domingo, 30 de maio de 2010
By KAREN MACPHERSON
Scripps Howard News Service
As the only child of two attorneys, 13-year-old Theodore Boone knows more about the law than most adults.
Theodore dreams of going into the law himself, working as a trial lawyer and eventually becoming a judge. He already knows all the attorneys and judges in his small city of Strattenburg, and has even named his dog Judge. Theodore is so passionate about the law that he works as an amateur attorney, giving basic legal advice to friends.
But Theodore's hobby turns potentially deadly when he becomes involved with a key witness in a major murder trial. In "Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer" (Dutton, $16.99, ages 8-12), best-selling author John Grisham details how Theodore sorts out a legal tangle that involves an illegal immigrant, a cold-blooded killer and a creepy private investigator who seems to be stalking Theodore.
"Theodore Boone" is the first children's novel by Grisham, whose 21 adult novels have 250 million copies in print and have been translated into 38 languages. Given Grisham's popularity, Dutton set a 1 million-copy first printing for "Theodore Boone," which is the first in a projected series about the "kid lawyer."
Just because an author is popular with adults, however, doesn't guarantee he or she can write for children. But, in "Theodore Boone," Grisham successfully translates his talent for writing fast-paced, emotionally gripping legal thrillers into a book that will have young readers whipping through the pages to see what happens next.
Grisham's depiction of Theodore Boone is the one mildly shaky element in the book. Theodore is both likable and interesting, and, while his passion for the law is unusual in someone so young, it certainly seems natural, given that both of his parents are attorneys.
But Theodore also is, at times, a bit too good to be true, especially in how he meekly adapts to his parents' rather heavy-handed efforts to control his schedule. And Grisham is just patently out of touch with middle-schoolers when he writes that Theo and his male friends weren't interested in girls, "and the girls felt the same way."
Yet young readers are likely to readily forgive such missteps because they'll be so engrossed in the story Grisham has written, which focuses on a high-profile murder trial that's the talk of Strattenburg. A well-known businessman named Peter Duffy is accused of killing his wife for her life-insurance money, and while many people think he's guilty, there's no real proof.
Then Theodore meets someone who may be able to provide that proof. But Bobby Escobar is an illegal immigrant and he's terrified that if he comes forward, he'll be deported. It's up to Theodore — and, eventually, his parents — to figure out how to see that justice is done without jeopardizing Escobar's desire to remain in the United States.
Most young readers won't have much prior knowledge of the law. Fortunately, that really doesn't matter as Grisham has a gift for clearly explaining legal procedures, whether it's the Duffy murder trial or the intricacies of freeing a dog from the pound via the city's animal court.
While Grisham's books for adults include a fair amount of violence, he steered clear of that in "Theodore Boone," choosing instead to build suspense in different ways. For example, the shady investigator working for Duffy seems to follow Theodore around, making readers wonder if Theodore is in danger.
Grisham said in a recent interview with the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer that he wrote "Theodore Boone" "because I really just wanted to see if I could do it. And I hope it will be somewhat instructional for the kids."
To see how kids liked his book, Grisham worked with the fifth-graders in his daughter Shea Grisham's class at the A.B. Combs Leadership Elementary School in Raleigh. Early in the process of writing "Theodore Boone," Grisham read the first two chapters to the class and asked for feedback.
Dutton, a division of the Penguin Young Readers group, is going all out to promote "Theodore Boone." In addition to movie trailers and TV ads, the publisher has put together a website, www.theodoreboone.com , which offers further information about the characters, plus instructional materials for teachers and librarians.
Grisham's already working on a "Theodore Boone" sequel, which is due out next year. Meanwhile, he'll publish another adult novel, "The Confession," this October.
Karen MacPherson, the children's/teen librarian at the Takoma Park, Md., Library, can be reached at Kam.Macpherson@gmail.com
Fonte: The Seattle Times
sexta-feira, 28 de maio de 2010
Photo: HEATHCLIFF O'MALLEY
By Christopher Middleton
On Wednesday, June 9 at 7.30pm John Grisham will be talking about his new book, Theodore Boone, at a special Daily Telegraph/Waterstone’s event at The Royal Institution's Faraday Theatre, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1. Tickets are £12 each including a copy of the book (020 7851 2419).
