Secrets of the Wholly Grill: A Comic Novel about Software, Barbecue, and Cravings
||Author: Lawrence G. Townsend|
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Publisher: Carroll & Graf (09 February, 2002)
Average Customer Rating: 4.9 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 4 out of 5
Funny, but almost scary.
As a fan of wacky humor a la Carl Hiaasen, I found this book quite good. Given the reality of some of the insidious license agreements out there, however, some of Townsend's ideas are eerily close to the mark! No doubt, this comes from his expertise as an Intellectual Property lawyer. If he can either grab enough material from that field to write others or extend his style to other areas, we may have another Hiaasen on our hands. The courtroom interrogation of a German Shepard near the end had me in stitches.
Rating: 5 out of 5
A great legal satire
As a lawyer and as a self-proclaimed "numero uno legal thriller lover", I usually read about 50 legal thrillers a year - of the likes of John Grisham, Scott Turow, Lisa Scottoline, Richard North Patterson etc., etc. Suspense, courtroom drama, intrigue - are most probably the words that come to mind while describing legal thrillers.
However, words like amusing, hilarious & funny cross my mind after reading Secrets of the Wholly Grill - a novel the like of which I have never ever read in this realm of mystery writing.
Intellectual Property Lawyer Lawrence G. Townsend-s foray into fiction writing - Secrets of the Wholly Grill - is a superb satire, one that will be enjoyed by any person with a sense of humour.
Thinksoft, a software company introduces an innovative "laser-powered cooking device connected by modem to a proprietary information network, designed to provide the ultimate outdoor dining experience for millions of barbecue loving Americans - the Wholly Grill." A special sauce is shipped free by Thinksoft to many a customer, but the can can only be used on the Wholly Grill. Using the sauce in any other grill results in freakish accidents & dangerous explosions.
One such victim is Lenny Milton whose dog has lost his eyesight by consuming a barbecue product using this sauce in an ordinary grill. He approaches Will Swanson - a novice young attorney (a superb caricature of a lawyer usually seen in Grisham novels) & together, with the help of reporter Persi Valentino & lawyer Edwin G. Ostermyer, they take on Thinksoft. What follows is a rip-roaring humorous ride with David/Goliath style action that will enthrall & amuse.
Secrets of the Wholly Grill is a satire on our litigation-obsessed society, the unscrupulous monopolistic nature of modern day companies, on legal thrillers & finally on Consumerism.
We seldom associate legal thrillers with humour, (or for that matter lawyers with humour) - save for John Mortimer-s wonderful Rumpole works, I have never read a "funny" novel featuring legal-themed stories. The book reminded me a lot of MASH - a novel about doctors & medical service, unlike any other - & in that sense - Secrets of the Wholly Grill - is a unique look into the legal system, unlike any other.
Secrets of the Wholly Grill is a wholly satisfying read. Highly, highly recommended.
Rating: 5 out of 5
The cover alone forced me to buy this, and I was not at all disappointed. This is a book for conspiracy theorists and haters of monopolistic software vendors everywhere! Not only is this "laugh out loud" funny the whole (wholly?) way through, but it is scarily close to the "wholly truth".
Written by an intellectual property attorney from Silicon Valley who has obviously seen it all happen in reality: from absurd "shrink wrap licenses" to the increasing power of lawyers over the technological lanscape. What does a software company do when it runs out of new revenue sources for it's software? Why turn to the "consumer" marketplace, of course. But the catch is you still do business like a software company, with a draconian "shrink-wrap" license.
I won't spoil the ending, but suffice it to say that when the "wholly e-truth" comes out in the end, your sides should hurt from laughing! Don't miss it!!!!