Tuesday, March 4, 2008

When An Appeal Is Not All That Appealing

I just finished reading John Grisham's latest novel, The Appeal. Like all his books, it moves along quickly and is a relatively easy read. But, for me, it just was not that appealing.

Early on, I felt that Grisham was writing to a formula that covered an interesting trial and then would move on to a decision on appeal that would be satisfying in spite of all the roadblocks along the way. My problem is that I am sort of a Pollyanna; I like murder mysteries to be solved and legal thrillers to have happy endings. And that is what I expected of The Appeal. However, as the story unwound, it turned out to be less about trials and courts and the legal system and more about how electoral politics can be corrupted by too much money derived from questionable, but well hidden, sources. In the end, it was the result of an election that determined the outcome of the appeal.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed the book and found it entertaining. I was just disappointed that it didn't have that special quality that I remember from many of Grisham's earlier efforts.


Cameron said...

I imagine that Grisham chose this theme because of the upcoming election; we are all certainly concerned about the electoral process. It is rather timely.

However, I do understand your disappointment (I haven't yet read the book). I have enjoyed reading his books, and part of that is due to the satisfying conclusions to the trials.

Eric Valentine said...

Hi Leon, well despite all, this is one I will read anyway, I just love Grisham.. Hope you have been keeping well my friend.. :)

Leon said...

Cameron - it's hard to tell when Grisham started the book or whether he is likening national politics to a Supreme Court elction in Mississippi. It may be more a reflection on the entire phenomenon of electing judges.

It wasn't so much that I was disappointed as it was that I expected more.

Leon said...

Eric: The comment I left you last night has disappeared. I mentioned that I was not trying to scare anyone away from reading The Appeal. Grisham has been one of my favorite writers too. I just found this one a little less satisfying for me than his earlier efforts.

Good to see you back. Missed your visits the past few days. :~)