Monday, July 13, 2009

The Appeal by John Grisham

Title: The Appeal
Author: John Grisham
Pages: 496
Publisher: Delta; Reprint edition
Publication Date: November 18, 2008

Politics has always been a dirty game. Now justice is, too.

In a crowded courtroom in Mississippi, a jury returns a shocking verdict against a chemical company accused of dumping toxic waste into a small town's water supply, causing the worst "cancer cluster" in history. The company appeals to the Mississippi Supreme Court, whose nine justices will one day either approve the verdict or reverse it.

Who are the nine? How will they vote? Can one be replaced before the case is ultimately decided?

The chemical company is owned by a Wall Street predator named Carl Trudeau, and Mr. Trudeau is convinced the Court is not friendly enough. With judicial elections looming, he decides to try to purchase himself a seat on the Court. The cost is a few million dollars, a drop in the bucket for a billionaire like Mr. Trudeau. Through an intricate web of conspiracy and deceit, his political operatives recruit a young, unsuspecting candidate. They finance him, manipulate him, market him, and mold him into a potential Supreme Court justice. Their Supreme Court justice.

This is my first ever adult fiction review. Even though I'm pretty young to be considering my future profession, I always acknowledged law to be one of the possibilities. This is what first compelled me to read John Grisham.

There are so many things I want to say about this book. I'm just going to break it down so it won't be too chaotic.

Grisham's writing. I would probably rate Grisham's writing a B-. The beginning was exciting, but after about 300 pages, my interest in the book started to waver. Grisham's writing wasn't consistent enough to absorb me further into the book. But I finished it, regardless. One thing I liked about Grisham's writing, was the fact that he was able to incorporate both of the views of the opposing companies smoothly.

The characters:

Carl Trudeau. Even though he's the supposed antagonist, I couldn't help but admire his confidence and his determination. He already had more then enough, but he still ached for more. He was insatiable when it came to wealth.

Ron Fisk. If I was Ron Fisk, I'd feel trapped. I felt like he didn't have a choice once he was agreed to the deal. He couldn't make his own decisions and he was suffocating with all of the things that he constantly had to deal with.

The Paytons. With them, I was repetedly on edge. One moment, their lifestyle was lavish and luxurious. The next, they're on the brink of bankrupcy, risking everything they have. They kept the book livelier and more appealing.

My reaction. I found it okay. I wasn't all that thrilled about looking for more John Grisham. As a first-time, adult-fiction reader, I'm not yet sure about my opinion and critique. But for now, it's a B.


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