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Extended Audio Sample The Broker, 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 (37,969 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Grisham Narrator: Michael Beck Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Sometimes a sitting United States President makes a decision and commits an action that goes beyond being questionable and controversial.

At the behest of top-level CIA members, a U.S. president makes one of his final acts in office the last-minute pardon of one Joel Backman, who has spent the last six years in prison.

Joel Backman knows things. The CIA knows he knows them. The CIA has an elaborate plan for Backman that starts off with giving him a new identity and a place to live far away from the United States.

Backman once brokered a deal of such gigantic proportions that it put the entire country at risk. Sure, he did a dirty deed, but he's a likeable guy. Despite his being a criminal, Joel Backman becomes a character who gains respect from the readers. They want him to survive, but can anyone in his unenviable position actually do so?

Born in Jonesboro, Arkansas on February 8, 1955, international bestselling author John Grisham attended law school at the University of Mississippi, earning a law degree in 1981.

Grisham has practiced both criminal and civil law and served in the Mississippi House of Representatives.

His first novel, "A Time to Kill," was published in 1989, but it was not until his next book, "The Firm," came out that he was catapulted into the publishing world and went on to become one of the world's most recognized novelists. Many of his books have been made into successful motion pictures.

Grisham writes from his homes in Charlottesville, Virginia and Oxford, Mississippi. In 2008, he and his wife purchased a home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

In his final hours in the Oval Office, the outgoing president grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the president issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems Backman, in his power broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world’s most sophisticated satellite surveillance system.

Backman is quietly smuggled out of the country in a military cargo plane, given a new name, a new identity, and a new home in Italy. Eventually, after he has settled into his new life, the CIA will leak his whereabouts to the Israelis, the Russians, the Chinese, and the Saudis. Then the CIA will do what it does best: sit back and watch. The question is not whether Backman will survive—there is no chance of that. The question the CIA needs answered is—who will kill him?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Grisham] is exceptionally good at what he does…Indeed, right now in this country, nobody does it better.”

    Washington Post

  • “Most and best of all, it’s Grisham living up to his reputation as a great storyteller.”

    USA Today

  • “A fast-paced, fun read with echoes of something deeper. The author’s command of pop fiction delivers crisp, sharp prose.”

    Boston Globe

  • “America’s great storyteller has spun a tale that tantalizingly combines spy-thriller adventure and intrigue with a tour-de-force tour guide of Bologna, Italy.”


  • “Like a meticulous magician debuting a fancy trick, Grisham takes great care creating his setup.”


  • “Where Grisham leads, millions of readers follow.”

    New York Daily News

  • “Once you’ve started the book you’re not likely to give it up; [Grisham]…has the knack of creating suspense.”

    Charlotte Observer

  • The Broker is smart, quick, and fun. Time will slip by…it has ‘major motion picture’ written on every page.”

    Rocky Mountain News

  • “A fast-paced, thrilling cat and mouse chase.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Readers will find an amiable travelogue to Italy and its charms in Grisham’s [The Broker].”

    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 by Dennis | 2/12/2014

    " It's John Grisham, you can't expect too much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Sarah Potter | 1/28/2014

    " Once I settled into this thriller, I was hooked. My initial problems were of a grammatical nature--especially the author's propensity to use split infinitives. Despite this, John Grisham is a brilliant storyteller, and, I think, over the years his novels have become less dry, with an emerging humour. When reading the opening two chapters of 'The Broker' I didn't like the main protagonist, but my sympathy for him, as a hunted man and an intended pawn in a political game, grew with every page thereafter. A good read for those who like something to keep them awake but not too mentally taxed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Leah Moore | 1/24/2014

    " I couldn't put this book down! I would suggest for guys or girls. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Oldesq | 1/20/2014

    " What starts as a conspiracy/spy novel changes into an interesting portrait of a stranger in a strange land. Although Grisham skims over some important portions of the plot, this was an absorbing and pleasurable read. "

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