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First, I would like to say that after reading all of the other comments made here, it appears that everyone seemed to miss the the point that this was not a book of fiction a la Mr. Grishman's other "tales". This is a true story of injustice in our Judaical system. If you are looking for a fast page turner of a "whodoneit" then stick to the crime/mystery fiction books!
Better than fiction
That said, I am appalled, disappointed, disgusted, angry, ashamed, and generally speaking upset that something like this could happen! The people roaming the halls of justice in Ada, OK were driven by power, greed, stupidity and lame duck justice. God help them. God help the poor people who rely on them for justice. Doesn't exist!
I just finished "The Innocent Man" yesterday. I was completely absorbed by the story from beginning to end. I've only read a few Grisham books and this was my favorite. I tend to prefer modern stories when they are true, but I'm a big fan of the "classics" also.
I thought this story was along the lines of "In Cold Blood," except the cops were the bad guys. After reading what happened to Ron Williamson, Dennis Fritz, and the others, I'll never cooperate with police without consulting a good lawyer.
I only have one slight criticism. Grisham seemed determined to sell Ron's side of the story and made frequent sarcastic unsubstantiated comments against the OK authorities. The comments may have been deserved, but they seemed out of place coming from the teller of this true story. I suppose this was done to create more emotion and interest for the reader, which it does, but it made me feel kind of dirty.
Great book, though. I'd like to see more like this from Grisham.
Usually I am a big fan of John Grisham, I have read every book he has ever written and enjoyed every single one. I could hardly wait until this book came out in paperback so I could read it as well. What a disappointment - it is so boring and uninteresting and it puts the reader to sleep. I could not even finish this book I only got about 3/4 way through and just could not stand it anymore. It is just dreadful,
An Innocent Man
Dear Mr. Grisham,
The Innocent Man
I patiently wait for your books to come out on paperback before I buy and then devour! I love them all except for this one. I didn't realize it was your first non-fiction. It was way too long. I ended up skimming through when I realized I wasn't getting a story.
If you wanted to anger readers in regards to the judicial system, you most certainly achieved that. I am appalled at the lack of interest in the police at catching the "real" criminals. Why are they just interested in putting someone anyone behind bars? Don't they want to catch the bad guys?
I couldn't even read the last 1/4 of the book, I was so annoyed that it kept going and going. I hope your next books are back to stories with more dialogue etc.
I have read many of John Grisham's books, and I typically enjoy them very much--they are the type of books that I don't want to put down! However, I did not feel this way about The Innocent Man; it's the first John Grisham book that I did not like. I kept waiting for the story to get better. I could not attach myself to Ron Williamson because he absolutely wasted his life away, and although he was wrongly accused, it was basically of his own doing because of the lifestyle he choose to live.
The book had some interesting aspects, but it was full of too many boring details and too many dysfunctional people. I compare it to a piece of artwork--just because the artwork may have a couple of interesting aspects to it, doesn't mean I want to really look at it, have it in my home, or like it! The Innocent Man was much the same way! Who wants to read about a man who pretty much wasted his life away, innocent or not!
I will continue to read John Grisham's book though! I really enjoy them, and I guess after an author has written so many, one is bound not to be so good.
Another well-written book from Grisham.
I loved the way Grisham put together voluminous facts and made it into one coherent and moving tale.
I was appalled by the fact that "competent" people can overlook so many important things that even I, an average citizen, can easily see. Either that, or these people just didnt give a sh** about the future of a human being they treated as a nuisance anyway.
I am happy though that in the end Ron was vindicated. If I were to decide the fate of these "competent" people, I'd give them 12 years imprisonment so they'll know better than to just solve the case even if it meant throwing the wrong guy into jail.