John's Reviews > The Client

The Client by John Grisham
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's review
Aug 03, 2011

liked it

Ok, so I was right- John Grisham was better at this back in the early 90s than he was a decade later when he was writing crud like "The Broker". But he wasn't THAT much better. I read The Firm and the Pelican Brief back when they came out and I remember reading a few chapters of this one and liking it, but getting distracted, putting it down, and never picking it back up again. Revisiting it, it is certainly a page-turner and not bad, but it is also repetitive and goes on a bit too long, and has something of a head-scratcher for a final "twist". The dust jacket talks about one character's "crazy plan that just might work", and I dunno...the plan is crazy all right, but it also doesn't make much sense or amount to much of anything.
However, as I said, a better book than "Broker". I think this comes back to what I am starting to consider the George Lucas rule. Writers, movie directors, and other artistic types tend to perform a little better I think when they are young and under more severe constraints, and are forced to keep things simple. Young authors do not have the clout to boss their editors around. I wonder if by the mid-2000's Grisham could just write whatever he wanted and know that people weren't going to mess with it. This might encourage him to write this complicated, crazy story with dozens of characters and all kinds of settings, jumping back and forth between Washington and Italy and Switzerland, etc. But back in the early 90s, he was keeping it simple: two main characters, 75% of the book set in Memphis, one major crime, easy to grasp who everyone is. Remember, just because you CAN have Obi-wan ride a dragon, doesn't mean you SHOULD.

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