The Appeal Hardcover – 29 Jan 2008
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John Grisham is now an institution -- a writer whose bestselling status is assured, So assured, in fact, that expectations for each new book are as high as can be imagined. Does The Appeal make the grade? And will it appeal to Grisham admirers -- or disappoint them?
The stakes in the novels plot are high: corporate crime on the largest scale. The duo of lawyers at the centre of the narrative are Mary and Wes Grace, who succeed in a multimillion dollar case against a chemical company, who have polluted a town with dumped toxic waste. A slew of agonising deaths have followed this, but lawyers for the chemical company appeal, and a variety of legal shenanigans are employed -- and it is certainly not clear which way the scales of justice will be finally balanced.
As ever with Grisham, the mechanics of plotting are key, and the characterisation is functional rather than detailed. But it is (as always) more than capable of keeping the reader totally engaged. Given John Grisham's much-publicised conversion to born-again Christianity, it's intriguing to note here the implicit criticism of the moral majoritys religious values, but that is hardly central to the enterprise. What counts is the storytelling, and while the writing is as straightforward and uncomplicated as ever, few readers will put down The Appeal once they have allowed it to exert its grip on upon them. --Barry Forshaw
"Recalling Dickens and other 19th century fiction... Riveting." (Sunday Times)
"What he does so well is to people his plots with clearly defined characters... He makes it riveting." (Mirror)
"A tense, thoughtful, absorbing read." (The Times)
"As usual Grisham is fantastically skilful at delineating the procedural ins and outs of the legal and business worlds in such a way that, as the reader, you feel rather clever yourself." (Daily Express)
"Reads both like an inspirational debut and a brilliant career masterpiece... Technically the book is a tour de force, the characters perfectly balanced and precisely drawn, the forward-thrusting chapters sculpted in size and rhythm... The Appeal is a blatant page turner but I guarantee you will hate reaching the end." (Sunday Express) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book and his last 'Playing for Pizza' have been the two worst Grisham books that I have read. How can a man who has written some of the best books I have ever read write two books on the spin which, in being kind, I would say were a complete waste of money?!!!!!!!
In all sincerity, I would have to think twice before buying another Grisham new release!
Essentially a sordid tale of big business and politics vs. big verdicts and class action lawsuits, it begins nicely, and gathers steam, then proceeds to continue blowing hot air at the reader until the unsatisfactory quickie ending.
While there's some food for thought regarding how the legal, political, religious and business arenas may all be connected, there's more garnish than meat in a story which could have been cut by about 100 pages of the filler, and sweetened with about 50 more pages of conclusion for dessert.
Short Attention Span Summary (SASS)
1. Large company dumps chemicals in rural community
2. Water changes color
3. People get sick
4. Some die
5. Small law firm files lawsuit
6. Large verdict awarded
7. Big business takes over
8. Money talks
9. Once again, Grisham gets tired of his own rambling and wraps up story in indecent haste leaving most of his ends dangling
10. His ends aren't pretty
I'd like to sue for 50% of my money back, plus loss of productive time, legal costs and mental trauma, and also for punitive damages, but I guess I'd lose on appeal.
Rated: 2.5 stars for half of a good book
So to all the others in the Grisham holiday reading club I'd suggest you get your expectations tuned down a bit: if you are expecting more of the same super lealpap then you'll be left a little empty come the (poor but timely) ending.
The story written around this is both believable and engrossing. It's not just a legal thriller, it's much more tha that. It's more a thriller about the legal system. I had never actually read a Grisham book before, only ever seen the films, but I was relieved to find that this was a fine and exciting read. Recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Disappointed - did not reach the high standard normally set by John GrishamPublished 1 month ago by Eagle Al
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This book started well but it soon became clear that the characters were worse than two dimensional and the plot was a series of cliches. Read morePublished 1 month ago by J Something