Troy Phelen is a self-made billionaire, one of the richest men in the United States. He is also eccentric, reclusive, confined to a wheelchair, and looking for a way to die. Nate O'Riley is a high-octane Washington litigator who's lived too hard, too fast, for too long. Emerging from his fourth stay in rehab he knows returning to the real world is ...
Troy Phelen is a self-made billionaire, one of the richest men in the United States. He is also eccentric, reclusive, confined to a wheelchair, and looking for a way to die. Nate O'Riley is a high-octane Washington litigator who's lived too hard, too fast, for too long. Emerging from his fourth stay in rehab he knows returning to the real world is always difficult, but this time it's going to be murder. Rachel Lane is a young woman who chose to give her life to God, who walked away from the modern world with all its strivings and trappings and encumbrances, and went to live and work with a primitive tribe of Indians in the deepest jungles of Brazil. In a story that mixes legal suspense with a remarkable adventure, their lives are forever altered by the startling secret of The Testament.
Nate O'Riley was a high powered attorney that we find in rehab (for the fourth time). He has botched two marriages with a total of four children. The firm he used to work for has sent him to Brazil to find a 42 year old missionary/doctor who has inherited 15 billion dollors from a father she really never knew. She is illegitimate. Her father, Troy Phelan, has six legitimate children, and three ex-wives whom he despises, and visa versa. Everyone thinks he has a brain tumor and is about to die. He leaves a new will, that he has hand written, and jumps to his death from his fourteenth floor office while all his children and ex-wives are assembled to hear the reading of his will. The book has three plots. The first is about Nate O'Riley, his bouts with addiction and finding himself. The second is about finding the missionary/doctor in the jungles of Brazil, and finding out she doesn't want the money. And third, all the courtroom battles that go on from the children who are written out of the will, and their attorneys, and their desire to declare their father crazy. A great plot from the mind of a great writer.
Oct 25, 2007
Our Best Storyteller
John Grisham may well be America's best storyteller. Sure, his novels lack the complexity that make English professors salivate, but, for the rest of us, Grisham tackles the issues that cut to the core of present day America. The Testment is a story of avarice, decadence and ambition. At its heart is flawed attorney,Nate O' Reilly, whose career has flamed out leaving him adrift in mid-life. When he's sent to to the Brazilian jungle to find an heir to a fortune, it is a journey into, not the heart of darkness, but the soul of 21st century America. As with most Grisham novels, this 400 page novel reads like one half its length and is over all too soon.
Publishers Weekly, 1999-02-01 A traditional gangbuster Grisham openingæin which an aged billionaire outfoxes his greedy heirs by signing a bombshell will, then jumps to his deathægives little clue how this seductive tale will develop. The novel also features the usual attorney hero and legal action, but Grisham confounds expectations by sweeping readers into adventure in the Brazilian wetlands and, more urgently, into a man's search for spiritual renewal. Nate O'Riley, 48, is a drunk. He's also a top D.C. attorney who, winding up his fourth rehab stint in 10 years, is asked by his firm to find one Rachel Lane. The illegitimate daughter to whom the firm's client, tycoon Troy Phelan, has left his entire $11 billion fortune, Rachel is a missionary-physician tending Indians somewhere in Brazil's Pantanal region. Nate's experiences there prove nightmarish, including fierce storms, a plane crash, dangerous animals, hunger and, finally, dengue fever, which nearly kills him. But as Grisham crosscuts from Brazil to D.C. and the sleazy machinations of Phelan's other children and their lawyers to negate Phelan's will, readers will wonder which is the real jungle; never has Grisham revealed so nakedly his contempt for the legal profession. What Grisham holds dear is made clear in his unforgettable portrait of Rachel, whose serenity and integrity stun Nate, while inspiring him to forsake forever his lust for booze, power and money and to turn toward God. The message (which isn't entirely new to Grisham; see The Street Lawyer) and the storytelling that conveys it aren't subtle, but Grisham's smart use of the suspense novel to explore questions of being and faith puts him squarely in the footsteps of Dickens and Graham Greene. Sincere, exciting and tinged with wonder, this novel is going to sell like an angel, and deservedly so. Agent, David Gernert. 2.8 million first printing. (On-sale date: Feb. 1) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1999-02-01 Grisham, with his master-storyteller legal thriller form, always plays well on audio. His latest begins with a coyly playful opening scene. Elderly billionaire industrialist Troy Phelan is holding court from his corporate office headquarters in Virginia. He has just rewritten his will to ensure that his rogue heirs?six children and three ex-wives?will be cut off. Instead, he gives the bulk of his fortune to an illegitimate daughter, Rachel Lane, a religious missionary living among native peoples in the Brazilian jungle. This done, Phelan hurls himself out the office window, killing himself, leaving his heirs and their $500-an-hour lawyers to fight over his money. From here, the plot turns schmaltzy, as Nate O'Riley, an alcoholic attorney with a heart of gold, is sent to Brazil to seek out Rachel, where he summarily falls in love with her and finds spiritual redemption. Reader Leyva, a Shakespearean actor, is finely tuned as a professional narrator, making the book sound like a movie screenplay waiting to happen. Simultaneous release with the Doubleday hardcover. Also available unabridged and on CD. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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