Saturday, December 3, 2011
The Litigators by John Grisham
I've been a fan of John Grisham's work for many years. Just when I thought he couldn't get any better or provide a new "angle" to his novels; along comes The Litigators.
What did I like about this book? In a nutshell: everything. Entertaining from the first page to the last. Characters that literally "jump off the page" with their authenticity. A page-turner that I read in two days and that would have been even less time, if I hadn't had other things I had to do.
I really couldn't put this one down!
So what made this one different from other John Grisham books I've enjoyed to date? I found myself laughing so much as I was reading along. Really loud, can't stop, side-splitting laughter.
Not that there isn't usually some clever, witty content, in most of Grisham's books. And again, that is often a result of the true- to- life characters that he is so skilled at creating. But several parts of this book are truly hilarious in addition to the usual suspense and drama that are in keeping with Grisham's signature style.
The twists and turns of the plot continue to the very last chapter. Complete with a satisfying ending that ties up all the loose ends (so many novelists fall short in this respect) but the norm when it comes to a Grisham novel.
A bit about the plot....
If ever there was a stereotype for a "seedy lawyer" Wally Figg is one of them and in spades. Wally and his partner world-weary Oscar Finley, have been waiting (and waiting) for that "big break" for over 20 years that will free them up from the "nickle and dime" cases they've been handling at Finley & Figg for far too long.
Wally Figg (multiple divorcee) and his new, oh-so tacky girlfriend DeeAnna provide a big part of the LOL's in this book. If ever there was a sleazy couple, made for each other, it's these two. Some clever "accounting practises" on the part of Wally also include DeeAnna. Suffice to say, it makes for some hilarious and engaging reading, throughout the story.
By a series of events, that seem to be coincidental at the time; a young, upwardly mobile but burnt-out and disillusioned lawyer by the name of David Zinc "lands" drunk as a skunk at their office one afternoon. This sets off a series of events that will change the course of Finley & Figg forever.
From the Amazon product page:
"The partners at Finley & Figg—all two of them—often refer to themselves as “a boutique law firm.” Boutique, as in chic, selective, and prosperous. They are, of course, none of these things. What they are is a two-bit operation always in search of their big break, ambulance chasers who’ve been in the trenches much too long making way too little. Their specialties, so to speak, are quickie divorces and DUIs, with the occasional jackpot of an actual car wreck thrown in. After twenty plus years together, Oscar Finley and Wally Figg bicker like an old married couple but somehow continue to scratch out a half-decent living from their seedy bungalow offices in southwest Chicago.
And then change comes their way. More accurately, it stumbles in. David Zinc, a young but already burned-out attorney, walks away from his fast-track career at a fancy downtown firm, goes on a serious bender, and finds himself literally at the doorstep of our boutique firm. Once David sobers up and comes to grips with the fact that he’s suddenly unemployed, any job—even one with Finley & Figg—looks okay to him. "
And speaking of Amazon this book is currently ranked at #15 in books, as I write this review. Not surprising. One of the things that was mentioned repeatedly in the Amazon reviews I read was that John Grisham seems to have had a lot of fun writing this book and I definitely agree with that. Hopefully this will be made into a movie too.
The Litigators joins my list of Grisham all-time favorites which to date include: Ford County (short stories), The Street Lawyer and The Rainmaker.
If ever the term "you're not getting older, you're getting better" applied, that's what I think of John Grisham and his first-rate writing. No wonder he's called "America's Favorite Storyteller". And certainly not just for Americans either; his fans are everywhere!
Keep them coming Mr. Grisham! I only wish you wrote more than one book a year. They don't last long when I start reading one.
The Litigators is a must read for Grisham fans and for anyone looking for an entertaining, suspenseful AND humorous novel. Would make a great gift too.
Overall rating for this book: Excellent. 5 out of 5.