Marie-Jo Fortis's Reviews > The Appeal

The Appeal by John Grisham
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Sep 23, 2011

really liked it
Read in June, 2010

Frankly, I don't get all the negative reviewing about THE APPEAL. I read about a dozen of Grisham novels and got addicted, not so much for the style, but for the cleverness of the plots and the message of redemption at the end of many of his novels. When I got to PLAYING FOR PIZZA, however, I thought, what's that? Where has Grisham gone? But I didn't give up. I then pickep up THE LAST JUROR. Slow, slow pace there. Still, I appreciated the psychology and the Balzacian approach and I could see Grisham emerging from muddy waters. My Grisham addiction was still alive apparently when I grabbed THE APPEAL. I plunged into the book and heard that voice in my head proclaim, "Yeah! Grisham is back!" And he is. There is a verve, a bite, and sense of satire that match the plot. A momentous plot. A chemical company has dumped toxic waste in rural Mississipi and caused cancer and death amidst its population. Local lawyers have won a suit against the company with the jury awarding its plaintiff a huge amount of money. But to get the money, they must win the appeal at the Mississipi Supreme Court.

And that's when things get complicated, for the chemical company manages, through money and manipulations, to install a judge at aforementioned Court that they know will rule in favor of them. Until the end, there is tension, and the reader hopes against all hope that those capitalist bastards will be defeated. Okay, as a member of the Green Party aware that our most precious asset (our planet) has been attacked and violated by greed at the expense of health (not to mention survival) and justice, I wanted them to be defeated. As a Western PA resident who along with many other residents once fought a company that was about to do what Grisham's chemical company did to its Mississipi residents, I prayed for the bastards to be defeated. Are they in the end? Well, start turning the pages and find out. This may be a work of fiction but it reaches a core of truth that journalism can never attain. What matters in the novel is the powerful message, the needed message sent by a writer who was effective and appealing nine times out of ten, and who now, with this novel, has become an important author. I hope he keeps writing in the same vein. I do believe however that THE APPEAL needs a follow-up book. The reason why I gave four stars instead of five to the novel is that the ending is a tad too precipitated.

But --damnit-- Grisham is back!
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