JOHN GRISHAM – The Pelican Brief. Bantam, paperback, 1993; Doubleday, hardcover, 1992.   Film: 1993, with Julia Roberts & Denzel Washington.


   A friend showed up on my doorstep and pressed this into my hands, saying only that this was a page-turning read.

   Well, it was, if you count skipping about 3/4 of the book as you race forward to the denouement as page-“turning.” I can’t believe that Grisham is as popular as he seems to be currently. The book is long, turgid and sloppily written. Don’t they have literate copy-editors anymore at any of the publishing houses?

   I didn’t stop to document any of the linguistic atrocities, but several of them brought me up short. Spare me any more Grisham. Life is too short and time too precious to waste on this pre-digested pablum.

— Reprinted from Walter’s Place #95, May 1993.