Whilst browsing Barnes & Noble.com’s’ “coming soon” section, I stumbled upon the cover to the next John Grisham novel, titled appropriately enough:
The New Legal Thriller, By John Grisham.
Now, as you can glean from the cover, that’s not the actual title, which will be revealed sometime prior to the October 21, 2014, release date.
To which I say: Keep it!
If ever a title perfectly captured the subject matter of an author’s next book, it’s The New Legal Thriller, By John Grisham. Nothing against our Mississippi lawyer friend, but I’m not devoted to his work–which isn’t to say I think it’s bad work. I’ve read a few of his books: The Firm and The Appeal spring to mind. Yes, they were entertaining. (The movie with Tom Cruise is another horrid story.) I’m simply not a reader of legal thrillers. But I have nothing against people who enjoy them, and I respect the outstanding body of work Grisham has written and hold no ill will toward him. You go, John!
Which brings me back to the title of John’s next book. For giggles, let’s read the synopsis I found on B&N’s website and see if we can glean an appropriate title. There’s only one rule: “The” must begin the title. Practically all of John Grisham’s books being with “The.” The Runaway Jury, The Rainmaker, The Arcane Legal Technicality (I made that one up), you get the picture. My contest (which offers no prize). My rule (inane). Here’s the text:
“The Great Recession of 2008 left many young professionals out of work. Promising careers were suddenly ended as banks, hedge funds, and law firms engaged in mass lay-offs and brutal belt tightening. Samantha Kofer was a third year associate at Scully & Pershing, New York City’s largest law firm. Two weeks after Lehman Brothers collapsed, she lost her job, her security, and her future. A week later she was working as an unpaid intern in a legal aid clinic deep in small town Appalachia. There, for the first time in her career, she was confronted with real clients with real problems. She also stumbled across secrets that should have remained buried deep in the mountains forever.”
Hand on a bible: I know nothing about this book other than what you just read, but I’m certain this young lawyer (who probably comes to Appalachia with a cut-throat, arrogant attitude perfected by three years of evil apprenticeship under Lehman Brothers) soon finds a soft spot for the salt-of-the-earth country folk and, much to her dismay, learns they’re being exploited by a/an (insert obligatory evil/ruthless/heartless adjective here) coal company. You don’t want to mess with those coal company lawyers, because chances are they’re financed by the embodiment of evil, which, in today’s society, is represented by the Koch Brothers and, somehow, not al Qaeda or government overreach.
So, here are my ideas for the book title:
1. The Sooty Barrister (Nah, too English, a little on the whimsical side, and too many syllables for a Grisham title.)
2. The Hills have Attorneys (Nope, too close to the title of another movie and still too many syllables.)
3. The Coal Miner’s Lawyer (See above.)
4. The Tart Tort (I realize that makes absolutely no sense, but I like it because it’s got alliteration, is three syllables, and sounds kinky.)
5. The Mine (Hmm. It’s somewhat foreboding and abstract, and only two syllables, and unless Grisham’s next book is simply titled The, those are the fewest syllables possible.)
OK, I’m sticking with The Mine, which I’m certain won’t be the title, but I didn’t see the Spurs wiping the floor with the Heat a few weeks back. So what the hell do I know?
And if you think you can come up with something better? Go for it!