Tilt your head just slightly in practically any bookshop anywhere in the world and you'll see the name John Grisham stretching out along the shelves. Over the past 20 years the former Memphis lawyer has become a byword for tight, taut thrillers, mostly set within the legal profession. As well as selling more than 250 million copies, roughly half his books have been turned into Hollywood films (The Firm, The Client, The Pelican Brief).
Now, though, he has brought out a law novel with a difference: one for children.
The latest in a long line of fictional Grisham heroes is 13-year-old Theodore Boone, who, as well as giving his name to the book, also dispenses legal advice to his classmates on everything from rescuing an impounded dog to helping parents stop their house from being repossessed. In between these tasks he uncovers sensational new evidence in the murder trial that has rocked the small town where he lives.
Should he pass on this red-hot information to the authorities, despite the mystery witness having begged him not to do so? Or should he keep his mouth shut and let a terrible miscarriage of justice take place? As in any Grisham novel for adults, the way Theodore copes with this dilemma provides the moral spine to the story, while all the twists and turns come from the plot.
So when invited to feature Theodore Boone, Young Lawyer as a Telegraph Family Book Club special, we leapt at the chance. As we did when asked if we'd like to interview the author – not in New York or Los Angeles – but in rural Virginia.
It's out here, amid the Blue Ridge Mountains, that Grisham and his wife Renée chose to settle during the Nineties, in a 200-year-old farmhouse that they intended to occupy for 12 months but where they are still living 16 years later.
We arrange to meet at his office in the nearby town of Charlottesville (population 40,000 and home to the handsomely pillared University of Virginia). His place of business turns out to be more art gallery than administrative headquarters, all sliding glass panels and Italian designer furniture. In addition, there are scores of photos and props from his films: the grandiose, carved desk that appeared in The Firm (starring Tom Cruise), the door of the office used by Reggie Love (the lawyer played by Susan Sarandon) in The Client.
The arrival of the man himself doesn't lower the aesthetic standards, either. He is wearing an open-necked, light blue shirt that matches the colour of his eyes and brings out his suntan. He looks a lot less buttoned-up and lawyerlike than his dust-jacket pictures.
Settling down on a crimson sofa, he concedes that there are good commercial reasons to write for children, not the least of which is to convert them to the Grisham brand early on. But he insists that his main motivation for dropping down a few age groups was to get young people as interested in reading as he was.
"My mum was never too keen on TV, so we kids all went to the library and got books out," he recalls in his light Southern drawl. "Right from the start, I loved the works of Mark Twain. Every time I read about Tom Sawyer, I'd go out and do something low-level naughty, just like him.
"So yes, I'm hoping primarily to entertain and interest kids, but at the same time I'm quietly hoping that the books [a Theodore Boone sequel has already been commissioned] will inform them, in a subtle way, about law. My daughter Shea is a teacher in North Carolina and when she got her fifth grade students to read the book, three or four of them came up afterwards and said they'd like to go into the legal profession. Which pleased me, I have to confess," Grisham says.
This is an admission that may come as a surprise to seasoned Grisham watchers, accustomed as they are to his line about the best moment in his legal career being the day he gave it up.
"It's true that I give off rather mixed messages about the law," he concedes. "On the one hand, I can honestly say I don't miss working in a law office. On the other hand I do enjoy watching the law and while the profession may have its problems, I have sold zillions of books out of magnifying them.
"On top of which, my son Ty has just finished law school and is now a practising lawyer."
At 13, Grisham's only ambition was to become a professional baseballer. While he never succeeded, he has left a lasting mark on the sport by peppering his books with baseball references and building his own junior ground.
Cove Creek Park sits in the middle of the Virginia countryside, 20 miles outside Charlottesville, on what used to be cow pasture, but is now six immaculately-mown baseball fields, with matching dugouts and pavilions.
So whereas most American children have to make do with bumpy dirt pitches and rusting wire fences, the youngsters of Albemarle County play their baseball on smooth grass, behind sturdy netting.
"Even if they've got baseball fields much closer to home, most parents I know choose to bring their kids here instead," says local mother Diana Rodriguez, as she watches her sons Ivan and Sergio practise their batting and pitching. "It's such a beautiful place to play."
