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review 2017-11-08 19:52
"The Rooster Bar" by John Grisham
The Rooster Bar - John Grisham

There are some good things in the "The Rooster Bar", enough of them that I read the book right to the end in the hope that it would be worth my time. It wasn't.

"The Rooster Bar" starts well. John Grisham quickly got me immersed in the pressure cooker lives of four for-profit Law School students, groaning under a mountain of debt and with little prospect of getting a job that would enable them to pay it back. He used the instability and obsession of the most charismatic of the four to lay-out the "Great Law School Scam" without making it feel like a clumsy infodump and then added a trauma to hook my emotions and make me care.

I relaxed and waited for some kind of clever and cathartic revenge to be extracted in a sort of "The Firm 2.O" way.

Grisham kept my attention and my emotional involvement by adding in a plot about how ICE  (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) the Storm Troopers of  Homeland Security works.

This felt real and got the point across without sounding preachy. The shame of failing to treat people with dignity was made clear.

After that... well, the whole thing fell apart but slowly enough that I never quite gave up hope.

My main problem was that I didn't like and couldn't bring myself to care about the two emotionally distant, testosterone-driven, arrogant and amoral white boys who were positioned as the heroes of the piece.

Their reaction to having let their greed ensnare them in a potentially life-ruining scam was to scam everyone else. They commit crime after crime to make money, sustained by a sort of frat-boy belief that guys like them will never suffer the consequences of their actions. They were called Todd and Mark and I couldn't really tell them apart except that one (I can't remember which) was more willing to help a friend in trouble.

It seems that I was supposed to be cheering for these two would-be alpha male lawyers to out-smart the authorities, get revenge on the bad guys and ride off into a Tequilla-sustained sunset. Personally, I'd have been happy to see them both take their punishment.

Todd and Mark are the moral vacuum at the heart of this book. They're clever, resourceful, hard-working, brave but ruthless and willing to break any law to get their own way.

I could have lived with the moral vacuum if the book had ended with a great reveal or a clever, Mission Impossible slick finish but It didn't. Instead, it slid gently to a stop as it ran out of momentum and I ran out of sympathy.

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review 2017-11-02 03:01
The Rooster Bar - John Grisham

I finished this book in two sittings: on my lunch break and on my bed the moment I got home. I didn’t get up to eat dinner, use the bathroom, anything. The Rooster Bar is one of those books.


Like almost every Grisham novel, this is a high-stakes crime thriller . . . but the stakes here feel so much higher than in his other books — at least the ones I’ve read, which I admit isn’t a large number. Three laws students mired in debt without any job prospectives on the horizon decide to drop out of sight, change their identity . . . and become faux street lawyers. They know the ropes (well, some of them) and they put up a front. And they’re successful. At least for a while. Then the phony partnership go after bigger fish, more money . . . and from there unfolds one of Grisham’s most captivating plots to date.


Does that sound hokey? Silly? Yes, maybe it does. But this book really spoke to me: the frustration with college, the fears of the future, the desire (and, in these characters’ cases, success) to start all over and go on an adventure — an adventure with quite the cash prize, if all goes well. That spoke to where I am at right now. And Grisham writes this story with the reverence, skill, and knowledge that is present in all his works.


Surely one of my picks for favorite new release of the year, this was a book I just could not put down. Check it out — but not with any pressing plans.

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review 2017-10-28 16:35
The Rooster Bar
The Rooster Bar - John Grisham

By:  John Grisham

ISBN: 0385541171

Publisher: Doubleday 

Publication Date: 10/24/2017 

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating: 4.5 Stars


#1 New York Times bestselling author, John Grisham returns following Camino Island with his 25th novel THE ROOSTER BAR — a legal thriller exploring conspiracies inside for-profit law schools and the lives it destroys in this modern-day scandal ripped from today’s headlines.

Inspired by an article in the Atlantic called “The Law-School Scam,” a lengthy investigation of for-profit law schools, the author takes off an inside look at corruption in the legal field and student loans.

Gordy, Mark, Todd, and Zola each have their own stories and how they landed at Foggy Bottom— a third-tier for-profit law school. Each has borrowed heavily and student loans are enormous, there is no way they will ever attain a job to begin paying back this debt.

Each of the three is drowning in student debt, which it would seem will be impossible to ever pay off. Mark owes $266,000; Todd, $195,000; Zola, $191,000. 

Foggy Bottom had enticed them to take out huge federally backed loans — from an equally disreputable bank that offered easy money with the false prospect that they would get high-paying jobs immediately upon being graduated and passing the bar.

They each had high expectations as well as their families. Soon they realize there is more to the story. Gordy (bi-polar), is engaged to be married (to wealthy white girl from his hometown); however, seeing Zola on the side. She is black Muslim-American. 

Gordy has done much research and lays out all the players for the group. His obsession turns to madness quickly and they all are concerned. 

