A Dead Man Can’t Run Forever

If Suits is your frontrunner on the TV Shows list, John Grisham should be the frontrunner on your Books list.

The Partner by John Grisham: sort of a review

Patrick ought to count his blessings that Vakeel Vandumurugan didn’t handle his case because if he was, Patrick would be dead lang syne, that too for the second time.

Now, The Partner is a serious, racy novel plethoric with legal innuendos, long names (too many of them too to keep track of, in fact), shrewd, savvy characters and an exalting case charged for murder and robbery on a man who returned from the dead, all packed in 410 pages (actually depends on the edition you choose) under John Grisham’s finesse. Patrick Lanignan, a young lawyer was found dead (with a pelvic bone for evidence, since his car caught fire and burned to a near wipeout) by the interstates of Biloxi, they buried him under a sizable tree, sniffled and sobbed for him and went on with their lives after his memorial service. The only person happy for this tragic cataclysm was his wife, Trudy who gained two million dollars on his insurance that she never knew about. Four years later, a high-end detective agency finds him in the countryside of Brazil, getting ready for his morning jog. Grisham then reveals that Patrick (or Danilo, his Brazilian alter ego) had pulled a Brobdingnagian heist of ninety million dollars right before he faked his own death.

He is captured by the detective agency to be tortured remorselessly on repeated questioning of the whereabouts of the money he stole. The news about the capture of the dead man on the run brought back slews of interested groups; the FBI (they were just curious but well, they’re the FBI), Benny Aricia (they man who owned the ninety million dollars), Patrick/Danilo’s ex partners of the legal firm he worked for pre-death, the insurance company that paid up two million dollars to his wife, the guy his wife was cheating on and basically, the town of Biloxi on a whole with many question on their mind but the soundest one being – whose pelvic bone was that the State police found then?. And to further surprise, barely a million out of the ninety million dollars stash were spent by Patrick. He lived tight and miserly in Brazil, with all the dough.

Only through few more pages comes to light that there is a completely extraneous reason for this heist. Patrick and his confidante, a Brazilian lawyer unravel the mystery like opening some fruit; peeling off one layer at a time to Patrick’s newly recruited lawyer, Sandy who is also an old friend, a classmate from college and a pallbearer in his funeral to defend him against his multiple capital charges. Writing further about this book would do injustice to you if you are planning on reading it and injustice to the movie (Water for Elephants, yeah I’m watching just now and for the first time) that I’ve kept on Pause.

I’ll end with this – towards the last chapter of the book, Patrick’s capital charge of a maximum thirty years of incarceration gets dropped and plummets down to a penalty of maximum one-year imprisonment for something he did (avoiding a spoiler alert here). This book was like reading Suits; if Harvey was charged and Michael defended him; only a hundred times better. And it ends with a sudden turnabout of events that you don’t see coming. I wouldn’t rank it above the Rainmaker or A Time To Kill but this is on par with the Street Lawyer and fairly good book.

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Here’s an abrupt playlist for ya!

The WiFi is super fast at my library and I don’t want to put that to waste. So here are the ten best songs I listened to this year (does not mean that these songs were released in 2017) along with a pretty, complimentary  photo in the end. I’m immoderately jobless. Deal with it (pls). Let’s go from 10, shall we.

10. Phillips Phillips – Magnetic

9. The Strumbellas – Spirits 

8. Kodaline – Midnight

7. Imagine Dragons – Thunder

6. Vance Joy – Like Gold

5. Sid Sriram – Maruvaarthai

4. Mumford and Sons – Hopeless Wanderer

3. Imagine Dragons – Whatever It Takes

2. Eminem – Arose

1. Imagine Dragons – Believer 

That “pretty, complimentary photo” I told you about:

Eerily pretty.

 

Paper or Pixel?

When I was a kid, my father would take me to his friend’s book shop at Lakshmi Complex and I would browse through immense titles and run my fingers along the spines of the books just for the thrill of it. The aura of bookshops is the pretentious fact that there are hundred other people inside those books at different places and vibrant state of affairs at different worlds altogether. That distinct fact is truant in the case of online shopping of books. Panoramically, I would say that book shops and libraries are macroscopical engulfment of fabricated lives. There was a time when I would select my books by fervently glancing at the four-lined description given by the publishers and literally sway on my toes while my father too reads it for approval before purchasing it. Later on the way home, there is an irresistible tingle of anticipation to start reading the book. I would take a few hours or a maximum of two days to finish my book that always leaves my mother with a look of stupor that says – “We just bought you that book.”

The flush of exhilaration when I’m at a book shop is unaccountable. There would be infinite books facing me and the sweet pain is that my parents allowed only a couple of books to purchase at a time. Ergo, the selection was arduous. The best part was beholding the vivacious cover pages of each book. They ranged from titles engrossed cover pages, glossy cover pages, minimal themes and so forth. They played a major role in my book selection at the book shop and hitherto they have not let me down.

Through my early teens, I enrolled in a library owing to my rapidly growing need for books. While reading the library’s copy of The Great Gatsby I stumbled upon dried, yellowy tear drops embedded on the page where Gatsby dies. Then I noticed that physical books – unlike virtual books – absorb anthropoid feelings. Similarly, in a copy of a Stephen Kings novel at an electrifying phase, I found the page gently crumbled. Some books are dog-eared, some are not, some books are filled with remarks along the margin and some are highlighted; Books define the reader. Poring over literary collections virtually is something that I have not been able to wrap my head around.

But lately, I have been consecrating my time reading e-books and PDF versions because they are mostly free of cost and easily portable within an app of my phone unlike the considerably dense books. The perusal of virtual editions of books has brought a tardily evolving eye pains and headaches. Hence, I decided to go back to the hardbound copies and paperbacks. It is after sometime that I realized how bereft I have been of the papery texture, the compressed spine, the myriad of curves through each page and the evident fragrance of each word. Books on Kindle, laptops and phones are well movable but the bends and curves of a physical book are pertinacious. I hope this occult war between physical books and e-books come to an end because it is understandable that each variation has its own rewards and limitations. Yet I sense an abstract compulsion to impel my view that a ‘book’ regardless of its definition, is bound by stacks of papers filled with stories to tell and wisdom to impart.