And it's not just the facilities that are immaculate, but the behaviour, too. In line with the Grisham books, all swearing is forbidden (there's a large sign saying No Profanity), as is bad sportsmanship and tantrums.
"Because we're a private park, we can insist on certain standards," says Jennifer Williams, who has managed Cove Creek since it opened 15 years ago. "Mostly, though, it comes from the parents and the kids themselves, who know there is a certain level of conduct that is expected from them here.
"Right from the start, that was the way John wanted it. He believes that playing baseball is a great way for kids to develop character. He maintains they each need to win at least one game per season and lose at least one game, too."
Mind you, Grisham says, coming up with the philosophy was the easy part. The difficult bit was building Cove Creek.
"Getting through the rock proved a whole lot tougher than I had originally thought," he laughs, self-deprecatingly. "I think it was at the point where we started using dynamite that the budget really went up in smoke."
A reminder of the blasting work still stands at the park today, in the form of a large boulder with the sculpture of a baseball catcher on top, made out of scrap metal by one of the local parents.
"The hill it stands on is actually the height the ground here used to be before the blasting," Jennifer says. "We had to remove a lot of rocks like that one, let me tell you, in order to build this park."
Which meant that Grisham had to shift a fair-sized mountain of novels in order to pay for it all. But even though he financed Cove Creek Park's construction, and continues to subsidise its running today, there's not a mention of him to be found in the entire place. And this in a country where even the humblest Holiday Inn has a brass plaque bigging up the firm's founder.
"When you see John around, he just looks like a regular dad," agree the mothers of the Cove Creek Cubs. "Mind you, he never misses season opening day, and he's always around to do the end-of-season presentations. A lot of the time, too, he just comes to watch."
Which is how it all began in the first place, since the original idea came out of father Grisham having to drive long distances in order to take his children to play baseball or softball (the girls' version, also played at Cove Creek).
"At the time, there was nowhere around here for kids to play baseball," Grisham says. "The great thing now is that we're starting to get the second generation coming in, people who played as kids at Cove Creek are now bringing their kids to play, too."
You can tell by his proud beam how much satisfaction this brings. Not that baseball is the only cause to which Grisham contributes. He's a big supporter of the post-Hurricane-Katrina fund Rebuild The Coast, he funds a scholarship for southern writers at Mississippi University, and as a lifelong Democrat and a distant (fifth) cousin of Bill Clinton, he helped Hillary Clinton in her presidential campaign, putting on a big fund-raising event for her in Charlottesville.
By and large, though, he is as nonchalant about his philanthropic work as he is of his writing achievements, his general stance being that he is delighted but astonished to have done so well. Dig a bit further, though, and you find that he approaches the job of authorship in consistently businesslike fashion, and has not let himself get too grand to be edited.
"I know a few big writers who just hand in their manuscript and go: 'That's it, I'm done'," he says without naming names. "That doesn't mean I enjoy it when my pages come back with underlinings and question marks, but I've learnt over the years that if there is a problem with the text, it's usually best to fix it, rather than fight."
Someone who can testify to this from personal experience is Oliver Johnson, Grisham's UK editor for the past 20 years.
"There's no doubt that if John trusts you, he listens," Johnson says. "I had to do a complete rewrite of the cover blurb for Theodore Boone, because there were things he put in the finished text that weren't in the earlier drafts."
What boosted the rewrite count on this project, says Grisham, was the fact that he'd never before written for this age group (nine to 12 year-olds).
"I'd referred in my first draft to an earlier rape trial that Theo had attended. Only, my editors said that it was best not even to mention the word 'rape' in a book for kids this age, so I took their advice and removed the reference from the second draft. On the other hand, I was worried about putting anything into the plot whereby Theo might be in danger, or under threat, but my editors said 'Hey, don't worry, kids this age can cope with that'."
Hence the presence in the book of one Omar Cheepe, a particularly thuggish private investigator, who takes exception to Theo's meddling.
Two other characters also arrived late in the book's life. The first was Theo's school friend April Finnemore, introduced because, up until then, his closest confidant had been his 65-year-old Uncle Ike.
"They told me we needed to see more of Theo's friends on the page, so I put them there," Grisham says. "I also gave him a dog, though that was my wife's idea. She read through the final draft and said: 'I can't believe you've written a boy who's an only child and you haven't given him a dog!'"
