Leah's Reviews > Gladiator-at-Law

Gladiator-at-Law by Frederik Pohl
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's review
Aug 27, 2008

did not like it
Read in September, 2008

** spoiler alert ** The title of this book is deceiving. I mean, seriously, you think there are going to be lawyers fighting it out in the stadium -- blood, guts, and all the rest. Rock on! But it never really happens. There are a lot of potentially interesting social themes in the book -- too many really -- but none are handled masterfully.

The writing is also less than stellar, possibly exacerbated by having two authors. (For example, I'd lose track of which character was being discussed because they'd switch between using first name, last name, or no name to refer to the person.) Many characters were just caricatures. Women were either skanks or just kind of dumb or petty or, in the case of one, evil. There were no women who had positive, substantive roles in the book.

I also just didn't get it. At the end, we find out (spoiler ahead) that there are these two ancient, decrepit shells of human beings running their evil empire from an otherwise abandoned New York City. What? I know there's some lesson to be learned about greed or something, but I'm not sure what it is.

I did like the guerrilla tactics the protagonists employed to destroy the reputation of the bubble house. Otherwise, I don't have anything very good to say about this book.

I wanted to like this book because of its name and sexy cover art. (The cover art on my book is not what appears on GoodReads.) Alas, it was not to be. Even on a 10-hour airplane ride with only children's movies to watch, I could barely bring myself to finish it.

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