Bel Canto is the fourth novel by American author Ann Patchett, published in 2001 by Perennial, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. It was awarded both the Orange Prize for Fiction and PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. It was placed on several top book lists, including Amazon’s Best Books of the Year (2001). It was also adapted into an opera in 2015.
Based on the Japanese embassy hostage crisis (also called the Lima Crisis) of 1996–1997 in Lima, Peru, the novel follows the relationships among a group of young terrorists and their hostages, who are mostly high-profile executives and politicians, over several months. Many of the characters form unbreakable bonds of friendship, while some fall in love.
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Gone Girl is a thriller novel by the writer Gillian Flynn. Gone Girl was released on June 5, 2012, and was Flynn’s third novel. it was the #1 New York Times Bestseller for eight straight weeks and spent more than one hundred weeks on the bestseller list all together. Gone Girl’s themes include dishonesty, the devious media, and the unhappiness that comes with a troubled economy. The characters lie to each other and the reader about affairs and disappearances.
The first part of the novel centers around Nick Dunne and his wife Amy’s marriage. It alternates point of view between Nick and Amy, with Nick describing their relationship in the present day and Amy’s diary entries depicting their relationship in the past. Their perspectives on their marriage are very different – Amy’s diary portrays Nick as an aggressive, moody, idle and threatening husband while Nick describes Amy as someone who is needlessly difficult, anti-social, stubborn, and irrationally perfectionist.
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Rogue Lawyer is a novel by John Grisham. Sebastian Rudd is not your typical street lawyer. He works out of a customized bulletproof van, complete with Wi-Fi, a bar, a small fridge, fine leather chairs, a hidden gun compartment, and a heavily armed driver. He has no firm, no partners, no associates, and only one employee, his driver, who’s also his bodyguard, law clerk, confidant, and golf caddy. He lives alone in a small but extremely safe penthouse apartment, and his primary piece of furniture is a vintage pool table. He drinks small-batch bourbon and carries a gun.
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The Firm is a 1991 legal thriller by American writer John Grisham. His second book, it was his first widely recognized book.
Family is a pivotal theme in The Firm. When recruiting new lawyers, Bendini, Lambert and Locke takes great care in investigating the candidate’s familial status. The firm seeks applicants who come from less than happy circumstances. It believes that this history creates a hunger for success and fraternity later in life—ideals that the firm upholds. It also seeks young men who are married. The firm leverages its benefits packages and entices couples looking forward to a particular way of life. The firm selects according to intelligence as well, but intelligence alone would not yield an interview. Once a lawyer has been hired, he is strongly encouraged to buy a home and have children. The firm offers such a bargain on its low interest mortgages that the employees would be crazy to not take advantage of the offer.
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A Time to Kill is a 1989 legal suspense thriller by John Grisham. It was Grisham’s first novel. The story takes place in the fictional town of Clanton, Mississippi in the 1980s, a period of time during which racial tension was heavily prevalent in America. A Time to Kill is ultimately a story about justice. It is a narrative about the different ways people view justice based on race, personal experience and love, and how far people are willing to go in the name of justice. The story centers on the horrific rape of a ten-year-old black girl and a father’s vengeance. Grisham adds to this heartbreaking narrative the issues of race relations and “blind” justice, thus allowing the reader to question morality, hope and justice in the same way that Grisham’s characters must question these issues throughout the novel.
A Time to Kill highlights the depths people are willing to go for their beliefs, including views on love, hate and personal views of justice. There is no real character in the novel above reproach, and in this way, Grisham shows just how fallible people are. He shows how dangerous it is to place items on a pedestal, and how malleable items, like the justice system, can in fact be when people do place them on a pedestal.
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The Rainmaker is a 1995 novel by John Grisham. This was Grisham’s sixth novel. It differs from most of his other novels in that it is written almost completely in the simple present tense.
Rudy Baylor is about to graduate from Memphis State Law School. He secures a position with a Memphis law firm, which he then loses when the firm is bought up by another, larger firm. As one of the few members of his class without a job lined up, a desperate Rudy reluctantly allows “Prince” Thomas, the owner of a sleazy bar where he works part-time, to introduce him to J. Lyman “Bruiser” Stone, a ruthless but successful ambulance chaser, who makes him an associate. To earn his fee, Rudy is required to hunt for potential clients at the local hospital and sign them up to personal injury lawsuits. He is introduced to Deck Shifflet, a less-than-ethical former insurance assessor who received a law degree but doesn’t practice law, having failed to pass the bar examination six times.
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