14 Nov 2020

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Book Review / The Appeal by John Grisham

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 novel's 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 majority's 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

Published:     1st January 2008
Publisher:  Century
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned


There's nothing better than sitting down to read a new to you book from a favourite author.  The Appeal is a novel that I had not picked up yet and in my mission to read all of his novels, in publication order, this one was next.  I had not read this before so I was really excited to get started.

Basically, we follow a case where there is a town that has been abused by a chemical company, where it has been illegally dumping chemicals into the town's water supply.  The inhabitants of the town had unknowingly been consuming these chemicals and now people are getting ill and, in fact, a father and a son have died.  The case we follow was brought forward by the wife/mother.  We follow various characters in this book, including my favourites which are Mary and Wes Grace who are lawyers who used to be very successful but have had bad luck and are now close to bankruptcy.  With a light at the end of the tunnel in sight, they are fighting both for their client and for their livelihood. 

I know I have given this a five stars because yes I loved it but I also hated it a little bit too, if that makes sense.  I loved the journey the author takes me on in this story through both law and politics.  This is exactly what I wanted when I picked up this book and it is John Grisham at his best and I can't wait to follow his journey as I read more and more of his books.  When I say I hated this book a little bit, maybe that might be a bit of an exaggeration but that ending!  I wasn't expecting it and did not love it but I guess being true to the story not everything always goes to plan.  We can't always have what we want.