A Civil Action

Publisher: Vintage
"The legal thriller of the decade." --Cleveland Plain Dealer

Now a Major Motion Picture!

In this true story of an epic courtroom showdown, two of the nation's largest corporations stand accused of causing the deaths of children. Representing the bereaved parents, the unlikeliest of heroes emerges: a young, flamboyant Porsche-driving lawyer who hopes to win millions of dollars and ends up nearly losing everything, including his sanity. A searing, compelling tale of a legal system gone awry--one in which greed and power fight an unending struggle against justice--A Civil Action is also the story of how one determined man can ultimately make a difference. With an unstoppable narrative power, it is an unforgettable reading experience.


The lawyer Jan Schlichtmann was awakened by the telephone at eight-thirty on a Saturday morning in mid-July. He had slept only a few hours, and fitfully at that. When the phone rang, he was dreaming about a young woman who worked in the accounting department of a Boston insurance firm. The woman had somber brown eyes, a...
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The questions, discussion topics, and author biography that follow are intended to enhance your group's reading of Jonathan Harr's A Civil Action. We hope they will enrich your understanding of this fascinating chronicle of an epic courtroom battle.

1. When he hears about the lawsuit, Jack Riley is...

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"Whether in truth or fiction, I have never read a more compelling chronicle of litigation." --John Grisham

"A page-turner. Rich and vivid. . . eventful and gripping." --The New York Times

"Once you start A Civil Action, you probably will not be able to put it down." --Washington Post Book World