Read Me a Story ... or Four

USA TODAY, November 2011 | Go to article overview

Read Me a Story ... or Four


In an amusing television commercial, a busy mother states that she doesn't have time to read books with words. We can relate to that statement. Feels like forever since we've picked up a good book. We do, however, spend plenty of time running errands, commuting, etc., and we find that those times are perfect for listening to a book on CD. The same can be said for walking on the treadmill, performing mundane housework, and waiting for the kids to finish up at soccer practice--there are a lot of moments in the day when we can enjoy an unabridged audio book from Random House.

We are longtime fans of John Grisham, and his latest novel, The Litigators, is read skillfully by Dennis Boutsikaris, telling the tale of an underachieving law firm in search of a big break. After 20-plus years together, Finley & Figg, ambulance chasers specializing in quickie divorces and DUIs, with the occasional actual car wreck thrown in, continue to scratch out a half-decent living from their seedy offices in southwest Chicago. When David Zinc, a young but already burned-out attorney, walks away from his fast-track career at a fancy downtown firm, goes on a serious bender, and finds himself at their doorstep, the law firm is ready to tackle a really big case that could make the partners rich without requiring them to actually practice much law. An extremely popular drug, Krayoxx, the number one cholesterol reducer for the dangerously overweight, produced by Varrick Labs, a giant pharmaceutical company with annual sales of $25,000,000,000, has recently come under fire after several patients taking it suffered heart attacks. A little online research confirms a huge Florida firm is putting together a class action suit against Varrick. AII Finley & Figg has to do is find a handful of people who have had heart attacks while taking Krayoxx, convince them to become clients, join the class action, and ride along to fame and fortune. With any luck, they won't even have to enter a courtroom! It almost seems too good to be true--and it is.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian, read by Alison Fraser and Mark Bramhall, is a poignant and powerful ghost story about Chip and Emily Linton and their twin 10-year-old daughters--a family trying to rebuild their lives after Chip, an airline pilot, has to ditch his 70-seat regional jet in Lake Champlain after double engine failure, and 39 people die. Coincidentally, a door in a dusty corner of the basement in their new home has long been sealed shut with 39 six-inch-long carriage bolts. Meanwhile, Emily finds herself wondering about the women in this sparsely populated village--self-proclaimed herbalists--and their interest in her fifth-grade daughters. …

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