Personal Injuries (Scott Turow)

Personal Injuries (Scott Turow)

A gripping, suspenseful, deeply satisfying new novel about corruption, deceit, and love.

Robbie Feaver (pronounced “favor”) is a charismatic personal injury lawyer with a high profile practice, a way with the ladies, and a beautiful wife (whom he loves), who is dying of an irreversible illness. He also has a secret bank account where he occasionally deposits funds that make their way into the pockets of the judges who decide Robbie’s cases.

Robbie is caught by the Feds, and, in exchange for leniency, agrees to “wear a wire” as he continues to try to fix decisions. The FBI agent assigned to supervise him goes by the alias of Evon Miller. She is lonely, uncomfortable in her skin, and impervious to Robbie’s charms. And she carries secrets of her own.

As the law tightens its net, Robbie’s and Evon’s stories converge thrillingly. Scott Turow takes us into, the world of greed and human failing he has made immortal in Presumed Innocent, The Burden of Proof, Pleading Guilty, and The Laws of Our Fathers, all published by FSG. He also shows us enduring love and quiet, unexpected heroism. Personal Injuries is Turow’s most reverberant, most moving novel-a powerful drama of individuals trying to escape their characters.


  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1st trade ed edition (October 7, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374281947
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374281946
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (278 customer reviews)
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  1. It is amazing how many people missed the boat on this one. The very first review says it all. “Personal Injuries” isn’t about plot or story line or fast pace or excitement or courtroom drama.
    As I read the book I kept waiting for something to happen until I realized that something was happening. I was watching an author create a cast of characters who peopled any room I read this book in. Exquisitely drawn and beautifully built as seen through the eyes of not the first person narrator but the main character Robbie Feaver (pronounced “favor” as he tells us).
    Further, Turow’s portrayal of ALS and its effect on family members as well as the victim is heartbreaking. Such sadness!
    Turow also leads us into the dark world of witness protection, the FBI and the battle of jurisdiction, political ambition and political medelling, etc.
    Well done, Mr. Turow. Some of us understood where you were going and what you were doing.

  2. Scott Turow does not write John Grisham novels. Many of us who read Turow read him because he doesn’t churn out the the lowbrow, predictable pablum of other popular genre writers. Personal Injuries is magnificent – filled with complex, multi-faceted characters who are never entirely good or evil but, like most of us, somewhere in-between. The character of Robbie Feaver kept surprising me and challenging my initial perceptions (kinda like some of the people in my own life, how ’bout that!). I found the plot involving corrupt judges to be absolutely compelling and helped immeasurably by Turow’s obvious experience with similar circumstances. I finished the novel last night and couldn’t help but weep while reading the final 20 pages. Not only did I find the conclusion moving but the novel and the challenges of its characters left me with questions about my own life to think about. Now, what more could I ask of a piece of fiction?

  3. “Personal Injuries” is actually the first Scott Turow novel I’ve read and I’m thoroughly impressed. From reading some of the other customer reviews, I’ve gathered that it doesn’t follow the same format as the other books that made Turow famous. These reviewers are actually faulting the author for this. I would advise these morons to start on the John Grisham catalogue. Why do they think Scott Turow takes his time writing his novels? BECAUSE HE’S TRYING TO ACHIEVE A HIGHER STANDARD. And he succeeds immeasurably with “Personal Injuries”. No, it’s not a book filled with twists and turns, nor is it a legal “thriller” chock full of courtroom drama. It’s a study of the legal profession itself with layers upon layers of brilliant characterization to keep the intelligent reader riveted until the end. In Robbie Feaver, Scott Turow has created one of the most memorable, intriguing characters I’ve ever read. He’s an arrogant, enigmatic, law-breaking, rationalizing liar of a lawyer, but you just gotta love him. And that’s exactly what this book is about — understanding and forgiving the inherent flaws of humanity. It sounds like a lofty theme for a “lawyer’s story” as Turow’s narrator calls it, but Turow strikes the heart of it beautifully. At the finish, the reader is left pondering the imponderable hierarchy of values of the law. If you enjoy a thinking man’s story (or if you just plain have a genuine admiration for great writing), don’t miss this amazing, utterly believable, immensely enjoyable book.

  4. Do you like legal thrillers, but are you somehow haunted by the belief that John Grisham doesn’t really know what it’s like to be a lawyer? Are you a patient reader? If the answer is yes to both questions, then this book is for you. The book, which involves a federal investigation into a corrupt judiciary scheme takes place in Turow’s fictional Kindle County. We meet Robbie Feaver as he is coerced into cooperating with the investigation. The book takes off slowly and at the beginning, I confess I really did not like the book all that much. It was a little dry and sometimes had the look and feel of a legal memo (which are not that exciting, and if you’ve never read one, trust me on this). There was something that kept me reading and I am glad I did. I think it may have simply been the fact that the characters and what they do are truly realistic. As the book continues, Turow throws in some interesting, and yet still believable plot twists. His characters, at least the main ones are fairly multidimensional and the world they live in not all black and white, good and evil, but shades of grey. Robbie is not the most likable character, but is ultimately sympathetic. His choices, like those of the other characters, were not always good ones, but he is human. All in all this is an enjoyable novel if you have the patience to stick throught the first 100 pages or so.

  5. I agree with other reviewers who said this is slow going. Don’t expect a thriller that takes 2 hours to read. I’ve been slogging away for days, although overall I enjoyed it. Not since Shuuuuhman McCoy (Bonfire of the Vanities) have I read such a memorable portrait of a flawed main character. My favorite part of the book was Turow’s incredible creation of Robbie Feaver. At times you’ll hate him, at times you’ll sympathize with him. His absolute egoism combined with his sensivity and personal values make him fascinating as a character study.
    Turow provides such a detailed legal background that it almost overwhelms the reader. I can’t help but think this book would have been stronger if it were a tad less overburdened by realistic details. Still, Turow does all his research and gives many readers a feel for the cruelest disease, ALS. The other villains and heroes are all interesting creations and well described. If you like intricate legal books, you won’t be able to put this one down. You’ll need to carry it around for awhile though to finish it.

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