There are few days of the week I like better than Sunday. By then, the house is clean, the laundry is done, there’s a whole afternoon before me in which to read.
I’m trying to finish The Appeal by John Grisham. In a word? Unappealing.
I’m normally a fan of his, considering The Firm as one of his best. (My son prefers The Painted House.) But, his irruption into nonfiction with The Innocent Man? Spare me. I couldn’t even finish it. I didn’t buy Bleachers, or Whatever It Is About Pizza, and so with great anticipation I picked up his latest legal thriller.
Thriller, it is not. Foray into the machinations of politics and legal manipulation? Most definitely.
The premise started out with a bang: 43 billion dollars awarded in punative damages to a lawyer team who had lost everything in the process of taking Krane Chemical to trial. This company had deliberately been dumping its waste into the water system of Bowmore, Mississippi, causing all kinds of cancer and death.
Like Crime and Punishment, or Wuthering Heights, there is an intense beginning only to be followed by details which drag. I’m nearing the last fifty pages of the book, and all I’ve read about is how Krane Chemical is buying a new Supreme Court Justice for a verdict in its favor. Grisham’s premise is that “as long as private money is allowed in judicial elections we will see competing interests fight for seats on the bench.” (p.358)
I feel like I’ve just earned some degree in business, or politics, rather than becoming immeshed within a legal thriller.
In other news, it appears Spring will in fact be coming. Did you know next Sunday is Daylight Savings Time again?
p.s. Several hours later I’ve finished the book. It does pick up substantially at the end, and the reader gasps as she realizes how many verdicts must be influenced by private investments. Really, it’s quite shocking, and now, in addition to losing my faith in government, I’ve lost my faith in the judicial system as well.