The Racketeer (novel)

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The Racketeer
The Book Cover Of The Racketeer.jpg
First edition cover
Author(s)John Grisham
CountryU.S.
LanguageEnglish
Genre(s)Legal thriller
PublisherDoubleday
Publication dateOctober 23, 2012
Preceded byCalico Joe
 
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The Racketeer
The Book Cover Of The Racketeer.jpg
First edition cover
Author(s)John Grisham
CountryU.S.
LanguageEnglish
Genre(s)Legal thriller
PublisherDoubleday
Publication dateOctober 23, 2012
Preceded byCalico Joe

The Racketeer is a legal thriller novel written by John Grisham that was released on October 23, 2012 by Doubleday with an initial printing of 1.5 million copies.[1] It was one of the best selling books of 2012 and spent several weeks atop various best seller lists.

Contents

Plot

The book is about a federal judge's murder and an imprisoned lawyer who has inside knowledge on the details of the murder.[1] Protagonist Malcolm Bannister is a former United States Marine whose modest law firm was entangled in a racketeering case after it executed a real estate transaction that brought Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, known as RICO, charges and after a coerced confession.[2] Bannister is a 43-year-old African American attorney half way through a 10-year sentence.[3] The book revolves around Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 35, which endorses sentence reductions in exchange for "substantial assistance in investigating or prosecuting another person".[2] Bannister not only knows who killed the judge and his mistress, but he also knows what was in the safe, but he is only willing to help solve the case if he is set free.[3]

Background

Commentators have noted that The Racketeer is unique among Grisham novels in that the main protagonist, Malcolm Bannister, is African-American. Grisham has stated that this came about after many years of fans encouraging him to feature a black hero but according to him, "It's no big deal. It's not about race."[4]

Reception

Sales

According to Amazon.com the book was the number eight overall best seller of 2012.[5]

The book debuted at number one on the The New York Times Best Seller list on the November 11, 2012 list (reflecting sales for the week ending October 27, 2012),[6] where it remained for three weeks ending with the November 25 list (reflecting sales for the week ending November 10, 2012).[7] On December 2, it was surpassed by Vince Flynn's The Last Man.[8] However, on the December 30 list (reflecting sales for the week ending December 15, 2012), it regained the top position, which it also held the following week.[9][10] As of 18 February 2013 (2013-02-18) the book remained on the best seller list for the week ending February 24 (reflecting sales for the week ending February 9, 2013).[11]

The book reached the top of the USA Today best seller list for the week of November 1 and remained atop the list the following week.[12][13] It is Grisham's 18th book to reach number one on the USA Today list.[14]

The book debuted at #1 on The Wall Street Journal Hardcover Fiction bestseller list on for the week ending October 28, 2012 in the November 3 edition.[15] It remained at #1 for three weeks.[16] It debuted at #1 on The Wall Street Journal Fiction E-Books and Fiction Combined bestseller lists on for the week ending November 4, 2012 in the November 9 edition,[17] but fell to #2 the following week.[16] By December 2, it had fallen to #5 on the Fiction E-Books list,[18] and it fell out of the top ten for the first time the following week.[19] It remained in the Fiction Combined top ten until the December 30 list in the January 4, 2013 edition.[20] It remained in the Hardcover Fiction top 10 until the January 27 list in the February 1 edition.[21]

Critical review

Tom Nolan of The Wall Street Journal describes the book as an enigmatic puzzle to understand who the title character is: Bannister, murdered Judge Raymond Fawcett or his killer. Nolan also views the book as insightful in its descriptions of the legal and penal system. He also lauds the book for its plot twists and scenery changes.[22] Janet Maslin of The New York Times described the book as a departure from Grisham's normal legal novels. Although it began with the normal legal trouble, it then winds its way along an unexpected course. She says that rather than pursue the usual " triumph or a miscarriage of courtroom justice", this book is about reformation and revenge.[2] The USA Today lauded the book's interesting twists when it named it as a recommended book on October 27.[3]

Film adaption

Denzel Washington has been mentioned as the possible star of a screen adaptation.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox 2000 and New Regency agreed in February 2013 to develop a film adaptation of The Racketeer. They have signed on director Daniel Espinosa who previously directed Safe House, which starred Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds.[23] When the book was first released in October, Washington was mentioned as a possibility to play the lead role of Malcolm Bannister in a film adaptation. But Grisham has commented on the potential of Washington being involved saying that "nobody has heard from Denzel. And I learned a long time ago, you never get the one you want. You can never get the right actor."[4]

