Grisham v. Grisham

Tom Cruise, The Firm
Image credit: The Firm: Francois Duhamel

Next he tackled the insurance industry in The Rainmaker (1995):

''I got to unload on insurance companies, which is a lot of fun. I sued 'em for 10 years when I was a lawyer....'Rainmaker' was...the first time I used first person narration, and I really, really liked it....The challenge with 'Rainmaker,' also with 'Runaway Jury,' is that courtroom stuff of a civil nature is unbelievably dull. And so you weigh the balance of pace with being legally accurate. I hate this television stuff with courtroom scenes that would make any lawyer want to vomit. I don't want to do that.''

The movie ''To me it's the best adaptation of any of 'em. [Francis Ford] Coppola really wanted my involvement, for whatever it's worth. And I love the movie. It's so well done.. And it came out a few weeks before 'Titanic' and got swamped.''

''I had a good friend who died of cancer at the age of 35 who smoked for 20 years,'' says Grisham, who took on Big Tobacco in The Runaway Jury (1996).

''It was fun going after the tobacco companies -- they manufacture products hat kill people, and they know what when they make them...The idea of a couple stalking litigation trying to get on a jury was, I thought, a good one. I had to do a lot of research: lung cancer, carcinogens, so on....[It's] a good story. A caper.''

The movie ''It was a five-year ordeal to get it out. It deserved more than $50 million domestic box office. It should've found higher appeal than that as a smart, suspenseful movie. There was nothing else out there for three weeks except 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre'...still, it didn't work.''

There's no moralizing in The Partner (1997), just good writing about a greedy lawyer on the lam:

''It's one of my favorite stories, one of the trickiest ones, flashing back and then forward, nabbing the lawyer and then watching him wiggle out of it. There are times when my wife says, 'Would you just stop preaching and tell a story?' And I listen to that.'''

Grisham dealt with homelessness and low-cost housing in The Street Lawyer (1998):

''The best books are those in which I can wrap a novel around and issue and make the reader think about something they weren't prepared to think about. 'Street Lawyer' is the classic example of that.''

In The Testament (1999), Grisham explored an issue than had always fascinated him: what happens after the death of an extremely wealthy person.

''The last will and testament: was it valid? Was the old guy unduly influenced by the fourth wife who'd given him a thrill? That kind of stuff. There's a spiritual angle to the story, something I hadn't really tried before. It's one of my favorites.''