Thursday, January 11, 2007

Book Review - The Innocent Man by John Grisham

John Grisham puts the lie to the idea that becoming a Christian automatically makes you a far right Republican. His early writings (pre coming to Jesus) reflect the same kind of bleeding heart liberalism that can now be found in "The Innocent Man." Having said that, I like John Grisham, as a writer and as a man.

First of all, he is a lawyer who doesn't have much good to say about most lawyers. Don't you already like him. Second of all, his liberalism seems to come from the depths of his real life experiences, not his college professors.

As a writer, he has few equals actively putting pen to paper today. While my partner complained that "The Innocent Man" was dry as dust, I found it to be very compelling. While this is the true story of a man charged with murder, and his trip through a corrupt and inept legal system. Because of some relationships we have in our ministry, the prison stories and the life of this man rang totally true. For those who don't have contact with folks in the prison system or who are afflicted with serious mental illness, it may seem too sympathetic to the problems the main character faces.

While Grisham states in the afterword that his decision to write a non-fiction book was based on the multi-layered story that this case offered, it is hard to imagine that his motivation was not at least significantly due to his aversion to the death penalty. He has written about this before in a fictional work.

If you like legal thrillers, you'll probably like this one.

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