The Broker

The last John Grisham book I read was The Summons, and it was a decent read. Before that, the last Grisham book I had tackled was The Chamber, but I got bored and put it down before I was even a fourth of the way through, and have never picked it up again.
Now, as far as decent fiction you don’t have to really think about, the kind of books perfect for waiting around in airports, flying, or while on your daily bus or train commute, Grisham’s work is usually perfect. I adore The Pelican Brief, not only because of the the writing, but also because my wife went to Tulane Law, and we were living in New Orleans when I read the book and when the movie came out. It’s the only Grisham novel I have in hardcover.
However, like I said, with one exception, it’s been awhile since I picked up a Grisham book. That changed two weeks ago.
On Sunday, December 18th, while browsing the books at Costco, I happened upon The Broker. I read the synopsis on the back cover. It sounded intriguing. Certainly more intriguing than the synopses for the other Grisham books I’d picked up and not purchased for the past decade or so. It went in to the cart, and I started reading it a couple of hours after we got home.
I finished it Monday night. Yes, that Monday, as in the very next day, the 19th. I told my wife how good I thought it was, and she started it three days ago, and finished it off last night.
It’s as if after a long dry spell of just churning out books because that was what was expected of him, Grisham decided to write a book he would enjoy writing (which it sounds like he did, based on the acknowledgments) as well as one he would enjoy reading, and it shows.
Most of the book takes place in Italy, which Grisham traveled through as part of his research. This could very well have a lot to do with why I enjoyed the book, as the author transports you to the cities and towns of Italy, and it gave my imagination a workout. Yet it has to be more than that, and I believe it’s because it has the Grisham flow that made his early works so popular.
The Broker is not going to win any literary awards, but let’s face it: as with the Academy Awards, awards don’t often reflect the reality of the marketplace. It’s a fun book, and Retrophisch™ Recommended.

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