From Publishers Weekly
Blachman's side-achingly funny debut, derived from his popular blog of the title, is written in the candid, sanctimonious voice of Anonymous Lawyer, an ill-humored, ill-tempered hiring partner at a prestigious New York firm. Anonymous Lawyer is an 18-year man whose compulsion to blog is almost as strong as his desire for the firm's chairmanship. When he's not facing off with his nemesis, The Jerk, in the race for the chair, he takes solace in degrading his summer interns and hapless associates for his quickly developing cult of readers (who e-mail with guesses at his identity). The dirt Anonymous Lawyer dishes is crude, and grounded in his own snobbery and narcissism: his female victims include The One Who's Never Getting Married, The One Who Missed Her Kid's Funeral and The Bombshell (at the annual office charity auction, a date with her went to Lives With His Mom for $6,000). Predictably, potential unmasking makes things sticky for the potential chairman, in what is pretty much the book's single plot point. Written in the rapidly dating blog-form and about as subtle as a punch to the kidneys, the dead-on exaggerations of Blachman, a recent Harvard Law grad, are nonetheless more than enough to propel this debut. (Aug.)
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Though the epistolary novel occupies a small but lofty literary niche, the e-mail novel never gained a foothold, and readers are likely to greet "blog novels" with suspicion. Blachman writes a popular satirical blog called Anonymous Lawyer [http://www.anonymouslawyer.blogspot.com], in which his fictitious alter ego, an arrogant hiring partner at a major law firm, explains the cutthroat culture of the legal profession. This is pretty much the same thing: Anonymous is obsessed with becoming chairman, maintaining the firm's rigid hierarchy, and maximizing the billable hours of his overworked associates. He starts a blog on a lark, savages his colleagues, gets discovered, and finds his aspirations endangered. The paper-thin plot would make the book seem like a cheap attempt to cash in on the blog's popularity if it weren't so damn funny. Anonymous is hilariously malevolent (he refers to "winning" friendly conversations), affording readers the thrill of vicariously acting out their darkest impulses while confirming their belief that only lawyers would act so badly. Readers won't remember the story, but they'll quote the best lines. Keir Graff
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