If you were to ask me who my favorite fiction writer is, by default I would have to say John Grisham, probably because I’ve read more of his books than any other fiction author. That’s not to say others don’t live up.
Suzanne Collins hasn’t written as many books, even though I’ve read all eight (actually, nine) of her works.
Jeff Smith is a graphic novelist, so he can’t count as a fiction author.
And Stephen King just wasn’t the right fit for me.
Plus, I love courtroom action, and I think Grisham does it best.
But somewhere in the middle of his writing career, he kind of lost his touch. Sure, most of us can agree that his books set outside the courthouse are left wanting a little more substance (or plot), but the most recent trial books I’ve read by him haven’t necessarily lived up to par, either. I remember loving one of them immensely (The Broker, maybe?), but the ending was so sudden and unsatisfying that I ended up hating it.
So I want to find out what went wrong. At what point did America’s favorite storyteller lose his knack for captivating his readers? (Or hasn’t he?) You see, I want to avoid whatever mistakes he made, and capitalize on his strengths (and there are many), because I may or may not be writing my own courtroom book currently. And in order to do it well, I want to learn from the best.
I’ll be reading them in order of release from A Time to Kill, which I’m almost done with, to Rogue Lawyer.
Some of them I’m very excited about revisiting, like The Firm, The Client, The Testament, and others not so much, like A Painted House and Playing for Pizza.
But we can’t expect a perfect 100 from someone’s who’s given us almost forty titles. So, Mr. Grisham, here’s to the next couple of years spent together in thrilling courtroom (and sometimes sports, rural, and Christmas) bliss.
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