I tried. I really did. I opened John Grisham's The Appeal with no prejudices - or rather, with the prejudices shoved firmly to the back of my mind - and yet I fear I must report that I did not like the book at all.
The Appeal, which comes out Tuesday, is a legal thriller, only it thrills are somewhat non-existent. It's a slog and a half, no excitement, no escapism, just plodding.
I know there was a time when everybody read Grisham, and clearly they still do; his last novel, about a football team in Italy eating pizza or some such thing, made the bestseller lists. But it feels as though it's been a really long time since anyone got excited about a new Grisham book, eons since every other person you saw reading in an airport was lugging around a copy of The Firm. Which I too read a thousand years ago. I think I liked it. I don't remember much about it. But it was distracting, light entertainment. Nothing wrong with that.
It's just, who cares anymore? If we want to read legal thrillers there are so many other places to turn (many of which, I would assume, provide something better than The Appeal). I finished the book and will post a review of it Tuesday but...is his name alone enough to grab readers anymore?