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Extended Audio Sample The Broker 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 (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: January 2005 ISBN: 9780739316481
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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.”

    Forbes

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

    People

  • “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 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 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 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 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. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura | 1/17/2014

    " Straight up stupid. The only reason I read this book cover to cover was because I was in a hostel for a week without any internet access or tv. If you're a fan of Italy, it provides some nice scenery, but otherwise, Grisham's overuse of already over-used phrases is kind of painful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karlene | 1/3/2014

    " My favorite of the John Grisham books. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Archana | 12/22/2013

    " Ending was not as thrilling as I hoped it to be.... pace of the book was moderate... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Apoorva Ghosh | 12/19/2013

    " Entertaining as usual... Grisham style! :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristen | 12/12/2013

    " This was a slow-starter for me, but once it got moving it was the typical Grisham page-turner. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heidi | 12/11/2013

    " Typical Grisham. Lots of twists and turns. An easy, fast read, but don't expect thought-provoking literature. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Teddy | 11/27/2013

    " Another great Grisham. I really liked the Italian lessons in the book as well. :-) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 cindy | 11/18/2013

    " A good, reliable Grisham novel...no surprises, but kept my interest. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Noreen | 10/28/2013

    " Entertaining but not his best. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy Schwartz | 10/17/2013

    " Not quite up to his usual standard. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jan | 10/16/2013

    " Who is going to kill the guy released from prison by a presidential pardon? Quite a few twists to this one... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pascale Watson | 6/18/2013

    " Good book, but wasn't his best. I've read all of his books thus far and thought this one was the most tedious. It picked up some in the last quarter of the book, but I still felt like the ending was weak. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ian | 5/28/2013

    " Mostly set in Italy - a nice touch - the Italy stuff re location and language is well done "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patty Cook | 4/23/2013

    " Not what I thought it was going to be ... An okay novel.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob | 1/29/2013

    " Funny, but I like the non movie books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jacquelineboggs | 11/23/2012

    " John Grisham never disappoints...this one has a lot of CIA conspiracy and definitely is hard to put down "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roy Weiler | 11/12/2012

    " I always like Grisham's work. The Broker is no exception. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Maureen | 8/1/2012

    " Typical Grisham, but it made my 6 hour drive go back quickly! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erik | 3/4/2012

    " As Grisham's books tend to be, this book is about redemption. A good read, as expected from Grisham. I listened to this one on tape, which was great because of all of the Italian in it. I'm hungry! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becky | 2/16/2012

    " 3.5 stars...it's been a while since I read a John Grisham book, but they are always a good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Yelverton | 1/18/2012

    " Another well done mystery and suspense novel from writer John Grisham. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jacquie | 10/20/2011

    " Not the best Grisham book I've read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeanette | 9/22/2011

    " A great novel of intrigue and I am now hooked on Grisham. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jsvillanueva | 9/4/2011

    " I thought it was going to be an interesting book, but it was so slow. . . "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian Weisz | 8/4/2011

    " A good international spy mystery from John Grisham. A quick read; made me want to learn Italian. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom | 5/22/2011

    " It's a good, fun, escape. Grisham does well in describing the scenes and providing sufficient background without wasting words. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joy | 5/20/2011

    " I didn't like this one as well as the other ones. I wasn't drawn in as much, but it was still entertaining. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tracie | 5/11/2011

    " Not as suspenseful or as exciting as some of his others. But it was thrilling enough to get me through the 3 hour flight just fine. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ultraban | 5/9/2011

    " Grisham's attention to detail paints a beautiful picture of Italy, only to complement the smooth storytelling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ntombizozuko | 5/7/2011

    " it's a page-turner, you always want to know whats gonna happen next!



    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jake | 5/6/2011

    " Kind of slow. Not real exciting and not a lot seemed to happen. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 4/23/2011

    " I finished this book in a day! I'm still a huge fan of Grisham... he can write an international "cut and run, escape! escape!" sequence like no other. I think this story would make a great movie. It reminded me a lot of The Firm, which is still my favorite of all time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 RK | 4/18/2011

    " another forgotten read. Grisham was actually pretty clever here. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 4/9/2011

    " An easy read which is nice after finishing Blindness, which was so intense. I like John Grishom easy to read enjoyable plots. Not too much thinking involved, but overall a good story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 4/6/2011

    " It was fine. It was typical Grisham. The audio kept me entertained as I drove to Arizona and back alone. If you are a Grisham fan, you will like it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steven | 4/4/2011

    " I've read a few Grisham books and liked them. This one was o.k., but after reading "The Camel Club" series by David Baldacci, "The Broker" seemed a little thin. I liked it, but Grisham does a better job with law stories than guy-on-the-run stories. "

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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.