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19 July 2011


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Sarah Rettger

My internal editor is horribly offended by the "lawyers, judges, janitors" bit. The exact same phrase twice, and an almost identical one a third time? Oy.


You know it's bad if you read it and think... didn't I read that somewhere before? (And then flip through until you find all three instances, because you are a GLUTTON FOR PUNISHMENT.)


This book (frankly, no Grisham book) was anywhere near my reading list. However, thank you for going into the breach. You want donations for your needed therapy?


Does anybody really refer to their uncles exclusively as UNCLE So-and-So all the time? That def. does not compute to Uncle Deadhead being "complicated", just sort of...standard. And, wow, I was actually shocked by the total lack of even basic sensitivity in that passage about those "hobo" types who "don't want to be seen." Yes, best if we just pretend they don't exist, John Grisham. Because that's what they want? What?!?


"It enraged me to such an extent that I daydreamed about Uncle Ike delivering that monologue and then getting tossed into the ring against Andrew Vachss' Burke."

^^ This made me laugh, aloud, and agree, aloud, in equal measure.


I really hope there's a third book in which it's revealed that Theo was actually an extremely short 75-year-old all along. That's the only way this series can make sense in my mind.


Leila, have I thanked you recently for throwing your own slim body on this BOMB of epic proportions for us? If I have not: thank you. Really. Now, STOP IT. If that dork comes out with a third book, you need not read it.

We begin to fear for your sanity.


I'm still laughing because you just called John Grisham a dork.


I cannot believe you actually read this book. The first one was so very bad, and I know you saw that too. You are a brave, brave woman to read this and tell the world about it.

And, anyone who thinks that a kid says "stomach gas" and knows who Perry Mason is is obviously so far removed from real teenagers that they should be disqualified from ever attempting to write for them.
Heck, Perry Mason was before MY time.


It enraged me to such an extent that I daydreamed about Uncle Ike delivering that monologue and then getting tossed into the ring against Andrew Vachss' Burke. Which helped soothe my ire somewhat.

How much do I love you for this statement? A lot. That's how much.


“Thanks” also for the link to the USA Today “review”. That was as painful as I imagine the book must be. Only, mercifully, much much shorter.

I note that your review made no mention of Theo’s “Chinese-food-eating dog, Judge, [who] rounds out the happy family.” Does this mean that Judge was unobjectionable?! I guess that would leave him as the best-realized character in the book.

I join the other commenters above in saluting you for your brave sacrifice.


Ugh. No. Judge is terrible, too.

I mentioned him in my Kirkus review, but not to the extent I'd have liked to: It's mentioned more than once that he only eats people food. Like, specially plated up for him. He gets his own plate of pancakes and sausage at one point.

Liz B

I'm shocked at how much classism out of a 1930s series book there is. And the take away is, be judgey mcjudgey?


The first one was tolerable but by the end of the second one I wanted Theo to get a life. Theo's mother is the worst, his father seems cluless and Theo is... uninteresting and polite to a fualt. Judge is the only half-way exciting character.


Maybe in the third book Theo will do something REALLY BAD (like, um...wearing the same clothes two days in a row (don't you hate their receptionst??)) and be grounded. Then Judge could solve the case and everybody would be much happier.


"The Abduction closes the case on just how effectively Grisham can write for the youth market.

In this novel, as in the first, Grisham addresses tough subjects without talking down to kids: child neglect, drug abuse, alcoholism and the apparent abduction of Theo's best friend, April."

*Stomach turns backflips*


"There are many positive messages wrapped in this entertaining story that appeals to the kid in all of us."
That kid is ceryainly not me.


I thought of you, and how happy you will be, when I saw what was on this list -- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-16851836



Tim Frater

As a fan of John Grisham's adult books, I have to say he's failed with his portrayal of Theodore Boone in this juvenile novel. It's disappointing because 'A Painted House', his story told through the eyes of 7 yr old Luke Chandler, is brilliant and utterly believable. 'Theodore Boone: The Abduction' is not. Even his name and the names of other characters in the book stretch credibility - how many 13 yr olds do you know named Theodore? Still, his dad's (oops, sorry, father's)name is Woods, so I guess he was fortunate not to be given the name Branch, or Sapling, or Kindling, or Bark, to represent a 'chip' off the old block . . . The biggest problem is Grisham's failure to think and speak like a 13 yr old. Okay, Theo's parents are lawyers, but he is at school weekdays with other 13 yr olds, from whom most parents would be lucky to get much more than 'yes' or 'no' answers, rather than Theo's 'No, I do not' in response to his mother's "Do you want to talk about it?' On p.77 para 2 reads, "As the hormones kicked in and the gender walls came down . . ." Since when would target readers understand these words? Isn't that something an adult would say and be expected to understand? Contrast that with Theo's musings over Dudley's world-famous mint fudge in chap.2. There it seems almost juvenile for a 13 yr old. Then, there are evident problems with the storyline, for instance, chap. 13 where, one minute Theo is in chemistry class, then the next thing he knows he's downtown representing a Haitian family in Animal Court. Not believable, John. Then we have Jack Leeper, trying to bargain with police to pay $50K and be relocated to prison locally in exchange for his revealing where April Finnemore is 'stashed'. Question: How would he know where April was? Nothing is revealed in the story of any collusion between Leeper and April's dad, so if they paid the $50k, how would he have been able to fulfil his end of the bargain? She could well have been dead for all Leeper knew. Again, not believable, John. Stick to what you do well.

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