“The worst letters come from retired high school English teachers,” Grisham said during an interview with The Associated Press to publicize his 17th book. “They will literally take a book and pick it to pieces and send me 14 pages of notes.” It’s that word “literally”. It makes the Babu think of a bunch of retired high school teachers patiently shredding the latest John Grisham bestseller to bits while another bunch, forming a second semi-circle of armchairs, picks up the fragments until they have enough to make fourteen pages of notes. Interesting how Grisham’s become the New Messiah Of Lowbrow Lit. Yes, he’s more literate (yeah, despite the “literally”) than most bestselling writers; yes, there are times when I’ve looked at the latest on the critically applauded charts and wished I was reading–well, not Grisham, unless Danielle Steele is the only other alternative–something less lyrical and more meaty; but he’s no Faulkner. Can we at least agree on that?

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