Book Review | “The Rooster Bar”

The Rooster BarJohn Grisham, known as “the master of the legal thriller” released two more bestsellers in 2017. The Rooster Bar” was his second release last year and takes on the issue of for-profit higher education and the national student-debt crisis. Grisham came across the idea when reading an article called “The Law-School Scam” in “The Atlantic” by Paul Campos calling out the problem of schools who are known for graduating students with few job prospects but have upwards of $250,000 in student loan debt.

The Rooster Bar is the local Ally McBealesque watering hole downstairs from their apartment and the place where the heavily indebted law students, Mark, Todd, and Zola, come to hatch their plan to escape the mountain of debt.

The threesome are enrolled in the fictitious Foggy Bottom Law school in Washington, D.C.. owned by a shady hedge-fund manager. As described in “The Atlantic” piece, the school is a diploma mill that churns out mediocre students that pass the bar only about half of the time. After their friend and classmate, Gordon, succumbs to the pressure of an uncertain professional future saddled with so much debt, Mark, Todd and Zola, decide it is time to act.

The plot involves dropping out school to salvage their futures and expose the scam that is Foggy Bottom Law School. In true Grisham fashion, the plot is cleverly devised with a twist in the end that kept me wondering if the threesome could pull off their plan and live happily ever after.

“The Rooster Bar” (352 pages) is available at the Jefferson Carnegie Library. Call (903) 665-8911 or visit the new Jefferson Carnegie Library website ( for more information. We also have an extra hard copy here at the Jimp for the first reader to leave a comment about this piece on our website!




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