(read in Spanish)

Perhaps I've mentioned this once or twice before, but I'm not a big fan of fiction, especially not the kind of fiction John Grisham writes. One of the reasons I do still read fiction from time to time, however, is to practice Spanish. Highly readable books are great for this purpose - when the plot is flowing, the chances to enjoy the book in spite of not understanding some words is higher.

So without further ado, here's the review for "Time to Kill". I've seen the movie a couple of times, and actually expected the book to be really good. Unfortunately, I was direly disappointed. This book's plot is very shallow, almost as shallow as the characters in it. I don't remember another book I've recently read where there was not a single likable character to connect to. Jake Brigance certainly isn't - he's an irritable, irksome and unstable individual without any real apparent talent.

The plot itself is patchy - with some leads starting and never ending. Ellen Roark is one great example - she became an integral part of the plot and then completely vanished after the attack on her. Yes, Grisham mentioned a short visit to the hospital and a phone call in the end of the book, but this was hardly enough.

Another qualm is about the trial itself. The whole book prepares you to the trial, but then leaves you disillusioned. As far as trial books and movies go, this one was extremely shallow, with barely an interesting twist and skill displayed. From Jake's performance in the trial, I would think he's a lousy attorney who won it by chance and not the hero Grisham tries to show him as.

To conclude, I've read much better fiction. "Time to Kill" was Grisham's first novel and it does show a few positive signs - sometimes the plot manages to grip you, but overall it's not a book I would recommend to anyone trying to actually get something from the reading. Its only utility is to practice a foreign language or just to kill some time (sic).


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