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3.9 out of 5 stars12
3.9 out of 5 stars
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O.K., so this is a novel the way a collection of Dilbert comic strips is a book. O.K., so this is a thinly veiled rehash and cash in of the author's blog. I have no problem with that.

For someone who grew up on memoirs of noble courtroom battles, (say, for example, Louis Nizer's My Life in Court), and who then had to wade through countless volumes of self-aggrandizing pap, (say, for example, any memoir written by any practicing lawyer in the past twenty years), this book was a deeply enjoyable and satisfying breath of fresh air. Sure it's exaggerated and way over the top. That's what makes it fun.
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on 19 January 2007
The cover gives you some idea about the character of the Anonymous Lawyer He has horns, a devil tale and what could be a good suit. Though to be fair lawyers aren't known for buying halo polish. AL is a hiring partner at one of the world's largest law firms and he starts a blog. Everyone has a blog: I'm expecting The Queen to start one, anonymously of course. Well she couldn't be that anonymous; there aren't that many people who do her job.

We're presented with a series of blog posts and email exchanges as AL butts horns with `The Jerk'. And they do feel like blog posts. Everyone has a nickname matching their character. My favourite being `The Woman That Hugs Everybody'. He changes the places, dates, and outcomes of events to remain anonymous. But he worries for how long it will be before he found out.

If it was an actual blog printed out I could see this being less exciting. But it's not just a blog. It is a novel with a plotline and character development. And that's what makes it very readable.

Each of the posts give you a glimpse of behind the scenes of a law firm, at least it sounds convincing like a real law firm from the descriptions of the counting of Post-Its to the billing clients for researching in the bathroom.

But most convincing is the character of AL. He does start off as a bit of Devil, but through the posts and more usually the e-mails he seems to be as human as the rest of us, if a little cynical, and a bit too rich.

It's not all successful. Making it blog-like with a compelling character and a plot that doesn't seem too extreme for the world it inhabits doesn't need to be promoted for having "up-to-the-minute references", which are going to date it more than it needs to. It gets a little too soft in the middle when AL seems to run out of nasty things to torment the `summers'.

Anonymous Lawyer is a live a blog (anonymouslawyer.blogspot.com). I've not read it yet as not to effect my impression of this debut. I'm hoping there'll be a sequel. For writers of anonymous blogs there could even be few writing tips to be had.

Overall, an enjoyable and non-taxing read that had me laughing out loud more than once. Highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 25 January 2010
I have to say that I found this book increasingly oppressive as I made my way through it. The cynicism is just so overpowering.

Now don't get me wrong, I appreciate a healthy dose of cynicism just as much as the next person. Indeed when this centres on the legal profession, particularly a large corporate legal firm in America then a rather jaundiced view of the world is only to be expected.

The story concerns the efforts of our anonymous "hero" to advance his own career within the firm. He stops at nothing. He lies, manipulates and exploits all those around him. He treats everyone with complete contempt. They only exist to be taken advantage of by him.

Now whilst this starts off as being reasonably amusing the joke quickly starts to wear thin. Therein lies the problem. There really is only one joke; anonymous lawyer exploits all around him and his duplicity is either never uncovered or he finds some willing dupe to work along with him. They think that they are furthering their own ends whereas of course they really end up doing his bidding.

The ending of the book is absolutely obvious (but I will not give it away here).

I think the problem of this book for me may lie in its origins as a blog. It could be that the cynical air is bearable when encountered in small doses. However, when it is collected together as in this novel this cynicism poisons the narrative making it impossible for this reader to engage with it properly.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 1 August 2006
This particular iteration of a blog-turned-novel takes the form of a blog, interspersed with emails to and from the blogger. Born from an apparently popular satirical blog of the same name, the book is pretty much a one-joke affair, and that one joke is hammered home over and over and over and over, losing a good deal of its impact along the way. Basically, the premise is that the partner in charge of hiring at a prestigious law firm decides to start an anonymous blog where he rants about his day to day work. The punchline is that the titular author is a nasty arrogant expletive who uses the candid anonymity of the blog to breezily dump all over his coworkers, firm, and entire profession. If you liked Alec Baldwin's scene in the film "Glengarry Glen Ross", this is somewhat along the same lines, although the writing isn't as sharp and it goes on for far too long and thus can't help but get repetitive.

