Review: The Brethren (John Grisham)

This is probably the first time that a John Grisham novel has failed to impress me. It's not actually a bad story, but it's not really as good as the rest of the Grisham novels I've read.

The plot of this book -- at least to me -- feels quite unrealistic. Three judges in a minimum security prison convicted of various offenses doling out justice within the prison?! And at the same time running a mail scam without being caught? The CIA selecting a man to run for President and then flooding him with campaign funds? And the Director of CIA himself working on the election ads!? You'd think the CIA had nothing better to do!

Grisham drags you through nearly a third of the book with two seemingly unrelated plots before you start seeing the connection. Then he ups the pace a little bit, but still I found this a very, very average book.

The book is different from the normal John Grisham books -- there's very little of legal jargon here, none of the courtroom battles or the "lawyer-hero fighting against all odds to save his innocent client" type stuff. This is my seventh Grisham book and I think this is the farthest he has ever ventured from his legal thrillers, and maybe he deserves a pat on the back for trying to explore a different genre. But give me the choice and I'll pick the courtroom drama any day.

My rating : 5/10.


Sharif said...

A very very good review by Nithin. I have read eleven books by Grisham and without any doubt, The Brethern is the worst. I sat stupefied after finishing the book, I couldn't find "The Grisham I Knew and Adored" in that book. From the beginning to the end, The Brethern is hopelessly unreadable, it was like aimless walking all the way to a dead end. We all know that Grisham can write much much better than this. In my opinion, Grisham's best creation has been (from a literary point of view) is "The Painted House", and his most enjoyable book is "The Rainmaker".

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