I have been a big fan of John Grisham for many years and recently started listening to audible books so I was excited to hear a story I had somehow missed. I had not heard Frank Muller before and although for the most part I found his speaking style alright, I was a little put off by the over-affected accents he gave the characters. As for the story, I can emphatically say that I will not make the same mistake of downloading only one story at a time as I was stuck with no music, no radio, no wireless and no other options on a very long cross country drive with nothing but this book ... so I kept listening hoping it would improve ... no such luck. The book starts out with a bang (literally a gunshot) that changes the main character's life forever and not just temporarily as everyone and perhaps himself hope. And although I suppose I am supposed to feel empathy for the characters and the plight of those he is trying to help, I instead just felt like the author was trying to beat me over the head with his repetitive refrains to help the poor. Don't get me wrong, I understand the issues of the homeless, the poor, the mentally challenged, the legal system and how it is biased against those that suffer but the main character gives up all worldly possessions and donates both them and all of his legal talents to helping others. A worthy cause I am sure all of you would agree but instead this book just serves up a monochrome character who is ultimately smug and morally superior to all of those who only donate, oh let's say, just half of their worldly possessions and talent/time.
An accent is meant to convey a personality but that can be a double edged sword as I could not get the thought of a southern black baptist preacher/mentor/lawyer to northern white wasp lawyer/idealist out of my head based merely on the accents. Not sure that I like the characters being pigeon-holed for me by the narrator. Then again this is only Frank Muller story I have listed to so I will listen to another and then decide how I like Mr. Muller's style of speaking.
My father liked it so it must be popular with some people
Really enjoyed this character. Hope to see more of him in the future. A subtle message here for many of us!
Realistic? Uh, no. This one was so entirely slanted, I could barely endure finishing it (just a personal weakness: I finish the ones I don't care for, because I hope for a bit of redemption).
Whenever anyone who worked for a living appeared on the scene, they virtually grew horns and became the spawn of Satan.
Example: The protagonist is walking down the street and sees a shocking headline on a newspaper. He grabs the top paper and it falls apart, scattering on the street. The newsstand attendant sternly asks, "Are you going to PAY for that?" Okay, the written word doesn't do it justice; you gotta hear this part.
A huge double standard arises with law enforcement. In one chapter, Grisham (inaccurately) portrays the brute cops as Nazis sweeping the streets of defenseless, innocent homeless. In another chapter, he slams police for failing to enforce laws against homeless sleeping in areas where they might be harmed by the elements.
Grisham's gotten lazy. He needs to do a bit of research...well-rounded research. Yes, spend some time in a homeless shelter, but spend some time in a black and white, too. Find out the whole story. I've been around the judicial system for decades, Pal, and I've seen a whole lot more charitable giving from the law enforcers than I have from defense lawyers.
I really enjoyed the story. It was predictable and not my favorite for plot, but the characters were well writen. I enjoyed the intrigue but it was not his best work.
Although it has the same flavor as some of Grisham's other law firm books (young, crusading attorney fights city hall), the story was unique because of the realistic details related to DC's homeless environment. When I lived in the DC area for 2 years, i had done volunteer work at one of the downtown DC shelters that the author described so accurately. I recall being both saddened and scared to death about having to go down there with my friend so we could teach computer skills to the homeless folks there. The problem in DC is overwhelming and this story really hits home. However, as doubtful as I am that there are actually attorney's out there that would give up millions to become a public interest lawyer, I do know there are those of us that are just 'born' to serve the public. Maybe some rich, prosperous, legal beagle will pick up this read in the airport and actually have a conscious crisis and start doing volunteer work at the minimum. A volunteer's time is worth more than any cash donation. Great story.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This was the first John Grisham book i've ever read/listened to. I was impressed by the extensive research as to how street lawyers operated and the social crisis of homelessness. I will definitely relisten to this audio book again and again to remind myself of this social problem.
the authors work is always predictable but usually a good vacation read. This one didn't even reach that level - it served the purpose of a listen but never went much further.
There are too many good books out there to waste time, money or credits on this one. Want a better option - try "A Class Action"