Turow, Scott: The Burden of Proof
(researched by Amanda Dorrier)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)

"The Burden of Proof" was published by Farrer Strauss Ginoux, New York, New York in 1990.

Harper & Collins in Toronto simultaneously published this book in Toronto, Canada.

The arthur, Scott Turow reserves copyright dated 1990.

2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?

The first edition of "The Burden of Proof" was published in the United States appeared in cloth in 1990.

3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination

264 Leaves, [10] [1-3] 4-15 [16] 17-35 [36] 37-52 [53] 54-61 [62] 63-75 [76] 77-85 [86]87-94 [95] 96-102 [103] 104-117 [118] 119-129 [130] 131-143 [144] 145-151 [152-155]156-160 [161] 162-172 [173] 174-184 [185] 186-190 [191] 192-198 [199] 200-208 [209]210-215 [216] 217-226 [227] 228-241 [242] 243-250 [251] 252-265 [266] 267-272 [223]274-288 [289] 290-296 [297] 298-303 [304] 305-316 [317] 318-333 [334] 335-341 [342-345] 346-348 [349] 350-357 [358] 359-362 [363] 364-372 [373] 374-379 [380] 381-386[387] 388-393 [394] 395-400 [401] 402-409 [410] 411-420 [421] 422-425 [426] 427-431[432] 433-442 [443] 444-457 [458] 459-463 [464] 465-478 [479] 480-493 [494] 495-498[499] 500-502 [503] 504-515 [3]

5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?

In the front of this book there is a page advertising novels previously written by Scott Turow and an additional page with the title of the book, which is not the title page.

This Book is dedicated to Annette (who is thought to be) the authorís wife (Annette Turow). The dedication is simply ìFor Annetteî.

6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?

There are no illustrations whatsoever throughout this book.

7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available
8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)

The text is easy to read, nicely sized and spaced comfortably. The text when measured is 96R. The pages measures 9 1/4 inches by 6 inches. The text is new traditional serif, Electra. This font type allows a comfortable amount of text versus the paper margins and line spacing that adds to the readers experience in reading the book. The title of the book and the page numbers are written in the right border of the odd numbered pages, and the left border of the even number pages in bold italized font type. There are no chapter titles, only the chapter number with a decorative design, which has been repeated from the binding of the book. The book also contains part introduction pages, which are simply the part number in bold face print and the same decorative design only larger.

The cover is a combination of two different cloths and colors. The book is stamped on the spine with the title of the book, author, and publisher name. The front of the book is stamped with a design. The back of the book is plain.

The predominately black dusk jacket is very simple yet intriguing. The only artwork on the dusk jacket is a picture of the author, which completely covers the back of the jacket.The front of the jacket consists of lettering and lines. The name of the book is written across the top two inches of the jacket and is raised tall thin silver lettering with a red underline, which is neither raised nor stamped. The second half of the front jacket consists of the name of the Author. The author's last name (Turow) is written in extremely large gold stamped lettering which is shadowed with red that is not stamped or raised. The author's first name (Scott) in the same lettering is considerably smaller with a gold stamped line border, which covers part of the T and U of the author's last name. The bottom inch or so has advertisement for the Author in gold stamped lettering stating ìAuthor of Presumed Innocentî. The spine of the dust jacket has the same lettering as the front but completely switched. The author's first name (Scott) is written across the spine and outlined in silver neither stamped nor raised. The author's last name is written down the spine in the same silver lettering but has been stamped on the spine. There is a red square that separates the authorís name and the title of the book, which is stamped in gold and shadowed in red, which like the cover, is neither stamped nor raised. Printed on the bottom of the spine in white lettering neither stamped nor raised is ìFSGî the initials of the publisherís (Farrer Strauss Giroux).

9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available
10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)

The paper used for this novel, has a rough texture and matte finish. The paper is not very thick however it is of nice quality. The paper color is an off-white, which doesnít appear to be faded from the years of wear. The paper has a crisp sound when flipped. The end papers used in the front and back of the book is the same off-whites color however, is is much thicker cardstock paper. No dyes were used on the edges of this book. The pagaes are sown to the binding in an alternate red and black thread, which is visible from the top and the bottom of the book.

