Thursday, December 9, 2010

What if John Grisham were a garden writer?

I just finished one of John Grisham's legal thrillers, The Appeal. Gripping, and a change from my steady diet of garden literature.

I wondered why Grisham so often called his novels "The noun" (The Firm, The Client, The Chamber) -- and I also wondered, would he ever set one of his books in the world of horticulture?

If he did, it might sound something like this:

The Greenhouse

Chapter 16

Sam ran down the dirt road, finding his way by the light of the half moon, clutching the seed tray to his chest. The sprouts were all that remained of his years of botanical research on corn.

Was it only two months since George Luger had first visited Sam's University of Mississippi greenhouse lab?

As his feet thudded along the packed dirt, Sam's thoughts went back to the day when he accepted the research grant Luger offered.

What he had not realized until this evening was that Luger was the central actor in a corporate conspiracy that reached from Wall Street to the corn fields of the Midwest. A conspiracy that sought to destroy the hybrid corn Sam had developed.

The sprouts Sam carried were the last survivors of his hybrid corn -- corn that could grow easily without pesticides. This robust hybrid would dramatically increase corn crops all over the world, alleviating mass hunger.

And the pesticide companies wanted his hybrid wiped off the map.

Sam ran on, hoping he was heading for the highway, where he would hitchike into Jackson and find the one man who could help him. He knew the senior Senator from Mississippi, Taylor Thomas, was in Jackson tonight, and as head of the Senate Agriculture Committee he had the power to crush the pesticide companies.

Suddenly Sam was blinded by headlights.

Stop, Sam, boomed a man's voice, Come over here and get in the car.

Sam ran into a ditch at the side of the road, trying to see past the lights and find out who was talking.

Sam, said the voice again, It's Senator Thomas. I've been looking for you. We have to get into town fast.

Sam walked slowly to the car, peering into the darkness.

Hurry Sam, we don't have much time.

As Sam reached the car someone pulled the seed tray away from him. Sam tried to hold on and several seed plugs came away in his hands. Then he felt a sudden pain in the back of his head, and as he fell to the ground he heard the car drive off.


And so, dear reader, what is your Grishamesque conclusion to this story?

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