Monday, August 22, 2011

Review: The Appeal – John Grisham

I have long been a fan of the work of John Grisham who has carved out the market of legal thrillers to be his own over the last 20 years, but in this instance he has fallen well short of his own standards. The Appeal lacks much when compared to Grisham's earlier works.

It appears that Grisham's desire to write more widely, including dramatic works such as 'Bleachers' or youth novels in his Theodore Boone series has weakened his ability to write on his original genre. This book lacks the grittiness of 'A Time to Kill', 'The Chamber', 'The Firm' or the 'King of Torts'. Though set up to have the reader ask questions about the decisions of major corporations and there effect on humanity, the story goes nowhere near hitting the mark as it skips along with surface concerns without truly opening up the true issues and character roles.

The plot is so thin has the ability to resolve itself within 200 pages yet Grisham feels the need to over-explain everything about the legal system that the story operates within which becomes tiresome as the book is pushed out to 500 pages for little return. By the time the end comes it is concluded briefly with no thought to wrapping up the questions readers have that it has gone nowhere near answering during the story. This leaves the reader feeling as though the time spent reading through the book have been a waste.

Another fault of the book is its inane desire to provide the political position of the author and explain to great detail that is just annoying. Whether you sympathise with the political position presented or not, the time spent on explaining these peripheral issues to the actual story adds to the confusion and frustration the reader feels that the book goes nowhere. Any frustration and confusion is only heightened by the 'Author's note' at its conclusion where he highlights these political issues as the core of the story.

Confusing, frustrating, and ultimately a fruitless read, this book from Grisham isn't worth investing time and money into. No Balls.

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