Top critical review
Dickens, if Dickens were blind and had a partial lobotomy.
on April 23, 2017
The protagonist's volta is simply not credible. This is readable and kind-hearted, one supposes, or is it a simulation of kindness? It is Dickensian in its sentimentality, and it isn't, because of its literary ineptitude. The novel is faintly racist, most patently so when Super-liberal Brock infers contrary positions or lapses, period. Cringing occurs when a black woman's babies' fathers are carelessly called "these tomcats," or when the Tiny Timmish Ruby, a black addict, takes on the characteristics of a pet rat. In the afterword, Grisham declares, astonishingly, that he never much thought of homeless people before writing this fantasy novel. Apparently, this Memphis (!) based writer had never before opened his eyes, or exercised his God-given cones and rods. Finally, painting the homeless with sepia ignores the rancid facts of street life, and robs the same people of a complex, sometimes repulsive, humanity.