Monday, July 10, 2006

Anonymous Lawyer: The Book

As many of you know, law school blogger Jeremy Blachman has achieved the ultimate dream ... rather than having to practice law to make a living, he got a book deal. Granted, Jeremy is funny, and is also the author of the hilarious Anonymous Lawyer blog and was outed by the New York Times, which led to him getting a book deal to write Anonymous Laywer: A Novel ... but the point is, he got a book deal while the rest of us will have to "work."

While I was trying to swallow my jealousy over learning about this, Jeremy was kind enough to send me an advance copy of the book in exchange for me sharing my thoughts on this little ol' blog.

First, as many of you may know, this book doesn't take the form of a normal novel, but is written in the style of a blog with a few e-mail interspersed between the postings. I was a little dubious of this style of writing at first, because while blog posts can be quite conducive to telling short stories (evidence on this blog notwithstanding), I was unsure if an entire novel-length story could be told in blog form. However, Jeremy pulled this off beautifully and made a great (and not surprisingly funny) story.

Anonymous Lawyer the novel, like the blog, focuses on the hiring partner of a ficticious BigLaw firm in L.A. It also includes references to Anonymous Wife, Anonymous Son, and Anonymous Daughter. But, the novel also adds Anonymous Lawyer's arch nemesis The Jerk, who is challenging A.L. as the next Chairman of Anonymous Law Firm.

Things go smoothly for A.L. until the new Chairman (on the job for only a few weeks) has a heart attack at his desk1 and he must find a way to make sure he is made Chairman instead of The Jerk.

Like Anonymous Lawyer: The Blog, the novel is full of heartless and horrible honesty from A.L. about how things "really work" at BigLaw. Like how third-year associates aren't allowed talk to the Summers, so that Summers will accept their offers without knowing what it is really like working there... or how leftover food from meetings is not for the secretaries and should be thrown out instead... or what code words to use on a client's bill which mean the attorney was really taking a dump.

But, even more surprisingly, we learn that A.L. himself isn't totally heartless (we wouldn't really like him much by the end of the book if he was), he's just been forced to be an A-hole by the environment he's worked and thrived in.

The only complaint I really had about the book is that it is too short and the ending is kind of abrupt.2 But overall, I highly recommend that you buy Anonymous Lawyer: A Novel when it comes out on July 25.

1By far, one of the funniest parts of the book is the e-mail the new Chairman writes to the firm as he is having his heart attack... followed by the subsequent e-mails from readers of Anonymous Lawyer's blog from every major city in the country claiming they now know who he is becuase their Chairman also died of a heart attack that day.
2Of course, I couldn't write a novel that was half as long or one-tenth as good... but everyone has room for improvement.

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