togoI have just read John Grisham’s ‘Theodore Boone’. I’m not sure I have ever read a Grisham book before, though I have heard many of them on audio CDs. I tend to buy CD sets on the motorway when I drive south on the M74 and M6. If you have experienced the M6 between Preston and Birmingham, then you will know that it is probably the worst road in the world (and I have driven the road between Lome and Kara in Togo. Believe me, that is another story. You drive around bodies of dead men… and they are still there when you drive back a week later. So perhaps the M6 isn’t that bad after all).
I always mean to manage the drive without these audio CDs because they aren’t cheap. But at around 100 miles from home I pull into services and go through the racks in WHSmith. Grisham is always there. On my previous trip south I bought ‘Ford County’ and enjoyed it – when driving I need something that doesn’t tax my brain too much, I need most of those little grey cells to handle what is happening on the road around me and John Grisham on audio is about right for that. But I shall not buy any more of his stuff in book form because curled up on the sofa I need something that will engage 100% of my brain (I know that never happens, I’m simply saying it for effect). Grisham’s books have been described as potboilers which is a little unfair. But what the hell, he entertains me whilst driving. I know he’s not Graham Greene or J M Coetzee. They are for curling up with (if you know what I mean).
And Theodore Boone? Well, I’m no critic but I would say it was written for 12 year olds*. It is in big print, with lots of spaces, so there isn’t as much of it as you think. Also, if you are hard-of-seeing, you won’t have trouble reading it.
*Now I know why. Google it and you will see that it is written for children. So why doesn’t it say that anywhere on the version I bought? It says ‘kid lawyer’ on the cover of the US version and ‘young lawyer’ on the early UK versions. So why leave it off, wasn’t it selling? And why was it with Grisham’s ‘adult’ books in WHSmith at the airport last week?