Chambermaid 2 Saira Rao Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg
James Gimmelman at PrawfsBlawg is none too impressed with Saira Rao’s roman a clef Chambermaid. From his review:

The book is an abomination, one of the worst novels I have ever read, both artistically and morally. The affected style, which runs the gamut from “cutesy” to “bench memo,” would be forgivable if the substance weren’t so dreadful.

Don’t hold back, James. Tell us what you really think.
He accuses Rao of making much ado about nothing:

But as the novel progresses, something odd happens. The character assassination against Judge Friedman becomes just too much. Raj’s life is pretty good, all things considered. Her hours aren’t particularly bad as clerkship hours go, the work itself is interesting enough, and while she may or may not get that dream job with the ACLU, even she acknowledges that it would be a rare accomplishment to land it. Her family loves and supports her; she always has at least one good friend nearby; she’s never threatened with any serious corruption of her values. Nor, beyond living in a slightly skeevy neighborhood, does she ever risk forfeiting her educational, economic, and social privilege. The indignities of life in Friedman’s chambers come to seem like just so much white noise, nothing one couldn’t endure for a year with a half-grin and a lot of shrugs. Which, actually, is more or less what Raj does.

We haven’t read it yet (maybe Lat will give us one of the three copies he’s gonna get for finishing in second place in the Funniest Law Blog contest; more on that later today), but we understand Lat is looking to do a review of his own (see earlier discussion of that here), so it will be interesting to get his take. Lat, of course, has unique experience in exposing the inner workings of a judge’s office.


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