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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Sylvia (England) said...

Did you know that you had the ability to write a book? You got me hooked and waiting for the rest. A good book needs to get the reader interested in the first page - you can do that. So is 2011 going to be the year you write a best seller?

Best wishes Sylvia

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I don't read much fiction, so I couldn't draft a conclusion to your tale, but what a fun read! I wonder what will happen to poor Sam? Maybe it was a band of angry heirloom seed preservations that bonked Sam on the noggin? Grisham 'noun' titles would probably have been along the lines of "The Gopher"..."The Deer"...or "The Squirrel" ;)

Janet said...

I must agree with sylvia. I was captured by your first line. I am familiar with his books and you have mirrored the style with verve and economy. I am eager for more.


Janet said...

What fun! I too like reading Grisham books. I would not begin to try and 'end' your book....up to you my dear.
If you haven't read 'The Innocent Man' --- true story, great read. And there is one of his short stories 'Ford County' wonderful story teller.

Anonymous said...

Sam woke to a voice.

"Sam are you okay?" It was Trina his assistant. "What happened?"

Sam sat up, rubbing his head. "My corn..." Trina gathered what remained of the seed tray, several youthful looking corn plants, in fact the best of the lot.

"Whew that was close. That Senator Thomas impostor didn't get away with much. Come on let's get these plugs back to the greenhouse."

So you can see this was just a minor bump in the road [and head] for Sam. What will become of the corn? Will Sam and Trina be able to take down the Goliath of glutton and greed? Stay tuned and find out.

David said...

I can't wait until Chapter 17!

Anna said...

Sam was a tall man with pepper grey hair that went wild at the nap of his neck. Permanent marks on his nose remained after his glasses fell off during the ruckus.

He drifted in and out of conscientiousness but had during one of those brief moments tucked the seed in a torn area in the lining of his jacket. He was sure it would be safe for the moment.

Muffled sounds of hushed talking came from the front seat of whatever vehicle made him prisoner.

"Daffodil Planter" Charlotte Germane said...

You all are too funny! I was thinking that Senator Thomas was one of the bad guys, but these alternatives are intriguing. Anyone else with a conspiracy theory?

Anonymous said...

What a great imagination! I enjoyed the chapter and you definitely could write a garden mystery. Love it!

VW said...

I'm still laughing over the post title! I've read almost all of Grisham's books and enjoyed them. You certainly came up with a plausible subject for a garden thriller - but I can't think of an ending right now. My brain is still fried from writing Christmas cards to a million family members (well, not quite that many). Have a great holiday!

steve said...

Sam awoke with a start - and very painful headache. His eyes that felt as it they'd been Superglued shut. When he touched them, he suddenly realized they had been! "What else could happen?", he moaned quietly to himself, suddenly realizing that his lips had been Superglued shut as well.
"Good Lord. Have I been kidnapped by a Superglue Magnate? And how trite is that?", laughing at his predicament.

By use of his double-jointedness, Sam was able to slip his hands free from his plastic bag ties handcuffs. From there it was easy to get free of his other restraints. He could feel the Sun on his face and he followed it to a place of extreme brightness, which could get through even his glued eyelids. He gently reached up and managed to separate his lids and looked out over an amazing sight.
A spreading flat field, as far as the eye could (thankfully) see spread out before him. A sign to his distant right was coming into focus as well. It said "Monsanto".

Paula Jo @ Outdoor Garden Decor said...

What a cute and lovely story. I wanted to hear more, so I stayed and finished reading it. I'm so busy so I usually don't have the time, but something happened while reading it. Just don't know what the conclusion would be, but anxious to find out.

"Daffodil Planter" Charlotte Germane said...

Steve, Great stuff!

Sue and VW, Thanks for the kind words, and hope you're enjoying the holidays.

Welcome Paula Jo!

MrBrownThumb said...

Yeah, I don't think I could finish that, but I'm eager to see if you can write a good conclusion to it.

Pomona Belvedere said...

Sam's aching head was suddenly assaulted again - this time by lights.

Very bright lights. And there was a voice...

"Tune in next week for The Greenhouse, the reality TV show where the atmosphere is really hot."

Garden tips said...

great story. Great blog

Lesley said...

I'm not a Grisham fan, but I'm a fan of this! You're hilarious!

Tamara Jansen said...

Very clever :)

Helen said...

Charlotte, I think you have a future in fiction! I'd like to see more of your titles. Garden titles can be slightly ominous:

The Weeding
The Tiller
The Worm

"Daffodil Planter" Charlotte Germane said...

Checking back, and appreciating the visits from old friends Mr. Brown Thumb (all the way from Chicago!), Pomona Belvedere (my local garden blogging pal), and Helen (O Canada!).

Welcome to Lesley, Tamara, and Garden Tips