Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Review of Ford County - by John Grisham

Sarah and I often read a book together before bedtime.  We take turns choosing.  This was my pick. 
I love reading John Grisham, but I usually try to stay away from him when I'm not on vacation.  I have a bad habit of staying up late into the night to finish one of his suspenseful books.
This book is a different format, though.  Instead of his standard novel, this is a collection of short stories.  Also, none of them are terribly suspenseful, so that made it a nice fit for reading before bed.  We could stop whenever we wanted.
 The stories all have a loose connection with law: death row inmates, wills, bankruptcy, lawsuits, divorce, etc.  However, law and lawyers play a much smaller role in most of the stories.  In fact, only 3 of the 7 have a lawyer as a main character.
This was a good read, but not one of my favorite Grisham books.  It reminded me a lot of Ernest Hemmingway's short stories.  There is this deep sense of disappointment with life - especially in small town Mississippi.  (All of the stories are placed in Grisham's home area: Ford County, Mississippi).  Every story has a deep note of sadness and even despair.  Yet, even so, reading them is enjoyable - in a cathartic, companion for misery, kind of way.
I would recommend this book for someone who is just looking for some casual reading or for someone who wants a look (albeit a bit depressing) into small town American life.  The Josh rating: JJJ.
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