The thin plot concerns the blogger's machinations to position himself to become the firm's next chairman, which also means constant jockeying with his rival "The Jerk" -- all of which plays out rather predictably. The main source of tension is the question of whether or not someone at his firm will recognize the blog and blow the whistle. Meanwhile, the blogger also maintains a running email dialogue with his niece, who's graduating Stanford and heading to Yale Law School. Although this occupies the position of a subplot, it never really goes anywhere meaningful and doesn't seem to serve much purpose other than softening the blogger character. Other running topics include the need to maximize billable hours, the ineptitude of pretty much everyone, and why hierarchy is so important at corporate law firms. The cast of characters include: The Suck-Up, The Musician, Tax Guy, The One Who Dresses Like A Slut, The One Who's Never Getting Married, The One Who Missed Her Kid's Funeral, The Bombshell, Foreign Guy, Black Guy, Harvard Guy, Real Estate Guy, Lives With His Mom, and more.

As a story it's paper-thin. As a book, it's total fluff and takes only a few hours to read. As satire of corporate law it's a fairly sophomoric compilation of exaggerations, but as the author graduated from Harvard Law School, it has enough of a veneer of reality to it to make it entertaining enough. Will probably go on to be a classic for the law school crowd.
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on 21 October 2011
Thankfully I am not a US lawyer, but there is plenty for my UK colleagues to enjoy here. Very funny and revealing of what is a frankly very unusual mindset - a partner in a big law firm.
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on 23 September 2007
This is one of the funniest books that I have read in a while! Was doubtful about how effective a blog-cum-novel would work out, but the first few pages had me hooked.
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on 27 July 2011
A must have for any lawyer, or budding lawyer, who works or plans to work in the City. Very amusing. Very true. All solicitors will know another like the narrator!
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on 30 March 2007
Loved this book so much, I was looking for the website after I was done ready.
It's got depth, it's bitchy,it's hilarious.
Keeper!
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on 12 February 2015
Quality was good even though it was used.
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on 13 June 2007
The cover gives you some idea about the character of the Anonymous Lawyer He has horns, a devil tail and what could be a good suit. Though to be fair lawyers aren't known for buying halo polish. AL is a hiring partner at one of the world's largest law firms and he starts a blog. Everyone has a blog: I'm expecting The Queen to start one, anonymously of course. Well she couldn't be that anonymous; there aren't that many people who do her job.

We're presented with a series of blog posts and email exchanges as AL butts horns with `The Jerk'. And they do feel like blog posts. Everyone has a nickname matching their character. My favourite being `The Woman That Hugs Everybody'. He changes the places, dates, and outcomes of events to remain anonymous. But he worries for how long it will be before he found out.

If it was an actual blog printed out I could see this being less exciting. But it's not just a blog. It is a novel with a plotline and character development. And that's what makes it very readable.

Each of the posts give you a glimpse of behind the scenes of a law firm, at least it sounds convincing like a real law firm from the descriptions of the counting of Post-Its to the billing clients for researching in the bathroom.

But most convincing is the character of AL. He does start off as a bit of Devil, but through the posts and more usually the e-mails he seems to be as human as the rest of us, if a little cynical, and a bit too rich.

It's not all successful. Making it blog-like with a compelling character and a plot that doesn't seem too extreme for the world it inhabits doesn't need to be promoted for having "up-to-the-minute references", which are going to date it more than it needs to. It gets a little too soft in the middle when AL seems to run out of nasty things to torment the `summers'.

Anonymous Lawyer is also a live a blog (anonymouslawyer.blogspot.com). I've not read it yet as not to effect my impression of this debut. I'm hoping there'll be a sequel. For writers of anonymous blogs there could even be few writing tips to be had.

Overall, an enjoyable and non-taxing read that had me laughing out loud more than once. Highly recommended.
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