The Litigators by John Grisham, review


This is the second book I’ve inhaled during the last two weeks, a good speed for me. (See my recent review of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.) This one took about five days. I like to read but I’m lazy about it so I must have been gifted with two decent books this Christmas.

The Litigators is “good Grisham”. IMO it’s not as gripping as The Confession (chilling because it could happen), The Innocent Man (chilling because it is non-fiction and did happen) or The Appeal (disconcerting because it too could or does happen). On a Grisham scale I give it 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend it.

I find good fiction entertaining, relaxing, and escapist. One can let go of one’s own mundane life and vicariously observe the lives of others from the un-interfering vantage point of a lesser deity perhaps. With Grisham you also feel you are learning something about law.

I won’t bore you with a plot summary or details. You can find those everywhere and with a title of The Litigators you can be fairly certain this is another Grisham book about law, fiction in this case. Many of his fiction books and characters have such a considerable believability to them that you think they must be closely related to real life. At the beginning of The Litigators the characters seemed like slightly aberrated, almost comic, caricatures of real people and it led me to think that THIS was different. They were believable enough to hold my interest.

Like any good suspense mystery, which most Grisham novels have plenty of, the reader, like any good detective, is trying to guess the outcome as the story evolves. The plot line in this story was fairly straight forward and did not have several seemingly unrelated plots melding in a big, oh wow, finale. It did keep me guessing enough to remain entertained to the end.

Someday maybe I must read about plot structure and fiction writing. How someone like Grisham who has written at least 2 dozen books can keep coming up with enough plot twists and turns to hold your interest yet again without becoming too formulaic is a marvel to behold.

In addition to being entertained I liked that this novel got me thinking about lawsuits and torts (wrongful acts or an infringement of a right (other than under contract) leading to legal liability).

We are lawsuit crazy these days. Is this good or bad? Isn’t this self-responsibility and individual freedom at its best? Rather than having the government legislate every minute aspect of our lives and economy shouldn’t people and businesses be generally free to do as they please and then suffer the crippling costs and penalties of a court of law for various injuries they cause? What about the settlements and the huge amounts the lawyers make? It often seems like they are vastly overpaid. Thoughts to ponder. Thoughts to ponder.

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