Notes

  1. ^ a b Minzesheimer, Bob (2012-04-19). "John Grisham's 'Calico Joe' slides to No. 6 on book list". USA Today. http://books.usatoday.com/bookbuzz/post/2012-04-19/john-grishams-calico-joe-slides-to-no-6-on-book-list/675985/1. Retrieved 2012-04-26.
  2. ^ a b c Maslin, Janet (2012-10-17). "The Ex-Lawyer (Disbarred) as a Good Guy". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/18/books/the-racketeer-by-john-grisham.html. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  3. ^ a b c "Weekend picks for book lovers". USA Today. 2012-10-17. http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/books/2012/10/27/book-picks-for-the-weekend/1644965/. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
  4. ^ a b Cochran, Amanda (2012-10-24). "John Grisham talks "The Racketeer," who may play in Hollywood adaptation". CBS News. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57538981/john-grisham-talks-the-racketeer-who-may-play-in-hollywood-adaptation/. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  5. ^ "Amazon.com Announces Best-Selling Books of 2012". The Wall Street Journal. 2012-12-14. http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20121214-907503.html. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  6. ^ "Best Sellers: November 11, 2012". The New York Times. 2012-11-11. http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/2012-11-11/hardcover-fiction/list.html. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  7. ^ "Best Sellers: November 25, 2012". The New York Times. 2012-11-25. http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/2012-11-25/overview.html. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  8. ^ "Best Sellers: December 2, 2012". The New York Times. 2012-12-02. http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/2012-12-02/overview.html. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  9. ^ "Best Sellers: December 30, 2012". The New York Times. 2012-12-30. http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/2012-12-30/overview.html. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  10. ^ "Best Sellers: January 06, 2013". The New York Times. 2013-01-06. http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/2013-01-06/overview.html. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  11. ^ "Best Sellers: February 24, 2013". The New York Times. 2013-02-24. http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/2013-02-24/hardcover-fiction/list.html. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  12. ^ "USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list: Week of November 1, 2012". USA Today. 2012-11-01. http://books.usatoday.com/list/index?date=2012-11-01. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
  13. ^ "USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list: Week of November 8, 2012". USA Today. 2012-11-08. http://books.usatoday.com/list/index?date=2012-11-08. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
  14. ^ "Book buzz: John Grisham thrills at No. 1 on book list". USA Today. 2012-11-02. http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/books/2012/11/01/book-buzz-grisham-capote/1674239/. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
  15. ^ "Best-Selling Books, Week Ended Oct. 28". The Wall Street Journal. 2012-11-03. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204840504578089231030636740.html. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  16. ^ a b "Best-Selling Books, Week Ended Nov. 11". The Wall Street Journal. 2012-11-16. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324735104578119170435798506.html. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  17. ^ "Best-Selling Books, Week Ended Nov. 4". The Wall Street Journal. 2012-11-09. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324439804578104841200997044.html. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  18. ^ "Best-Selling Books, Week Ended Dec. 2". The Wall Street Journal. 2012-12-07. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324001104578161163353764142.html. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  19. ^ "Best-Selling Books, Week Ended Dec. 9". The Wall Street Journal. 2012-12-14. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323981504578175210388766102.html. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  20. ^ "Best-Selling Books, Week Ended Dec. 30". The Wall Street Journal. 2013-01-04. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323374504578217510269900812.html. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  21. ^ "Best-Selling Books, Week Ended Jan. 27". The Wall Street Journal. 2013-02-01. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323829504578269922530345686.html. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  22. ^ Nolan, Tom (2012-10-19). "Mystery Chronicle: Imperfect Crimes: A prosaic cop and a professor nicknamed "Detective Galileo" star in an engrossing Japanese take on Holmes and Watson". The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444354004578058891808454944.html. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  23. ^ Kit, Borys (2013-02-12). "John Grisham's 'The Racketeer' Picked Up by Fox 2000, New Regency (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/john-grishams-racketeer-picked-up-420871. Retrieved 2013-02-16.

External links