Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Book Review - Doubling Up
Doubling Up begins in the French Quarter with a day in the life of a young lawyer named Matt Durant gone horribly awry: after a few beers, Matt works up the courage to visit a gay bar. There he meets a stranger named Joey Buckner. When Matt and Joey duck into an alley behind the bar to take a leak, three drunks happen on the pair, beat up Joey, and force Matt to attack one of the men. Matt is thrown in Orleans Parish Prison and has to call his boss for help, which forces him out of the closet. The Kirkus Reviews Indie program has written that Verity "demonstrates dexterity as a storyteller, particularly in the book's second half, as the trial oscillates between moments of melodramatic contrivance and nail-biting narrative tension." The Kirkus Indie review concludes by describing the book as "an entertaining, by-the-numbers procedural spiced up by a likable, fresh-faced gay underdog and a zinger of a denouement."
About the Author
Paul Verity grew up in the deep South and was always interested by the history of the movement for the civil rights of African-Americans. An avid reader from childhood, Verity first conceived DOUBLING UP in college as a novel about an interracial relationship. In his travels around the country throughout the course of his education and employment, Verity became more aware of the contemporaneous struggle for gay rights. DOUBLING UP is an amalgamation of themes from those two separate struggles for civil rights and invites the reader to compare and contrast the two. As a practicing lawyer, Verity also hopes that he has stripped any unnecessary legalese from the underlying constitutional debate and made it more accessible to the interested, lay reader. At the same time, Verity does not shy away from fully developing the legal proceedings and issues and hopes that DOUBLING UP will appeal to the same audience that enjoys the sort of gritty legal realism found on television series such as the various Law and Order programs. Verity enjoys reading and watching college football in his spare time.
My Take on the Book
This book reminds me of some of the writing of John Grisham, and as a reader you really can feel the courtroom action and visually see what was happening, when it was happening. For me, this is the true mark of a strong author and a strong book. On top of this though the author does a good job at building characters that are multi-layered and you find yourself wanting to get to know them more (or at least I did). The courtroom scenes were so vivid that for me it was as if I was there. I do have to say though, without giving too much away, that I thought that there would have been more buildup to the climax of the book, but it was not as prevalent as I would have first guessed. Don't get me wrong, it was still thoroughly enjoyable to read, I was just a bit surprised. Overall, a strong book that anyone with interest in legal procedure, cases or the such will enjoy!
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