Grishams brilliant, I've read all his non-courtroom novels as well. Its funny I read 'Bleachers', enjoyed the book but didn't take it any further. But only recently I read 'Playing For Pizza' and now if I see American Football on tv I'll watch it.
I watched the Saints vs the Colts in the Superbowl because of that book(read up on the rules of the game first of course).
Well, I felt that he made the game easy to understand in the book but didn't over simplify it. But the main reason it worked for me was the location of the story.
Basing his novel in Italy really worked in 'The Broker' so I was happy to see him write about it again. Also the main character Rick Dockery was a bit unlike his other characters, having to cope with a different kind of adversity.
All in all, good read but I'm waiting to read The Appeal next... so back to the courtroom for me!
I was a fanatic of John Grisham when he was coming out with his older books. It seems that he's really been tamed. If you think about the fact that he wrote "A Time To Kill" under a pseudonymn, because he was afraid of being attacked, to now, where he's like main stream to the nth, I dunno.
But I do love his older books :
"A Time To Kill"
"The Rainmaker" [I think is the title, the film's with a very young Matt Damon and a still active Danny Devito.]
I could go on, but anybody looking for recommendations should try any of these books.
I'm kind of getting the same feeling, massive fan but there's a bit of a spark missing from some of the recent stuff coming out which isn't interesting me. I tried to read 'The Confession' a while ago and it didn't really grab me at all, even felt more like something that would have been better for a short story.
Probably 'The Broker' and 'The Associate' were the last two of the legal ones which I would call vintage Grisham. He's also better when violence or violent themes are mixed in with all the legal prose, gives a charge to the story and is what makes the older ones like 'The Pelican Brief', 'The Client', 'A Time to Kill', 'The Chamber', and many others special.
If you like legal thrillers though, William Diehl's 'Primal Fear', Reed Arvin's 'The Will' and most clear in my memory James Sheehan's 'The Mayor of Lexington Avenue' are great reads in that genre.
I know which exactly which book put me off Grisham when I read it.
"The King of Torts." It was soooo... not intense. Now I just recycle the early books through, they've never lost their "tenseness." Their "I can't quit reading right now the next chapter this something's going to happen and I have to stick with it-ness."
'The King of Torts' didn't have the danger I feel but was more a commentary about how shallow and greedy a guy could get within the legal world and the pitfalls with that. I read it, and liked it but it left no real lasting impression. I know what you mean with the earlier ones, he can write great action, and some seriously deranged characters but hasn't done that in a while I feel.
He needs to go back to that and get off this corporate espionage and big firm settlement train and put a charge through his writing again.
Because there's only so many ways you can write about small-time victims vs big-time oil/toxic waste/cigarette companies before you realise that's all he's writing.