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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Nibble & Kuhn by David Schmahmann

Nibble & Kuhn
Publisher: Academy Chicago Publishers
ISBN: 0897335929
Pages: 279 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

Publisher’s Description:
An unraveling law firm. An unwinnable case. An unworkable love. 

Derek Dover has it all.

Derek's up for partner at Nibble & Kuhn just as that most proper of Boston law firms comically tries to `rebrand' itself for the Google era. Pompous and arbitrary, the ruling junta of partners saddles him with a high visibility lawsuit just weeks before trial. The diligent young attorney arranges things so that Maria Parma, a new associate in the firm for whom he's fallen hard, also gets named to the case. Maria, in turn, can't keep her hands off Derek, but it's complicated because she's engaged to someone else.

As Derek prepares his case on behalf of seven young victims of an industrial polluter, his anxieties about his career and his torments over Maria's mixed messages only increase. Have his eccentric WASP superiors handed him a `toxic' case to ruin his chances of becoming a partner? How can he get his opponents to settle - an outcome the presiding judge all but demands - unless his unorthodox `expert witnesses' perform with enough gravitas to match that of the other side with its Harvard Medical School scientist? Will Nibble & Kuhn survive the partners' spectacularly bad business judgments? Does it even matter to Derek, given that his looming fiasco of a trial and his indiscretions with Maria seem set to sink any chance he ever had at partnership?

Ultimately, Derek sets into motion a line of inquiry that spins events entirely out of the control of the judge, jury, and any and all attorneys. 

My Review:
Let me start by saying, I do not like law firms, lawyers or anything in that sphere. To be quite frank, that whole world would be my epitome of hell or whatever bad place bad people go when they die. I thought that this would be a problem for me when I started Nibble & Kuhn but it wasn’t.

I really love satires. They bring out the funny parts of places you would never think you would be the least bit interested in. This was true about Nibble & Kuhn because out of all the places on Earth a high powered law firm is probably one of the last places that I would want to be. Nibble & Kuhn really brought that environment to life by adding a touch of humor.

The only flaw I can find with this and most other satires was that the characters tend to be either flat or really annoying. Nibble & Kuhn presents a melding of the two. I found Derek to be a bit flat in some parts of the book. I could not really make a connection with him even though I really, really wanted to. I also thought that Maria was a bit obnoxious and she was part of the reason I could not make a connection with Derek. She seemed to string Derek along by his nose hairs which really made me lose respect for him as a character. It’s sad to say that I would have liked the book twice as much without her.

I really did enjoy Nibble & Kuhn. It was quite the good distraction from a rather crazy holiday. It was definitely something different. I probably would not have picked this up on my own but I am very glad I did.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.



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