I'm wondering, if among crime fiction enthusiasts, John Grisham doesn't get the respect he deserves. Sure, he's mega-successful in a way few authors are, and frankly, I tend to write off certain high-profile-thriller-writers-whose-names-I-shall-not-mention because some of their novels seem like they're phoned in (and in fact they actually may be) or are just plain bad. But if you've ever read a Grisham novel, you know the man tells a kick ass story.
I remember back in the day when THE FIRM came out, my friends and I passed that book around and then all went to the theatre to see the movie. Shortly after that, I went through a fairly intense John Grisham phase, reading through as many of his books as I could get my hands on. After that, I kind of got over Grisham, only to rediscover him when my mom started reading his novels in the past couple of years.
Having recently read THE BRETHEREN, THE RUNAWAY JURY, and THE LAST JUROR, I can say Grisham doesn't ride the coattails of his success, creating brittle, stereotypic characters that you've seen a thousand times. His dialogue is authentic (as far as I can tell at least), his settings are come alive and his plots are exciting. Almost makes a person want to go to law school.
When I first thought of the "25 Days of Books" idea, John Grisham was nowhere on my list. But having recently traveled to our house in Oregon and finding many of my old Grisham titles on my bookshelves, I thought hey–I gotta give the man some props. I have enjoyed his books for twenty years now, and I hope to keep on enjoying them.
If you're buying books as gifts this holiday season, please consider purchasing from your local independent bookshop. The level of customer service you'll receive is unmatched, you'll have the added benefit of making new friends of the staff, and you'll help support a local business.
Some of the books featured in this post can be purchased from the Mystery Bookstore in Los Angeles (firstname.lastname@example.org).