Minyoung Lee's Reviews > The Pelican Brief

The Pelican Brief by John Grisham
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Sep 16, 2012

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Read from September 08 to 16, 2012

Strangely enough, I found it extremely difficult to concentrate on the plot of this book. The premise should be intriguing enough, and the story is set in one of my favorite cities with a villain whose name almost sounds like my favorite artist, yet I was not thoroughly engaged. About half way, I realized what was so distracting, other than the frequent use of pay phones but that should not be a major drawback to the plot, and it was the setting in New Orleans itself that seemed to be the plot's weak link.

I just could not imagine this story taking place in New Orleans. Perhaps pre-Katrina New Orleans was a place very different to what I know now, but it just did not work out for me. I think the plot would have fit in more organically if the setting was in Houston, Tampa, or maybe even Mobile, but definitely not New Orleans. I understand part of the reason the author decided to chose New Orleans as the setting was to use the pelican as its metaphor, and Louisiana is the pelican state. Yes, I get it logically... but it still does not work out very well in terms of how the setting feels. The setting was more of a distraction than helping the story, so much that I just could not enjoy the plot anymore.
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