Step forward, tail wagging, Judge the mongrel mutt, who eats breakfast each morning beside Theo (they like the same brand of cereal), after Mr and Mrs Boone, workaholic lawyers, have rushed off to the office.
So, far from being polished off in record time, Theodore Boone took the author just as long per page as any of his normal novels, working at the same pace as always.
"I write from 7am or 7.30am till noon each day," he says. "There are no phones and no faxes in the room, not a lot of light and not much of a view, either. I write straight onto the computer, but it's not connected to the internet, in case I get hacked into," Grisham says.
"Twenty years on, the books are still fun to write and I've still got lots of stories I want to tell, mainly about social injustice and people chewed up by the system. Every morning I wake at 6am or 6.30am, champing at the bit."
Not something he could have foreseen 40 years ago when, unlike young Theo, all he wanted to be was a professional sportsman. Luckily for thriller readers all over the world, those dreams were snuffed out early, although he still has the odd sporting highlight to remember. Asked for his best ever moment, he pauses for a second.
"Oh yes," he smiles, a warm glow spreading all over his face. "It was in a high-school football match, I was playing quarterback and I ran 80 metres past some large and extremely terrifying opponents to score a touchdown. There wasn't a large crowd there on the day, but the cheerleaders sure saw it. And that was enough."
Theodore Boone, Young Lawyer is published in hardback on June 3 by Hodder and Stoughton. The book is available from Telegraph Books for £11.99 plus £1.25 p&p. Call 08448711515 or visit books.telegraph.co.uk .
There is also a website at theodoreboone.co.uk, from which teachers wanting to explore the book’s ethical issues can download ready-made assembly and lesson plans
Where he stands on:
Fame and being recognised
“Quite often I can be in a bookshop, standing beneath a great big picture of myself and paying for a book with a credit card clearly marked John Grisham, yet no one recognises me. I often say I’m a famous author in a country where no one reads.”
The one-pen rule
“I always do book signings with the same blue pen. That way, if I add a personalised message to a book I’ve already signed, it’ll be in the same colour as my signature. It looks so much better.”
Having an editor close to home
“I always show my wife Renée my manuscripts and she’s always got some good suggestions. But she does love to make those big, round circles with her red pen.”
Theodore Boone – forever 13
“If the Theodore Boone books catch on, I’m going to write a whole series, but however many books I end up writing, Theo will always be the same age. That’s the secret of The Simpsons’ success — Bart never gets any older.’’
The Bournemouth connection
“I was once offered the chance to buy Bournemouth Football Club. It all started when my UK editor Oliver Johnson took me to a Chelsea match and, as a joke, I started cheering for the opposition, which was Bournemouth. Somehow it got reported in the papers that I was a big fan of theirs, and when the club got into financial difficulties, I was contacted and asked if I would like to take it over. It was a nice offer, but I declined.”
quarta-feira, 26 de maio de 2010
terça-feira, 25 de maio de 2010
John Grisham's new legal thriller, like the 17 that preceded it, revolves around a heinous crime. This time a man is on trial for strangling his wife.
One big difference — it's written for kids ages 8 to 12.
Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer (Dutton, $16.99), in stores today, is the best-selling author's first book for young readers.
"After the first dozen or so legal thrillers — or any type of book that you write over and over — you quite naturally begin wondering if you can do something else," says Grisham.
In 2001, after writing 11 legal thrillers, he wrote A Painted House, a novel inspired by his childhood in rural Arkansas. Other non-thrillers, including non-fiction, followed.
"I didn't know if I could write for kids," says Grisham, "but I had a good story. I think everything goes back to the story. And I've been thinking about this story about a 13-year-old lawyer. One thing led to the other."
Theodore Boone isn't your typical kid. The fact that he dreams of one day being a judge or a lawyer — his beloved mutt is named Judge — has a lot to do with the fact that both his parents practice law.
His idea of a good time is watching trials at the courthouse. He doles out free advice to his schoolmates on divorce, custody, bankruptcy and an impounded dog.
Suspense builds when Theo gains evidence that can prove an accused man did kill his wife. He's sworn to secrecy, but if he doesn't tell what he knows, the man could go free.
