But The Appeal is just like all those dozens of lawsuit novels in between A Time to Kill and The Innocent Man: bad dialogue and stereotypical characters. But what really, really bugs me about Grisham is that he constantly abuses that writers' maxim: show, don't tell. He is always telling the reader how to think in his descriptions of people and situations. If a man drinks too much and wears a wrinkled brown suit, he is questionable and probably a washed-up lawyer. On the other hand, if a man wears a sharp, expensive suit, he is likely a slimy, big-business bad guy. It's the same in all Grisham novels. If Grisham wants the reader to feel a certain way about an issue, he practically tells us (in fact, sometimes he does). He wants to make sure we get his point. Sure, Grisham can tell a great story (although the plots of these novels all run together), but there is no craft to his writing.
Well, except in A Time to Kill, The Painted House, and The Innocent Man. He needs to study his own works.
I actually threw the book on the floor and said, "I hated this book" when I finished it today, somewhere close to our destination of Williamsburg, Virginia. So there.