Grisham Shows His Appeal

His new novel is 'gripping,' and it comes with a message
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2008 7:49 AM CDT
John Grisham poses for a photo in 2006.    (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg, File)
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(Newser) – John Grisham has a familiar villain in his new novel—an evil corporation with a greedy owner—along with one of his famously intricate plots. But The Appeal stands apart from Grisham's previous works because it also has a message, in this case about the dirty politics of electing judges. "The Appeal delivers a real picture of a real problem," writes Steven Brill in the New York Times. "And, it all goes down easily because he spins it around such a gripping tale."

Grisham's skill in making a complicated plot hum does not, unfortunately, extend to his writing, says Brill, who finds the pages full of cliches and not-so-original turns of phrase. Grisham's description of an "anorexic wife at a charity dinner reads as if someone new to English decided to mimic the Bonfire of the Vanities," he writes.