Jeremy Blachman has spun a wickedly funny and outrageous story about life in a prominent Los Angeles corporate law firm. The boss in The Devil Wears Prada has nothing on our narrator, the Anonymous Lawyer, who serves as the hiring partner at his firm and has his sights firmly set on the Chairman position within the next decade. The reader gets an inside look at the motivations and desires of this evil partner, a man who despises his Anonymous Wife and her shopping habits, who disdains any lawyer who has more than the one allotted "outside interest," and who values profitability and career success above all else.
Blachman's shtick, which triumphs wildly, architects the novel a series of weblog entries by the Anonymous Lawyer. He sets up his blog with the help of Anonymous Niece, a college senior currently applying to law schools. The two share an email exchange about the blog content and fan mail.
The action takes place over a summer at the firm. Anonymous Lawyer, as hiring partner, manages the summer intern program (well, not in day-to-day aspects--there is a lower-paid nanny-type for that stuff). He's obsessed with his cubicle size in relation to that of other partners with a similar tenure, and his eventual goal is to smite The Jerk, who he views as the only real obstacle to his rise to the position of Chairman of the firm. He categorizes the interns and his co-workers as The Suck-Up, The Musician, The One Who Dresses Like A Slut, The One Who Missed Her Kid's Funeral, Foreign Guy, Black Guy, Harvard Guy, and so on. (This is a highly effective character naming technique--no crib sheet of character descriptions required!)
Blachman has written a fast-paced and thoroughly enjoyable modern satire. I laughed out loud both with and at Anonymous Lawyer. The book is certainly fun for anyone in the legal world, but Anonymous Lawyer's obsession with his co-workers and office politics render the action familiar to any cubicle-dweller.