Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Anonymous Lawyer - Jeremy Blachman

The Basics: Anonymous Lawyer, Jeremy Blachman, 2006, 276 pages, hardcover

How I found it: As a law student, I occasionally read law blogs. The only one I find consistently interesting and funny is the Anonymous Lawyer blog. Thankfully, it's author has turned it into a novel.

What's it about?: A big shot asshole hiring partner at a big law firm decides to start an anonymous blog about life at his firm the way he sees it. He's self-important, arrogant and generally hilarious. He is the ultimate caricature. The book is told in the form of blog entries and emails - how modern. The format works as we are able to see both the public image that anonymous lawyer projects of himself on his blog, and the reality that he shares with those that he is closer to in his private emails.

Did I like it?: The public persona of anonymous lawyer from his blog entries is hilarious and I loved him. He is unabashedly a jerk, and that's what makes him great. I loved those portions of the book. However, when we get to see the private side of anonymous lawyer as Blachman adds a third dimension to the character and makes him a real person, we see that anonymous lawyer is just like the rest of us - he is full of self-doubt and anxious to succeed. For me a lot of the humour and enjoyment went out of the book as soon as the more personal side was revealed. However, it would not be a novel without this personal side - it would just be a collection of blog entries.

Will you like it?: This is a fluff book, and if you have ever had any contact with the legal world, you'll probably find the stereotype of anonymous lawyer to be at least mildly amusing. However, the amusement is at its best when anonymous lawyer is at his worst (so to speak) and he is at his worst on his real blogspot blog. Check him out there before you bother to pick up this book.

But don't take my word for it: The usual info from amazon, a collection of reviews from the official website, a review from USA Today, one from the student blog Three Years of Hell, and another from Pop Matters.

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