Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Review by Shellie: Nibble & Kuhn by David Schmahman

51my22fiyYL._SL160_ Genre: General Fiction

Set Up:

Derick Dover is a young attorney working as an associate lawyer for an old established Boston law firm. He is hoping for a partnership with the growing firm and has become involved with another lawyer named Maria Parma whom he works with. She is vaguely fickle and unavailable but emotionally and physically toys with him. Additionally he is handed a botched up and impossible to win environmental case involving children with cancer, which it is clear needs be won if he is to make partner.


Although the above synopsis may sound a bit dry and the title of this book is slightly awkward, don’t let that fool you. This novel is not. It is a story which is completely addictive. The writing is intelligent, and flows easily, being sadly humorous at times. I devoured it in short order.  

It’s Derick’s story as he navigates his world, examining it in terms of his choices and life’s meaning. Although he seems to be making all the wrong moves and wallowing in them, his humanness and personal insight is apparent. He is complex, revealing, and vulnerable. It’s exemplified when he mentions some thoughts about his father:

Men like my father, it seemed to me, honest, optimistic, making their decisions on something less than a solid knowledge of the rules, were just pawns of larger interests, and it was this impotence that I determined to avoid by becoming a lawyer. At the time I had no idea – though I did already begin to suspect in law school – how inadequate my analysis was.

In the end the novel appears to be about the choices we make and the ones which we believe create our lives. But in actuality, its about the “crap shoot” that often defines our future. The conclusion supports this with its improbable twist. Highly recommended at 4 stars.

For more information about David Schmahman as well as purchasing links go to Layers of Thought’s Preview of Nibble & Kuhn.

Thanks for reading Layers of Thought.


logankstewart said...

Great review, Shellie. This reminds me of my John Grisham days... I'll have to revisit this genre someday.

Libby's Library said...

I enjoyed this one fact, I'm sending it on to one of my daughters. Thanks for a great review:-)

Unknown said...

Logan -
Thanks I appreciate it.

I have not read anything by Grisham but isn't his mostly about court room drama and intrigue? What genre would you place Grisham in?

This is really an emotional sort of novel about the main character..its also a bit of a satire... He really puts down the law profession. Dryly amusing...

Elizabeth/Libby -
Never sure which name to use for you? :)

Thank you, recently I have seen a few reviews for and all have been good.

I was very pleasantly surprised. He is a thoughtful writer.

DCMetroreader said...

If he's putting down the law profession then I suspect he's a recovering lawyer (so many legal writers were former lawyers :-)).

I thought of Grisham too when I read your review, but I was thinking of The Firm which although a legal thriller had a lot on the dissatisfaction in the legal field.

This sounds like a book I would like to read.

Unknown said...

Kim -
I don't think that this is like Grisham at all... It is not a thriller. It is really and emotional work...a reflection on one's life and choice.

But I have never read any Grisham.

I am thinking that perhaps the author is disillusioned with the profession too. He indirectly makes fun at it as well - which is the satire part.

I am thinking he is someone to watch - his writing is really good.

Yes I definitely think you would like this book... its also a quick read.

logankstewart said...

Shellie, I would classify Grisham as suspense/thriller/legal-fiction. Some of his books are more centered around the courtroom, but many are not. Almost all of his books were very fast paced and addictive. My favorites were The Street Lawyer, The Partner, and The Runaway Jury.

Grisham often puts down the corruption in the fields he writes about, be it the tobacco industry, Southern judges, or what have you. Plus, his emotional character development is quite good, too.

If you enjoyed this, I'd recommend trying out a Grisham book.

logankstewart said...

Icky Thump! My comment didn't show up on this one, either. Grumble grumble. Dumb 504 Google error...

John Grisham can tell an amazing tale. While some of his stuff does focus on the legal side, most of the books (of which I've read) are centered on the protagonists desire to expose the corrupt system and vindicate his/her client. They're incredibly fast paced and quite memorable. I'd easily recommend The Street Lawyer, Runaway Jury, or The Partner if you're interested in trying out Grisham.


Unknown said...

Hey Logan -
Sorry about the lost post... not sure whats going on but please keep me posted if it continues to happen. It looks like there were three that did not appear in my mail box.

Anonymous -
It is fairly easy to sign up with Google - I will try to find a few links and do a mini post for everyone so that new readers whom are not googl(ers) can become one.

Unfortunately it may be late some time next week.

Charlie said...

This sounds like a good one, Shellie. Thanks for the great review.

As far as Grisham goes, I really enjoyed The King of Torts: a story about the rip-off of class-action suits.

Unknown said...

Charlie -
This is one of my favorites this year... and I would pass on the Grisham at this time. Never had any interest in his stuff... but who knows in the future?

I will put that on my list on Goodreads with your recommendation in case I ever change my mind. :)

Thanks for stopping by.. its nice to hear from you.. as always.

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