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John Grisham (born February 8, 1955) is an American bestselling thriller author who is being nominated again and again for the Literature Nobel Prize, but has never actually gotten it because this sort of Nobel Prize is reserved for boring third world country authors. When Grisham realized that, he started writing boring books himself. This has not achieved anything yet, but he will not give up anytime soon.
Grisham belongs to several discriminated, persecuted, and handicapped minorities of the US. First of all, he is a Southerner, meaning he is an overall slow thinker, he uses funny language and wears strange hats. Second, he is a lawyer, one of the lowest life forms on American soil. (Our European readers have to realize that an American lawyer is not like a European lawyer. Rather than save innocents from jail or fight for justice, the American lawyer lurks behind street corners and waits for accidents, in the hope of suing anyone, for whatever. An American lawyer is about as popular in America as a real estate agent or Silvio Berlusconi is in Europe.)
Unlike most Americans Grisham did not enjoy being unpopular. Thus, he started writing books about Southerners, lawyers, and other criminals, which allowed him to escape the lowliness of his lawyering environment. Today, he is rich and popular, though still a Southerner.
The Firm was Grisham's breakthrough bestseller. The novel is about a young, unsuspecting law student named Tom Cruise who seems to strike it lucky when he is accepted for an internship in a big law firm. In fact, he is the only guy in his age group who wins an internship of such prestige and he enthusiastically starts working 200 hours a week for the firm without wages, as standard practice dictates.
This, of course, is too good to be true, and Tom soon realizes that something is wrong. He finds out that the firm bills 500 hours a week for his work even though he does work only 200. And even worse, the firm secretly works for Scientology and specializes in money laundering and generally screwing people over.
Of course, the whole thing has a happy ending: Tom manages to defraud the firm for a couple of billion dollars. He proceeds to donate a couple of hundred bucks to some charities, takes the rest and sails into the sunset. (Spoiler warning!! - Oh, too late.)
The Pelican Brief
With The Pelican Brief, Grisham came up with yet another blockbuster. The novel is about a young, unsuspecting law student named Julia Roberts, who is bored in the university and hence begins writing creative articles for Uncyclopedia. In one of her funny articles she fantasizes about an evil, old, rich codger who paddles out on the Mississippi at night and strangles poor innocent pelicans. All that is just a product of her imagination, of course.
But an evil, old, rich codger who paddles out on the Mississippi at night and strangles poor innocent pelicans, by sheer chance reads her article and believes it is about him! He starts a cruel edit war against Julia, and she stands no chance against him of course. And she wrote the article under her real name! Only law students could be that dumb. So the guy haunts her in real life too and sends killers and administrators out against her.
The whole thing is thrilling as hell but of course it has a happy ending too. Julia rips the guy off for some billions, donates a couple of hundred to some charities, takes the rest and sails into the sunset.
The Client was Grisham's third hit. The novel is about an unsuspecting eleven-year-old boy (who wants to be a law student too, of course, when he is grown up) who watches the suicide of some mafia guy and learns some interesting facts about the mob in the process. In order to make the most from this opportunity, he hires a lawyer. The mafia soon realizes that it has only one option: to pay the boy off with a couple of billions so that he can sail into the sunset. But it is full of suspense too. Really.
After Grisham had completed those three extremely thrilling thrillers, he became rich and famous and decided to do something else. Instead of thrilling thrillers he wrote a couple of tedious books in which his heroes were no longer pursued by killers. The funny thing was that these books were became bestsellers anyway - he probably made a deal with the mafia to write only harmless stuff which does not jeopardize their "invisibility". In return, the mafia buys the books in bulk. A classical win-win agreement. Only that the reader who accidentally buys a recent Grisham book might feel a little disconcerted. But who cares.