Monday, August 29, 2005

John Grisham or Nostradamus...?

I just returned from my belated honeymoon in Costa Rica.

I finished the book that I brought on the day I arrived, then stopped in every little store that sold used books in every little town through which we passed.

The pickins were mostly slim. It seems that most of the books brought to Costa Rica by English-reading tourists were written by Lawrence Sanders or Danielle Steele.

I went through a Lawrence Sanders phase in high school and still enjoy the occasional McNally Caper, but I was coming off a Kurt Vonnegut kick and looking for something a little more stimulating.

I had to settle for entertaining ... Sanders and Robert B. Parker. It worked out nicely, actually.
Remember "Spenser for Hire"?
The TV show was based on a series of books written by Robert B. Parker. He's been writing the books since the 70's so there's like 7000 of them and most of them are wildly entertaining and completely engrossing for a fortnight on the beach. But I digress.

Mrs. Klipper picked "The Pelican Brief" by John Grisham and when I ran out of Spenser's and McNally's I read it.

What struck me immediately was that the President in the book was a complete imbecile (George W.) and the real man in charge was his chief of staff; an evil, manipulative, genius capable of sinking to any low to accomplish his political goals (Karl Rove)

I couldn't read the book but to picture old Georgie and Rove discussing the good fortune of a major crisis (9/11) and the dangers of the pelican brief (downing street memos).

The book, written in 1992 or so, reads like a history of Bush's presidency; except, of course, that in the book the media does its job. The President and his wormtongue are exposed as scoundrels. The President is not re-elected (...) and wormtongue retires in disgrace (" whoever leaked...Valerie...Plame...").

Well, I guess the bad guy has to lose in John Grisham's world or we'd all feel an empty, hollowness in the pit of our stomachs knowing that something isn't right.

You know, that same gut-wrenching emptyness we feel now, as the bad guys win, in our world.

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