16 May 2009

The Associate by John Grisham

The Case of the Disappointed Reader

John Grisham is not just a best-selling writer, he's a social activist. In this book, he's focussed even more than in others on his world of high-billing lawyers without a real personal life of their own. There's an intense bitterness right through it that big business is all about senseless greed, perversion and hypocrisy, and big money has its own syndromes and sad stereotypes. The enemy is even more greedy and perverted - and much more organized, better connected, and technologically even more advanced. One of the thought-provoking issues this book deals with is that of rape. If a girl consents to sex, can she change her mind once things get under way? Or if she consents and then blacks out half way through the act, is it possible for her to later claim that she had changed her mind? And how does this change when that girl is one well known for her indiscriminate sexual behaviour?

This book is not as gripping or as well constructed as some of Grisham's others - like The Runaway Jury, The Pelican Brief or even The Client. About half-way into the book, it become more engrossing but then tapers off and the ending is quite predictable.
However, Grisham has shown that he's a writer over 50 who can still weave the newest technology into his plot in a casual and effective way.

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