John Grisham - The Rainmaker
I completed this book months ago, but I put off writing about it due to my ignorance. See, The Rainmaker is a work of fiction in the legal drama subgenre, an area Iíve never explored before. So no matter how much I enjoyed the novel (though itís true I enjoy just about everything I read), I have no other work to compare it to. But even if Iíve never delved into the fictional world of lawyers before, The Rainmaker does not strike me as a novel that will go down as a classic. It reads like a work of Michael Crichton (Timeline, Jurassic Park): the literary equivalent of a good popcorn flick. It's somewhat entertaining and easily marketable, but will readers remember protagonist Rudy Baylor for years to come? Probably not. In fact, other similar works of Grisham (A Time to Kill) have received much more mainstream attention than this novel.
Still, Baylorís noble (and vengeful) quest to punish a greedy insurance company for the untimely death of an innocent youth should strike a chord with a wide range of readers. Baylor is a young underdog, severely outmatched and taking on years of legal experience in the form of pretentious and insanely priced legal eagles. Thankfully for Baylor, Judge Kipler, whoís presiding the case, hates insurance companies and takes pity on the naÔve lawyer. Itís immensely satisfying to see Baylor receive assistance from Kipler, who doesnít hold back in taking control of the case and striking down Great Benefitís group of bumbling representatives. Though the actions that unfold are predictable, the reader never stops cheering for Baylor and his client.
The Rainmaker is a quick read with little confusing legal jargon. Grisham definitely knows just how much technical legal speak a wide audience will tolerate. Though itís not a must read, The Rainmaker is recommended to anyone eager to cheer for a legal underdog fighting on the side of humble Americans who suffer under corporations.