John Grisham – The Testament

19 Aug

In typical Grisham style, the Testament takes us on a mysterious journey involving the good lawyer, the slightly off track lawyer and a legal case that would tie most up in knots.

In typical Grisham style, just as we would expect from work by Mary Higgins Clark, you know the format, you understand the twist and turns that the plot will take, the personal dilemmas, but you can never quite nail the story line, and you do stay guessing until the end. In my book, that makes it a good read.

What? I hear your cries…there are so many better writers…that maybe so, but I want to tell you more about this text. Now it is no work of literary fiction, don’t get me wrong. If it was, I would have run away screaming, that’s just not my thing, but this was an extremely well written novel.

The part I wish to focus on is the descriptive prose of the deepest jungles of Brazil, when Nate O’Riley goes in pursuit of Rachel Lane, a woman who has given her life to God, and unaware she has just been made a billionaire. I have never been to Brazil, the last images I have seen would I imagine be those we were shown in geography some 15 years ago (ssh I know!). With this in mind, maybe I am not the one to judge whether the description was accurate, but what I do know, was the area Grisham was describing, I was soaking it in. I could feel the heat, the muggy air, the complexities of life within such basic surroundings.

‘At the edge of the village, a group of small children stood waiting for a look at the strangers. Nate offered them all a frozen smile. He’d never felt so white in his life, and he wanted to be liked. Some naked mothers gawked from the first hut. When he and Jevy entered the wide common area, everyone stopped and stared.’

[I chose this extract merely to show the simplicity of the writing, which really enhances the ideology of the primitive Indians.]

Maybe it is the news that has made this image so imaginable, or it could be travel oversees. I will allow myself this once to say that Grisham’s apparent choice to take the time to simplify what was in mind, and to do this repeatedly throughout the book, is what made the image. Had this not been a Grisham novel, I would have told you about this author that really takes his time with setting. Maybe it is something that is always there within his work, but this novel, this imagery, really stood out.

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5 Responses to “John Grisham – The Testament”

  1. Alex November 3, 2011 at 12:27 am #

    A surprisingly entertaining novel from John Grisham – while still sticking to his legal routes, this novel takes place primarily in South America, as a troubled partner from a DC firm tries to execute the last will and testament of a cruel yet brilliant businessman who intentionally left out his extensive crazy family from his inheritance. A quick, enjoyable read that will leave you wondering what you would have done in the position of both the dying business man and the missionary doctor living an immaterial life who is left a massive fortune.

    • Ellie November 4, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

      As the missionary spend spend spend lol!

  2. Laney August 20, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    Liking the new look Ellie. Great post.

  3. Ariana@Pearl's twirl August 20, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    Love his language!

  4. Anonymous August 19, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    I so agree, I think this was one of his best. IMO he went downhill a bit after this (“tax bill books”?)

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