Saturday, May 23, 2009

"The Associate" by John Grisham

As some of you may know, I am a voracious reader. One of my friends even suggested that I blog about books, or do a book review post from time to time. I used to write book reviews for a company newsletter many years ago, and got a lot of positive feedback. However, that time has passed and I just blog about whatever strikes me. 

This book I just finished has struck me. And not in a good way, either.

I enjoy John Grisham a lot. Every time I see a new one published I go to my library and check it out. "The Associate" is his new one. It took me about 3 days to read it. It started out ok, got to be good, then turned really great. There was lots of activity, subterfuge, legalese and suspense. There was even a murder. Pretty soon I was almost at the back of the book. Noticing how few pages were left, I said to myself, "This book better start wrapping all the loose ends up soon."
I wondered what was going to happen to the characters. My mind ran through different scenarios and I was looking forward to a few double crosses as the bad guys got what was coming to them. 

(At this point in my post I'm going to write about how the book ends. Consider this a SPOILER ALERT. Read no further if you intend to read this book yourself. You have been warned.)

The book...Just. Ended. The bad guys were not caught, there was no retribution, the scared associate didn't even go into the witness protection program as he was supposed to. Hell, he didn't even get the girl!! 
For 99% of the book the plot rolled along like a rock down a hill, twisting and turning, bumpy and fun. Then the plot slowly creaked to a stop. It was if he grew tired of the characters and gave it a quick and easy ending. 
I was so unsatisfied. Then I was angry. 
This was not the quality of writing I grew to expect from John Grisham. What was happening here? I felt cheated. 
I will still read his books, but will certainly be on the lookout for more lousy endings. I hope that he is continuing to write the books himself, and not employ a ghost writer. There will probably be a while before his next book comes out, and I may even forget and forgive this transgression. Really good authors are hard to find, and I hope he stays in that category.


nighthawk said...

I once had a friend who was a ghost writer for George Plimptin. George Plimpton mind you . But it was for a periodical not books. So you never know.

Anonymous said...

How do you know John Grisham doesn't use a ghostwriter? Many famous novelists do.