Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Litigators

hi there

let me start off by accepting the rather pointless nature of giving any sort of review or criticism of a John Grisham novel. books with the name of Mr Grisham on tend to sell rather well. very well indeed, as it happens - on average, ten million copies of each book published. certain people out there love to just run down his style of writing and the fact that he seldom deviates away from the 'legal thriller' genre.

in respect of those run downs, i am pretty sure he makes a fair few thousand in the time it takes him to read how "poor" his written style is. as for sticking to a 'legal thriller' genre, well, he kind of invented, or at least rejuvenated, this kind of book. sticking to medical mysteries hardly harmed the series House much that i noticed.

with that qualification, i must say how pleasantly surprised i was by The Litigators, a book that i appreciate has been out for around about a year now but one that i've only got around to reading now.

i am reluctant to give too much of the plot details away since it is a novel that i encourage you to go and read for yourself. in short, it's the story of one of those quasi-enslaved corporation lawyers, working some 100 hours a week minimum, who eventually decides enough is enough and does the unthinkable - walk out on a major law firm.

what follows is something of a far-fetched but all the same hugely enjoyable spin on the classic comedy Trading Places, with the young(ish) lawyer stumbling in to the offices of two getting on in life if not with success lawyers and contriving to end up working for them.

if you saw the word "comedy" in there and raised an eyebrow, well spotted. comic elements in John Grisham novels tend to be noted only for their absence. this book is, if not literary prize winning material, rather funny in places. after a couple of serious works of late - some non-fiction legal work and the novel The Confession - it's fantastic to see the writer not belittle any subject, but still find the time to inject a little humour into the story. it's probably the presence of some light relief and genuine laugh out loud moments that saw me finish this novel within 4 to 5 days, something that i have not done for quite some time.

his previous (legal thriller) novel, The Confession, took me upwards of 4 months to get through. it was a novel that was far better than the previous two or three (and i am thinking in particular of the one that was basically 300 pages of eating in Italy, The Broker i think) but was tough reading to get to a conclusion you may well have predicted rather early on in it. whereas this novel hardly carries a major element of surprise or suspense, it's just so wonderfully engaging it really is a trick to put down.



if you do for some reason read my blog frequently but have not up to now read a John Grisham novel then this one is a pretty good starting point. i would rank it up there with my favourites by him, which off the top of my head are The Runaway Jury, The Street Lawyer, The Partner and of course The Firm. most of the ones mentioned there are ones that i read and thoroughly enjoyed whilst on some lengthy journey; if i had taken The Litigators on a plane or train i am confident it would have been read in one sitting.

be wary of anyone trying to tell you "John Grisham writes rubbish". he does not, he writes (for the most part) wonderful, entertaining stories. if someone insists on slamming him, do check, to the nearest million, exactly how many copies of their work sell in comparison. John Grisham has sold somewhere close to 300 million copies of books with good reason, and all of those reasons can be found in this book.


be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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