Sunday, 2 October 2005

Book Review: The Broker (John Grisham)

Yes yes, it's a John Grisham book. I have to review it, ok? And besides, I've read almost every other book he's released, so why stop now? :)

As for the Nix books, I'm halfway through Drowned Wednesday, so I figured I'll wait till I've finished it first and do the review one shot later. :)

In the meantime, here's the Grisham review, which is just to get me started on my PROPER review which I owe Daphne...


Title: The Broker
Author: John Grisham

Before he was sent to federal prison for treason (among other things), Joel Backman was an extremely powerful man. Known as "the broker," Backman was a high roller - a lawyer making $10 million a year who could "open any door in Washington."

That is, until he tried to broker a deal selling access to the world's most powerful satellite surveillance system to the highest bidder. When caught, Backman accepted prison as the one option that would keep him safe and alive, since the interested parties (the Israelis, the Saudis, the Russians, and the Chinese) were all itching to get their hands on his secrets at any cost.

Little does he know that his own government has designs on accessing that information - or at least letting it die with him. Now, six years after his incarceration, the director of the CIA convinces a lame duck president to pardon Backman, and the broker becomes a free man - and an open target.

(Synopsis taken from Amazon)

What I liked:

  • It's well-paced. Well, almost.
  • It's easy to read
  • It's easy to understand
  • It's easy to get into
  • It's easy to finish
  • Ah heck. It's an easy book to read, ok?

What I didn't like:

  • TOO easy to read. Like Grisham really wasn't making much of an effort to write this.
  • A bit anti-climatic
  • Somewhat cliched. Oh well, it's Grisham after all.
  • Characters too shallow
  • Everything seemed too EASY for Backman.


I didn't like the Broker as much as The Last Juror, or A Time to kill, because the whole premise and the whole plot is just so shallow, and the characters are so shallow, and the book is so light-weight that it makes Harry Potter seem like cerdible literature (damn I gotta stop using Harry Potter as an example. It's too easy a target....)

Judging from his 'disclaimer' at the end of the book where he says that he doesn't know nuts about satellites or technology (but he DOES know Bologna, little wonder most of the best bits are centered there), I'm guessing that this book is some kind of 'experiment' for Grisham.

I'm just thankful that I didn't pay any money to read his experiment, because The Broker is definitely not one of Grisham's best (for all THAT'S worth, I guess).

Oh, it's a decent enough read, I guess. But only when you have nothing else better to read (which is REALLY sad. Go get more books!). Or you're stuck in an airport with nothign else to read this is even sadder, because you'd have no choice BUT to read it....).

Otherwise, just borrow it if you're like me and just HAVE to read almost every single book the guy has released....

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