"I was really not sure how suspenseful or how frightening to make the story," says Grisham, 55, who was careful with how he depicted the murder. "I really worried about it. I devised a crime scene and tried to make it as mild or as tame as possible. I didn't want bloodshed. You don't want to scare 10-year-olds."
First printing for Theodore Boone is 1 million copies. Grisham hopes the book is popular and plans a series even though he knows his deviations from the adult legal thriller genre sometimes don't sell as well.
"What I've learned by doing other books is that there is a very loyal fan base of people who just love the legal thrillers. The sales numbers kind of bear that out."
Those fans don't have long to wait. Grisham's The Confession is due from Doubleday in October.
John Grisham targets the younger set with the tale of a 13-year-old legal eagle.
by Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
Like Carl Hiassen, Francine Prose and Susan Straight before him, John Grisham is paying attention to the younger set. His new legal thriller, "Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer," is targeted at readers between 9 and 12, the age group otherwise known as tweens.
The main character of this novel, 13-year-old Boone, is slightly older than that, but as a bicycle-riding junior high schooler, he is definitely still a kid. Certainly, he's far from law school, let alone the bar exam, so what's with that title anyway?
Well, like the writer who created him, Boone has an unusual fascination with the legal system. The only child of two busy lawyers — one a divorce attorney, the other specializing in real estate — he has a dog named Judge and spends his free time at the local courthouse.
His interest in the law is so well known that classmates seek him out for legal advice and judges make special accommodations to speak with him. Boone even scores prime seats at the local murder trial in which a husband stands accused of killing his wife.
This, of course, is classic Grisham, if a little watered down. The author, who exploded into the marketplace with 1989's intricately murderous "A Time to Kill," has since published 23 books, many of which center around the characters and complications of the legal world.
Many of these books are violent, dealing with the seedy side of the law. Here, Grisham takes a lighter tack, as befits his audience.
Thus, while the novel's plot centers around a murder, it is a straightforward and bloodless strangulation. And there are no suspects other than the husband, who is likely to be acquitted.
The book's young readership means there isn't a whole lot of mystery in "Theodore Boone," but there is at least one unusual, au courant twist that comes when Boone is approached with evidence that could affect the trial's outcome.
This material is provided by an illegal immigrant who trusts Boone but fears he will be deported if he comes forward with what he knows. This dilemma results in some age-appropriate ethics wrestling for Boone, who must decide between betraying a confidence or letting a guilty man walk.
There is a lot of trial watching and explication of the legal process in "Theodore Boone" and, in some spots, it slows the book. This could have been deadly if not for Grisham's obvious love of the legal process and his gift for distilling its complexities into easy-to-understand layman's terms.
Especially interesting is his ability to make the law relatable to readers who probably have no understanding of how, or even if, it affects their daily lives.
Among the friends who seek Boone's legal advice are a girl who worries about the custody arrangements in her parents' divorce, a boy who fears his family's home will be foreclosed upon, another boy whose older sibling has been arrested for drug possession and, of course, the "hot" girl who never paid attention to Boone until she realized he could help her reclaim her dog from the pound.
While the counsel they seek isn't woven into the narrative as artfully as Grisham's adult readers might expect, it may not matter to the young audience "Theodore Boone" is meant to attract. At least, that's what the author is counting on. As for everyone else, they probably want to wait for Grisham's new adult novel "The Confession," which is scheduled to come out later this year.
sexta-feira, 14 de maio de 2010
A série "The Client", baseada no livro de John Grisham, foi ao ar na CBS entre Setembro de 1995 e Abril de 1996 com 21 episódios
Duração: 60 min. cada episódio
Michael Filerman - Produtor executivo
Arnon Milchan - Produtor executivo
Judith Paige Mitchell - Produtor executivo
Robert Nathan - Produtor executivo
Tom Luce - Produtor
Lynn Raynor - Produtor
Paul Shapiro - Diretor
Judith Paige Mitchell - Roteirista
JoBeth Williams - Reggie Love
Polly Holliday - Momma Love
John Heard - Roy Foltrigg
Ossie Davis - Judge Harry Roosevelt
David Barry Gray - Clint
1 - 19/Set/95 A Perfect World
2 - 02 26/Set/95 Them That Has ...
