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Anonymous Lawyer    by Jeremy Blachman order for
Anonymous Lawyer
by Jeremy Blachman
Order:  USA  Can
Henry Holt, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover, Audio, CD

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* *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

As a hiring partner at a prestigious law firm in Los Angeles, a high-paid lawyer is gearing up to interview a new batch of law students hoping to land a summer position. He's also doing everything in his power to position himself as a future Chairman of the firm. He has no friends (he's much too busy and too self-absorbed to have friends) and his wife seems intent on spending his money quicker than he earns it. As he emails back and forth with his niece, herself a law student, he begins to think that perhaps he needs a real outlet - a place to vent and share his innermost feelings about his work, his company, his colleagues, his marriage. And thus, the Anonymous Lawyer blog is born.

Online, no one is safe from Anonymous Lawyer's scathing retorts and judgmental opinions. Not 'The Old Guy' (the chairman of the firm for the last 15 years), not 'The Guy With the Giant Mole', 'The Fat Guy' or 'The Girl Who Dresses like a Slut'. Not even 'Anonymous Wife' or 'Anonymous Son'. And certainly not 'The Jerk', Anonymous Lawyer's nemesis at the firm. Going into tremendous detail about every flaw he perceives in everyone around him, Anonymous Lawyer leaves no embarrassing story untold, no sarcastic remark unwritten. And therein lies the problem. He's careful to mask real names and keep details that might reveal his identity well hidden, but what happens when someone figures out Anonymous Lawyer's true identity and threatens to reveal it to the partners of the firm?

Yes, this is in fact another blog-turned-novel. Like so many others before it (Breakup Babe, Dating Amy, etc.), Anonymous Lawyer uses the blog as a springboard for the plot. Unlike the other novels, however, Blachman sticks to the blog format for the entire book, interspersing the occasional email from Anonymous Niece and various co-workers in between Anonymous Lawyer's ramblings. The book's appeal lies in Anonymous Lawyer's scathing sarcasm. He doesn't hold back at all, and his opinions range from the outrageous to the outright heartless. For example, as he muses about the Chairman's funeral, he remarks: 'The Chairman's widow was standing right by the camera and the microphone picked up her sobbing. We asked her a number of times to be quiet, but she didn't listen.'

As you might expect, the book revolves around Anonymous Lawyer himself. In his mind, the entire world does, too. Although many of Anonymous Lawyer's remarks can be amusing, his constant venting and heartless comments begin to grate as the book progresses. Still, this is a unique, entertaining novel that can easily be read in a sitting. If you're still eager for more of Anonymous Lawyer's antics, the real Anonymous Lawyer blog is updated often.

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