Brian's Reviews > The Street Lawyer

The Street Lawyer by John Grisham
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Aug 03, 08

bookshelves: r_fiction

Prosperous people should feel guilty because there are homeless people in our cities. That is the main message in this Grisham novel.

In the book are perfectly normal people who become homeless because they are down on their luck. Strangely, no mention is made of the primary sources of homelessness: drugs and mental illness. No, according to The Street Lawyer, the problem of homlessness is caused by the selfish prosperity of our country.

Besides the misled preachiness of the story, it's also rather boring.
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Jo Anne Knight In my opinion, the author was not blaming homelessness or poverty on the prosperity of our country, but the greed of those who are the most prosperous. His point has been emphasized in the years since he wrote the novel, unfortunately with many hard-working people losing their jobs, homes, health insurance, and retirement accounts.


Luke You wrote "Strangely, no mention is made of the primary sources of homelessness: drugs and mental illness." However, Mr. Grisham included this theme of mental illness and drug abuse in many of the homeless characters in, The Street Lawyer. One must only look at Ruby to see these themes. She is an addict who is homeless because of her addictions. (does that count as mentioning drugs as a source if homelessness?) You may also look at "Paul Pelham" to see a mention of mental illness. (pages 237 to 242 in case you skimmed that part) He is an obvious victim of mental illness. This does not count the multiple times the Mr. Green and other characters in the book tell Micheal that half are addicts and half suffer from mental illness. I seriously wonder if you read this book. You have made unsupported claims about The Street Lawyer, that are totally wrong. So I ask that you please read a book and think about it before writing a misleading and false review.


Frederick I totally agree with Luke.


Jo Anne Knight My apologies to both of you. I read this book in 1998 and was left after that reading with the overall impression that more law students should read it while they still might have a modicum of idealism and ethics. I even kept it in my collection of very limited volumes when I had to downsize.

I've read literally hundreds of books since then, and my old brain just doesn't retain the details of them all. I should reread it, and I commend you for reading it so closely and remembering such specific details.

I'll read the book again before making comments that may be misleading.


Nicole I also agree with Luke, I distinctly remember several mentions of mental illness being one of the causes of homelessness. This story also made me see how anyone can end up homeless as easy as the next person.


Mommalibrarian mental illness and addiction both alchol and drugs are covered extensively - perhaps you read it too long ago.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

the book was well written but it was wrong, in that it propagates the typical liberal myth of a "zero sum game".


Selina Drug use and mental illness are mentioned every single time he interacts with his clients. And if you think the class divide doesn't contribute to homelessness, you really ought to go out and do some actual homework, preferably with the homeless and their allies.


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