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The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'The Brethren':
Reviewer Kory Davis wrote:
This is the first of your books of my new author to read all of their books. It was an exceptionally well book in my opinion. More books like this and you will become my new favorite author. Right now it is robert Cormier. Thanks for listening(reading).
Reviewer nelly wrote:
Mr.grisham,what is happening to your writing,it keeps getting worse. your last 3 books(the breathren, the testament,the street lawyer) are just not you. so whats happening?
Reviewer amazon.com wrote:
John Grisham's novels have all been so systematically successful that it is easy to forget he is just one man toiling
away silently with a pen, experimenting and improving with each book. While not as gifted a prose stylist as Scott
Turow, Grisham is among the best plotters in the thriller business, and he infuses his books with a moral valence and
creative vision that set them apart from their peers.
The Brethren is in many respects his most daring book yet. The novel grows from two separate subplots. In the first,
three imprisoned ex-judges (the "brethren" in the title), frustrated by their loss of power and influence, concoct an
elaborate blackmail scheme that preys on wealthy, closeted gay men. The second story traces the rise of presidential
candidate Aaron Lake, a puppet essentially created by CIA director Teddy Maynard to fulfill Maynard's plans for
restoring the power of his beleaguered agency.
Grisham's tight control of the two meandering threads leaves the reader guessing through most of the opening
chapters how and when these two worlds will collide. Also impressive is Grisham's careful portraiture. Justice Hatlee
Beech in particular is a fascinating, tragic anti-hero: a millionaire judge with an appointment for life who was rendered
divorced, bankrupt, and friendless after his conviction for a drunk-driving homicide.
The book's cynical view of presidential politics and criminal justice casts a somewhat gloomy shadow over the tale. CIA
director Teddy Maynard is an all-powerful demon with absolute knowledge and control of the public will and public
funds. Even his candidate, Congressman Lake, is a pawn in Maynard's egomaniacal game of ad campaigns, illicit
contributions, and international intrigue. In the end, The Brethren marks a transition in Grisham's career toward a more
thoughtful narrative style with less interest in the big-payoff blockbuster ending. But that's not to say that the last 50
pages won't keep your reading light turned on late.
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