Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham (Hodder)

roguelawyer“My name is Sebastian Rudd, and though I am a well-known street lawyer, you will not see my name on billboards, on bus benches, or screaming at you from the yellow pages.”

THERE is a library near me, beside a rather tasty estate, where the only fiction books in stock are crime novels. I am wondering in the same way if John Grisham might not also be popular with prison librarians looking for It Weren’t Me Guv stories or It Was A Fit Up, Yr Honour. Wikipedia assures me he has sold 275 million copies worldwide of this kind of pondlife despondency. I am taken aback. If some people actually think this is ‘reading’ we may need to redefine the word. This is to mainline on useless violent nonsense.

Firstly I have some difficulty in envisaging this town where everyone seems to hate each other, be on the take or down and out, if not all three at the same time. Maybe Mississippi is like that, maybe more like Minsk.

Secondly Seb Rudd is a pretty nasty piece of work. He does not like to talk much. His wife only lets him see his only son for 36 hours a month. What he likes to do is fight – there is a whole macho sub culture going on here about when it is reasonable to hit anyone at all. Seb tries to channel it into the courtroom where he can beat you up in cross examination. It is not even tough stuff, just a bit nasty.

Our Seb, we are continually being told, by him, is on the side of right – it is just everyone else – police, judges, prosecutors, special agents, you name it have all got it sooo wrong. It is called ambulance chasing. He gets the cases no other lawyer wants.

He is not so much the Tom Cruise from the movie The Firm but more a pugilistic, mumbling Sylvester Stallone…

You want to take him to one side, carefully because he might detonate at any moment, and ask him why? What is an intelligent capable attorney like you doing this for?

He would answer for sure: because no one else will. He is the lone vigilante.

Yeah sure, Seb, but how come you present your own backyard in these dystopian, disfunctional, disfigured terms? (Grisham in fact served 10 years as a Mississipi attorney).

Everything here, aspiring writers please note, is reduced to a sort of plot. Seb tells you that his client hasn’t got a hope. Seb tells you that his client hasn’t got a hope. Seb tells you that his client hasn’t got a hope etc, as often as necessary to rub the point home. Then, blow me, maybe…You get my drift, it is hardly even story telling, it is certainly not character building, it is not scene setting, it is not even cause and effect, it is just a pendulum swinging from one set of circumstances to another. A circus trick, a wave from the high wire.

There is an arguement about American right wing politics that it is many fractured different elements who are bound together by a rabid paranoia as to the others…and what those others might do to them. Grisham puts it like this:

“This is what happens when the cops act on one of their smart hunches, and march off in the wrong direction, controlling the rumours and taking the press off with them. The prosecutor joins the parade early on, and before long  it becomes  an organised and semi-legitimate lynching”.

I would call it financial fascism. In this form of noxious nazism just read affluence for ayran. It is not my kind of reading, in part because I don’t believe it, and in part because I dislike books that promote it.

 

About drewsmith28

Words, words, words...
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