3 - 03 10/Out/95 The Peach Orchard
4 - 04 17/Out/95 Drive, He Said
5 - 05 24/Out/95 The Burning of Atlanta
6 - 06 31/Out/95 Dear Harris
7 - 07 07/Nov/95 The Prodigal Father
8 - 08 14/Nov/95 Child's Play
9 - 09 21/Nov/95 Happily Ever After
10 - 10 19/Dez/95 The Way Things Never Were
11 - 11 09/Jan/96 Sympathy for the Devil
12 - 12 11/Jan/96 Motherless Child
13 - 13 16/Jan/96 Private Lives
14 - 14 30/Jan/96 Winning
15 - 15 06/Fev/96 The Morning After
16 - 16 19/Mar/96 Damn Yankees
17 - 17 26/Mar/95 The High Ground
18 - 18 02/Abr/96 Past Imperfect
19 - 19 09/Abr/96 The Good Samaritan
20 - 20 16/Abr/96 Money Talks
com informaçõe do epguides
quinta-feira, 13 de maio de 2010
Título original: The Firm
Duração: 02 hs 34 min
Ano de lançamento: 1993
Estúdio: Paramount Pictures
Distribuidora: Paramount Pictures / UIP
Direção: Sydney Pollack
Roteiro: David Rabe, Robert Towne e David Rayfiel, baseado em livro de John Grisham
Produção: John Davis, Sydney Pollack e Scott Rudin
Música: Dave Grusin
Fotografia: John Seale
Direção de arte: John Willett
Figurino:Ruth Myers e David Page
Edição:Fredric Steinkamp e William Steinkamp
Mitch McDeere é um advogado recém-formado que recebe uma proposta milionária para trabalhar em uma firma de advocacia. A medida que o tempo vai passando, ele percebe que a empresa, na verdade, serve de fachada para lavar dinheiro da máfia, e que todos os advogados que saíram, ou tentaram sair da firma, morreram de forma misteriosa.
Tom Cruise (Mitch McDeere)
Jeanne Tripplehorn (Abby McDeere)
Gene Hackman (Avery Tolar)
Hal Holbrook (Oliver Lambert)
Terry Kinney (Lamar Quinn)
Wilford Brimley (William Devasher)
Ed Harris (Wayne Tarrance)
Holly Hunter (Tammy Hemphill)
David Strathairn (Ray McDeere)
Gary Busey (Eddie Lomax)
Steven Hill (F. Denton Voyles)
Barbara Garrick (Kay Quinn)
Paul Sorvino (Tommie Morolto)
Prêmios e nomeações
Oscar 1994 (EUA)
Indicado nas categorias de melhor atriz coadjuvante (Holly Hunter) e melhor trilha sonora.
BAFTA 1994 (Reino Unido)
Indicado na categoria de melhor atriz coadjuvante (Holly Hunter).
MTV Movie Awards 1994 (EUA)
Indicado nas categorias de melhor atuação masculina (Tom Cruise) e homem mais desejável (Tom Cruise).
People's Choice Awards 1994 (EUA)
Venceu na categoria de filme dramático favorito.
- O automóvel Mercedes que o personagem McDeere recebe da "firma", foi oferecido como presente para Tom Cruise ao término das filmagens.
- Robin Wright Penn recusou o papel que acabou com Jeanne Tripplehorn.
- Jason Patric recusou o papel de Mitch.
- Na época em que A Firma foi lançado, o nome do ator Gene Hackman não aparecia no material promocional do filme
Com informações do Adoro Cinema e Wikipédia
quarta-feira, 12 de maio de 2010
A Firma de John Grisham pode finalmente tornar-se uma série de Tv após 20 anos de lançamento do livro e depois de ter ido as telonas através da direção de Sydney Pollack e Tom Cruise no papel principal. Lukas Reiter havia previamente escrito o roteiro para a CBS que desistiu da adaptação, agora Reiter está escrevendo um novo roteiro que está sendo negociado com redes de Tvs a cabo. Reiter e Grisham são produtores executivos e já existe interesse de pelo menos uma rede.
Em 1995, o livro O Cliente foi adaptado e uma temporada foi exibida na CBs. Em 2003, a ABC apresentou um piloto baseado em O Advogado.
domingo, 2 de maio de 2010