that kept my interest and made me want to read more. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Charles | 7/22/2011

    " Needed something fairly mindless and entertaining to read... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alice Johnson | 6/23/2011

    " Not bad. If there is any truth in the things written here about the arm length of the CIA, it's pretty impressive. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ronny | 5/16/2011

    " Spannend. Ich bin wirklich gespannt, wie die beiden Handlungen (Gefängnis und Präsidentschaftswahlkampf) miteinander zusammenhängen. Grisham ist auch auf Englisch eine schnelle Lektüre, die immer wieder Spaß macht. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 5/10/2011

    " The book was ok. I enjoyed the story behind it. I felt it needed an ending with more closure. Also, I wasn't as interested in the political part of the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Valerie | 4/26/2011

    " Interesting story line and characters, but disappointing ending. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Gooby | 4/23/2011

    " Wished I could've scrapped it after 20 pages, but a friend loaned it to me so I had to finish it. Poorly-written and tedious. Hope I never have to read any more of his moronic garbage again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharon | 4/17/2011

    " This was so entertaining- I laughed through most of it. My idea of pleasure reading! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Norma | 4/8/2011

    " I really liked this book. It was fast moving and I couldn't sit it down. Couldn't wait to see what would happen next. Sometimes its fun to read a book that just entertains you. I would recommend it to any of my friends. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kendar88 | 3/27/2011

    " Story was a bit unusual, but that was rather nice and refreshing. I didn't get into it much at first, but after a few hours I was hooked and was interested to find out where this was going. The story wrapped up pretty quickly and I was hoping for a bit more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy | 3/24/2011

    " I always enjoy John Grisham. His stories are entertaining and well written. Which is an accomplishment since I find the subject of lawyers kind of boring. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katie | 3/22/2011

    " Not my favorite John Grisham. I had read so many in a row, that I think I got burn out. I just couldn't get into it. I just couldn't get into it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janet | 3/18/2011

    " I didn't find it as gripping as Grisham's typical legal thrillers, but the more I read, the more I got into the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ahmad_m | 3/15/2011

    " Interesting book. May be it is not Grisham biggest game but it still has the touch that he gave us in every novel. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kristel | 3/13/2011

    " This does not even hold a candle to what Grisham was able to achieve with his first two books, A Time to Kill and The Firm. I've come to the conclusion after reading him through the years that he's basically gone autopilot with his writing and merely checks off plot points these days. Such a shame. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tao | 3/12/2011

    " Three jailed old judges pulling an elaborate con on rich gay business men and completely threatening US national security in the process? How can you not love it? So unexpected that it was extremely engaging! xD "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jessica | 3/11/2011

    " I reread the ending three times and finally decided that my copy must have had pages missing... it made no sense!! Hated it :) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Salvatore | 3/10/2011

    " Lettura estiva, nulla più. Non tiene e non incita. Scritto bene come al solito, ma lasciamo stare. Poco accattivante. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 3/2/2011

    " It was ok, not as engrossing as some other Grisham books. "

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About the Author
Author John Grisham

John Grisham, whose name has become synonymous with the modern legal thriller, used to work sixty to seventy 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. When finally published, A Time to Kill met with little success, but when he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers. Spending forty-seven 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. His success even renewed interest in A Time to Kill, which was then republished. This time around, it was a bestseller. Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year, and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 275 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into forty languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films, as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man. He lives in Virginia and Mississippi.

About the Narrator

Michael Beck is an American actor and audiobook narrator. He is best known for his role in the 1979 film, The Warriors. He has narrated numerous novels by John Grisham, as well as Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz and My Life by Bill Clinton. He lives in California.