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Anonymous Lawyer: A Novel Hardcover – July 25, 2006
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top customer reviews
I'll never forget when I was a summer associate at a large law firm and I was leaving the office at 9pm on one of the few nights that there were no summer associate "firm events" going on. One of the big partners said to me, "What are you doing working so late? Go home!" in a jovial, avuncular manner. When I became a first-year associate, however, that same partner almost fired me when he saw me sneaking out of the office one night about 8:30 pm.
I wonder what name I was privately called by partners when I was an associate/summer associate? Hmmm...definitely not Dresses Like A Slut, nor the Frumpy Litigator. Perhaps something in between.... :)
Jeremy Blachman, you are my hero!!!!
Jeremy Blachman, a 3L at Harvard Law when he started Anonymous Lawyer-the Blog, has an eye and ear for the seamier side of big firm practice. Whether its the snow jobs on the summer associates, the endless pressure to bill hours the associates face, the materialism and greed of partners Anonymous Lawyer serves them up to be devoured by those in and out of the know.
In the novel Blachman skillfully uses his blog to develop a narrative line that charts a power struggle within the firm between Anonymous Lawyer and his nemesis The Jerk. Paralegals, associates, summers, the mail room guy and other partners become pawns in the maneuvering between these totally despicable partners.
If you still want to go to law school after reading this, my firm would like to talk to you.