Their school is owned by a corrupt New York hedge-fund operator Hinds Rackley, who also happens to own a bank specializing in student loans, and connected with various law firms. He is a billionaire and using thousands of students to bankroll his lifestyle. A scam. However, what will they do with this information? Who will believe them? 

They are in their third year and the $$$ and interest are mounting daily. Drowning in debt, pressures from debt collectors, and no promise of a job, they set out on a dangerous course to try and outsmart the conman. They will never be able to repay this debt. 

Gordy cannot take it anymore. After he is gone, they decide they will honor him by fighting back the best way they can to survive. 

Taking a page from SUITS, (even though I think Michael Ross is smarter); they decide they will practice law without a law degree. Going rogue is a little difficult when they do not have the funds to make this work, or will they? 


Will they be able to pull off their own scam to con a con, (David vs. Goliath) without being sent to prison before they are found out? In the meantime, who will bring down the bigger scam that drove them to desperate measures? 

With only Mark, Todd, and Zola remaining, they will have to stay one step ahead of the impending danger, in order to beat the system.

Mixed with legal-drama, suspense, action, and humor, THE ROOSTER BAR uncovers greed, conspiracies and throws Zola’s family issues (deportation) for added conflict in this compelling 

"More than 44 million Americans who have borrowed money to pay for college owe over $1.4 trillion in student loan debt."

More fact than fiction — we are well aware, the significant number of real-life American millennials duped by unscrupulous banks and businesses today, is astounding. 

I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Ari Fliakos for an entertaining listening experience. 

The entire time I was reading/listening kept thinking about Roosters, the popular gay bar here in West Palm Beach, FL with the Best Drag Show and has been around for over 30 yrs.

Love the Cover and the Title!



Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/08/11/The-Rooster-Bar
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review 2016-10-01 04:27
Rooster Can't Cock-a-Doodle-Doo by Karen Roster-Gruber
Rooster Can't Cock-a-Doodle-Doo - Karen Rostoker-Gruber,Paul Ratz de Tagyos

Rooster wakes up one morning with a sore throat and unable to cock-a-doodle-doo to wake up his friends.  As it got later and later, the chores got more and more behind on the farm. With the help of his animal friends, they scurry around the farm waking up all the animals who were still sound asleep.  The animals work together to devise a plan to wake up Farmer Ted before it gets too late in the day. This book is a great example of how friends work together to help each other out in a time of need.  Primary grades would enjoy this humorous story while learning a lesson on friendship and farm animals.  

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review 2015-11-15 01:15
Little Rooster's Diamond Button nby Margaret Read MacDonald
Little Rooster's Diamond Button - Margaret Read MacDonald,Will Terry

Genre:  Animals / Manners / Folktale / Hungary / Magic

Year Published: 2007


Year Read:  2015


Publisher:   Albert Whitman & Company


Now, I have read many unusual and creative folktales over the years, but I have never read a folktale quite like this one! “Little Rooster’s Diamond Button” is a Hungarian folktale retold by Margaret Read MacDonald along with illustrations by Will Terry that is so bizarre yet hilarious that any child would enjoy reading this book!

The story starts off with Little Rooster finding a beautiful diamond button in the ground and he decided to give the button to his mistress. Unfortunately, the king comes along and he ends up stealing the diamond button from Little Rooster to put into his treasure chamber. But when Little Rooster went after the king and demanded that the king should give him back his diamond button, the king got extremely angry and he ordered Little Rooster to be thrown down the well! However, it turns out that Little Rooster has a magic stomach that could consume anything on command and Little Rooster ended up drinking up all the water in the well! This ended up making the king even angrier and he then ordered Little Rooster to be thrown into the fire!

Will Little Rooster’s magic stomach get him out of this situation and will he get his diamond button back?

Read this book to find out!

Margaret Read MacDonald has done it again in retelling an ancient folktale and making the story innovating for the readers! I loved the way that Margaret Read MacDonald retold this story as I found the story to be pretty hilarious and creative and I was intrigued with Little Rooster’s predicament in trying to get his diamond button back from the king. I loved the fact that this story teaches children about the consequences of being too greedy and I loved how brave and determined Little Rooster was in trying to confront the King and get his prized diamond ring back. I think it took a lot of courage from Little Rooster to confront the King about his actions and it shows children that if a great wrong has been done to you, you should try to stand up for yourself to make things right again. But probably the best part of this story was the fact that Little Rooster has a magic stomach that is able to consume anything on command! I found that to be pretty interesting for this story because even though I have read some folktales where characters are able to consume large amounts of food (The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship), I am still amazed that there is a story where a character has a magical stomach and is able to use that stomach to get themselves out of various predicaments! Will Terry’s illustrations are hilarious and brightly colored and they greatly complement the energetic mood of this story! I also loved the images of the king having big purple baggy pants as it makes him look quite silly and it shows just how silly and arrogant he really is.

Overall, “Little Rooster’s Diamond Button” is a fantastic read for children who want to read folktales from Hungary and who want a good book that would make them laugh! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book.


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog


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