Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Appeal by John Grisham

Usually Grisham can go either way for me. The only thing that I've read by him that I loved was The Innocent Man, but that was his one non-fiction book. The Street Lawyer is total crap, but some others are pretty good. This one was pretty good; it was overtly uncreative to anyone in the legal world, but it still offered up a few nuggets to think about.

The Appeal is about a toxic tort case involving a company that dumped a bunch of chemicals and gave the surrounding residents cancer (which is virtually identical to the real case that inspired A Civil Action, but with a different result) and the subsequent attempt by the big corporation to buy a seat on the Mississippi Supreme Court so that the appeal would go its way (which is exactly what happened in West Virginia within the last few years and was the impetus for the U.S. Supreme Court case that I saw the oral arguments for). So yeah, not very original. Grisham adds a twist of sorts at the end, and even though it isn't very surprising either, it still explores some very topical issues and gets you thinking.

One thing that was kinda weird about this book was that it wasn't very dramatic. There was no harrowing life or death breath taking moment or anything remotely like it that is usually a Grisham staple, but it was still entertaining. It was a very quick read and I enjoyed it, but it wasn't the best book I've ever read.

One other note: judicial elections are such egregious miscarriages of justice that it shocks and appalls me that we still have them. The idea is completely preposterous. It makes me furious. That is all I'll say about that.

1 comment:

Brent Waggoner said...

I want to hear about judicial elections.

Also, I'm with you on The Street Lawyer. Poor show, Grisham.