Craig Chambers’ satirical law novel, F-ck You, Your Honor is a rambling, somewhat chaotic mess that is a surprisingly enjoyable read. Darwyn VanWye is in a bit of a predicament. His wife, Amalia, recently divorced him, he’s struggling with both of his jobs as a lawyer and a real estate broker, and he’s been sentenced by a judge (for what exactly, he’s not sure) to write “a book about the dignity and integrity of the legal system.” What follows is an exploration of Darwyn’s various experiences, both as a layer and a real estate broker, while he attempts to reconnect with his ex-wife, and continues to procrastinate working on his unfair sentencing.
“When you go to court, you simply hope for a break or that common sense sets in.”
The book’s chapters are short, often only a few pages long, and while the main story does slowly progress, it is often interrupted by remembrances of past clients and frequently loops back to Amalia. The various anecdotes are humorous, point out the flaws in the legal system and how people can use it to their advantage, as well as highlighting the dubious morality of our narrator. The book is rarely laugh-out-loud funny – some of the tales are much more engaging than others – but is likely to keep readers highly amused at Darwyn’s various interactions and observations. The writing is solid, easy to read, and due to the shortness of the chapters, makes it perfect for reading a few stories before bed.
As usual, the book won’t be for everyone as the world of law and real estate isn’t going to be engrossing for all potential readers. Due to the slightly rambling nature of the book’s structure, readers who are looking for a traditional narratively driven plot may not be fully satisfied. Readers interested in satire and those who enjoy a touch of schadenfreude are likely to find this an enjoyable read.
Whitney Smyth received a Master’s in Book Publishing and Technical Writing at Portland State University, following a Bachelor’s in English at the University of Arizona. She took over ownership of Portland Book Review in December of 2014. She also works as a freelance editor and can be commissioned at Smyth Editorial Services and spends what little free time she has on her own writing. Coming from a family of readers she devours an average of one hundred books a year, in a variety of genres. Her favorite authors are far too numerous to list, but include Alexandre Dumas, Mary Shelley, Jim Butcher, and John Green.
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