John Grisham‘s readers may agree with his modest statement that his books are not great literature, but they would also agree with him that they’re entertaining. That’s the purpose of his writing–to entertain the reader. (The Litigators springs to mind.) As a writer, he is concerned about the strong emotions that his books evoke in the reader–anger at the injustice they portray, for one. (The Confession does just that.)
Like for many authors, Grisham ideas for books may be triggered by small incidents or stories that he hears or reads about. For instance, the inspiration for his very first novel, A Time to Kill, came from the trial he had once watched in courtroom. It had been a brutal case to watch, he said, but aren’t we glad that he had? Because if he hadn’t, who knows, maybe he wouldn’t have become a novelist, and thus, we would’ve been deprived of his wonderful legal thrillers?
I remember being so impressed by The Partner, and shocked by the ending about betrayal, that I checked out all of Grisham’s later novels, hoping to find a sequel, where I’d see the protagonist’s revenge. That was a strong emotion evoked in me, all right.