Issa Book Review series with Charles Kadib…
How many books have you read this year, guys?
Okay, well, I have good news for you!
I want to help you double those numbers!
With a new book review section on this blog, of course.
You must have heard me (sorry, read me 😋) say countless times: A good writer is one who reads and reads until he cannot but write. Do you agree?
The first post in this series is on the book: The Litigators by John Grisham.
John Grisham’s The Litigators will resound with many people who toil week to week at a job they absolutely detest; those who put in all those long hours and all the while dream of a time when they would no longer have to face another dreary monday morning.
It follows the protagonist, David Zinc, who one day freezes at the entrance of his office; paralysed with the fear of facing another day of gruelling unpleasantness and at the same unnerved by the prospect of quitting and losing his only source of income.
The book at first flashes back and forth between the day he has, after he practically runs away from his job, and those of two other lawyers at a decrepit law firm which David ultimately gravitates towards.
The three men join forces to sue a huge pharmaceutical company with huge dreams of landing a large settlement and the resultant events spirals into a tale of selfishness, greed, sloppiness laced with humour and a constant undercurrent of tragedy. All three of the major characters are pathetic in one way or the
There is the senior partner Finley with an unagreeable wife who hates and is hated by everybody and whom Finley secretly wishes dead, there is the junior partner Figg who is described as “always being on a countdown of some sort”. In fact as the story opens, he counting down to when his driving license would be reactivated due to a drunk driving incidence. He is also counting days of being sober.
David, the lead protagonist is probably the most stable of all the characters as he is hampered with neither an unbearable wife nor a drinking problem. But his confusion and constant bewilderement for most part of the book is both painful and comic to watch. As he gains confidence however, he becomes assertive and in the end saves the firm from ruin. Yet despite their diverse backgrounds, they all share the singular interest of longing for a better life. Reading the book, I was however struck by three important lessons that sprang from how the characters
reacted to their dreams:
1. Never settle
Finley’s greatest problem in the book is that he never seems willing
to move outside his comfort zone, he is reluctant to take any sort of
chance and as a result, he is probably the most miserable character in
His other two associates on the other hand are always on the go. Figg
in his clumsy reckless manner and David with his calculated steps.
Their various attempts drive the story and each of them will
eventually drag the firm either way. The most important thing about
them however is the movement, their emphatic rejection and a strong
unwillingness to settle for a life that made them constantly
2. Hard work ALWAYS comes before success
Of the three major characters, Figg is the most ambitious. He works tirelessly, dreams of the big cases, advertises shamelessly as far as the firm’s budget permits and is never out of courage and energy. However, his sloppiness, hastiness, and ineptitude at due diligence not only crushes all his hopes of “hitting it big” but also drags his partners into an unimaginable financial mess.
Au contraire, David’s case which pulls his partners out of their disaster is a case that was built prudently and diligently. He turns over each stone meticulously and it is no surprise he scores where Figg fails.
3. Make your own luck
David’s case which was built with all care, succeeded because of one major ingredient.
Unlike the impatient Figg who was ready to drop the case, David spends months patiently combing shops and other likely places in search of his missing link. He builds his case at great personal expense as the firm was more interested in a suit that ultimately crumbles. He eventually finds it through a lucky chance; but it is his persistence and belief which made it so.
In the end, there is no good luck or bad luck; we all make our own luck and we do that only if we never give up trying.
Did you enjoy this review?
If yes, tell us in the comments! If no, still tell us, let’s make the next one much better for you.
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To get this book Charles reviewed, you can buy it from Roving Heights, a Lagos bookstore here.
Or on Amazon here.