The Partner - John Grisham
Grisham is not my favorite author. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Frankly, he's fluff for long car rides and plane travel and that's it. His characters are shallow. His plots are, well, way too reliant on longshots and coincidences. So, yeah. Not good books. And it's frustrating, because every once in a while Grisham does something like The Painted House, where he shows that there is a real writer in his skin somewhere, if only he would let that person out more often.
One good thing about Grisham, the saving grace of his books (most of them anyway) is that he knows the law and understands the issues plaguing the legal community. And he knows how to write about them in a way that feels genuine to attorneys while still being comprehensible for the layman. That is the saving grace that made The King of Torts tolerable. If you've ever wondered about those mesothelioma commercials, there's a good primer on mass tort strategy (and more specifically on how firms make it pay off for them) woven into the text of the book. That, however, is the only thing that makes the book even marginally tolerable.
Sadly, The Partner does not even have that going for it. Remember the lead character from The Firm? Well, The Partner tells the story of what happens after he's apprehended, and it is no where near as interesting as it could have been. And, to make matters worse, there really is not hidden aspect of the legal system that you get an insider's view on. No, it's just one long celebration of how very, very clever the main character is.
The King of Torts is a pretty good airplane read (or long-car-drive listen). The Partner is a waste of time.
Books Read: 16 / 100
Pages Read: 7,269 / 60,000