11 Description of binding(s)

The cover is a combination of two different cloths. The spine and approximately two inches of the front and two inches in the back are covered with a black cloth that a roughened texture. The rest of the book approximately 4-5 inches of the front and back are covered in a red smooth cloth. The name of the book, author, publisherís name, and some artwork consisting of line and decoration design are stamped in gold across the spine. This decoration is duplicated on the part pages and chapter pages through out the book. There is black stamped artwork, which appears to be a squiggly line on the front of the book (in the red section). This artwork is not duplicated on the dust jacket or on any other part of the book.The dusk jacket is mainly lettering with no artwork. The only artwork on this dusk jacket is a picture of the Author on the back. The front and spine of the dusk jacket have the title, author and publisher's initials in mainly silver and gold with highlights of red lettering.

12 Transcription of title page

THE|BURDEN|OF|PROOF|Scott Turow|FARRAR STRAUS GIROUX|NEW YORK|[Decoration Design 17 x 31 mm]

The title of the book was underlined on the title page. Also, FARRAR STRAUS GIROUX and NEW YORK should show a double underline.

Transcribe of the Verso Page

Copyright, 1990 by Scott Turow|All rights reserved|Printed in the United States of America|Published simultaneously in Canada by|Harper & Collins, Toronto|Fourth printing, 1990|Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data|Turow, Scott.|the burden of proof / Scott Turow.|I.Title|PS3570.U754B87 1990 812'.54-dc20 90-33593 CIP| |A signed first edition of|this book has been privately printed|by the Franklin Library|

13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings

Unable to determine where the manuscript resides.

15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)

There are two quotes which preempts this book one is a precedence from the United States Supreme Court in the case Prince Vs. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158, 166 (1944) which states ì[Our] decision have respected the private realm of family life which the state cannot enter.î The other is a rather long quote from Sigmund Freud in which Dr. Freud discusses how a near accident between one of his patients and their child could be linked to the patientís childhood. The patient's mother had blamed the patient's father for the death of his brother. These two very different quotes preempts the main character's, Mr. Sternës (a lawyer), life as it unfolds throughout the book. Sandy Stern being a lawyer is faced having to self examinate his own life in much the same way he would one of his cases.

The copyright page also states the Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data of Turow, Scott. The Burden of Proof / Scott Turow; I. Title. PS3570.U754B87 1990 813í.54-dc20 90-33593 CIP and makes note that ìA signed first edition of this book has been privately printed by the Franklin Libraryî

I obtained this book from a second hand dealer in Alabama. The storeís name is Emmyís Treasures and the owner had recently moved to Alabama from Tennessee.

The first edition copy of "The Burden of Proof" I obtained from Emmyís Treasures is the fourth printing and is in excellent condition.

Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History
1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A
Farrar Straus & Giroux released the first trade edition of ìThe Burden of Proofî in 1990. According to the description of the book in Bibliofind there doesnít appear to be many changes between the first edition and the first trade edition. The first trade edition has the same 515 pages, the same black cloth over red paper, gilted title and abstract design on the cover. Sources: Bibliofind.com
2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available
3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available
4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?
The first printing of this book yielded 750,000 copies by the time ìThe Burden of Proofî was listed number one on the Publisherís weekly bestseller list (June 22, 1990) there were 800,000 copies in print. My first edition is a fourth printing of this book. I was unable to find any other evidence of subsequent printings of the 1st. Edition. Sources: Publishers Weekly: April 20 pg 57, June 22, 1990 pg 64. Inspection of the 1st Edition Book.
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
Several Editions and reprints have been published from publishers other than Farrar, Straus, & Giroux. Reprint: Bloomsbury, 1990 Paper Back: Warner Books, 1991 Penquin, 1991 printed with 564 pages. Penquin, 1991 printed with 624 pages. Warner Books Edition, Warner Books 1991, c. 1990 printed with 564 pages. Large Type: Large Print Edition, Boston, Mass. :G.K. Hall, 1991, c. 1990. Ulverscrott, 1991 Great Britain: The burden of proof London: Bloomsbury, 1990, 1994 Presumed innocent ; &, The burden of proof. London : Bloomsbury, 1993. Canada: Burden of Proof Published simultaneously with 1st. Edition in United States. Toronto: Harper & Collins, 1990 Sources: RLIN WorldCat ñ Same Edition/Publish info as RLIN
6 Last date in print?
ìThe Burden of Proofî is still in print as of Feb. 2000. Currently being published by Warner Books, Inc. Publication date was Nov. 2000 for a reprint edition on Mass Market paper. The status for this is active according to ìBooks in Printî Sources: Books in Print
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
Total copies sold during the first year is unknown; however when the book was first listed number one on the Publisherís Weekly bestseller list there were 800,000 copies in print and the sales of the book reached $1,044,513 dollars the first year. ìThe Burden of Proofî was number one on the New York Times Bestseller List for 11 weeks and number one on the Publisherís Weekly list for 12 weeks. The Audio version was number one for 4 weeks. Sources: Bowkerís Annual ìLibrary and Book Trade Almanac 36th edition 1991 pg569 - 570. Bestseller Index ìAll Books, Publisherís Weekly & New York Times Through 1990 pg 309. Publisherís Weekly: January 26 pg. 76, April 6 pg. 28, April 20 pg. 20, and June 22, 1990 pg. 64.
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
According to Bowkerís Annual ìLibrary and Book Trade Almanacî 36th Edition published in 1991 ìThe Burden of Proofî reached 1,044,513 dollars in sales. The total hard back copies sold for "The Burden of Proof" and "Presummed Innocent" made Turow a new addition to the million-copy club. Sources: Bowkerís Annual Library and Book Trade Almanac 36th edition 1991 pg. 569 - 570.
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
ìThe Burden of Proofî was moderately advertised in Publisherís Weekly: The first advertisement appeared in the January 26, 1990 issue which, was advertising new releases for Spring & Summer 1990. Farrar Straus & Giroux had a full page, which listed all the new books to be released by the month. The Month of June lists Turowís ìThe Burden of Proofî. The Next advertisement for the book in Publisherís Weekly appears April 6, 1990 where Farrar, Straus & Giroux listed the book publishing date as June. The advertisement also states that $750,000 dollars was allocated for advertisement promotion, and author tour. The last advertisement for the book is in the April 20, 1990 issue where it lists ìThe Burden of Proofí in the magazineís forecast section. It gives a brief summary of the book and states that 750,000 books in first printing. Sources: Publisherís Weekly: January 26 pg. 76, April 6 pg.28, and April 20, 1990 pg. 57.
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
11 Other promotion
ìThe Burden of Proofî had a 16-copy floor display, which costs 367.20 dollars. The author (Turow)did a book tour however, I was unable to find the tour agenda. Sources: Publisherís Weekly: January 26 pg. 76, April 6 pg. 28, and April 20, 1990 pg. 57.
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
1990: The burden of proof [sound recording] New York: Simon and Schuster Audio works, (1990, 2 sound cassettes (180 min). ìAn Abridgementî The burden of proof [sound recording] Special Library Edition Newport Beach, CA. Book on Tape; p1990. 12 sound cassettes (18 hrs) Complete and unabridged. Read by Grover Gardner. The burden of proof Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1990. 10 Sound Discs. 1992: Scott Turowís the burden of proof [New York?]: Capital Cities: ABC Video Enterprises, 1992. 2 Video Cassettes (CA 180 min) Broadcast on ABC television Stations, Feb 9 and 10 1992. Scott Turowís the burden of proof [S.1.]: Starmaker, 1995 1992 1 Video Cassettes (184 min) Originally broadcast by ABC Feb 9-10, 1992 Scott Turowís the burden of proof [S.1]: Troy, Mich.: Starmaker; Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment 2 Video Cassettes (184 min) Originally broadcast by ABC Feb 9-10,92. Scott Turow reads from his novel, the burden of proof New York, N.Y.: [S.N], 1992 1 Sound Cassettes: analog. 1995: Scott Turowís the burden of proof [United States?] : Odyssey Video, 1995 2 video cassettes (VHS) (167 min) Teleplay by John Gray; based on the Novel by Scott Turow; Produced by John Perrin Flynn; directed by Mike Robe. Sources: WorldCat RLIN
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
Spanish: El peso de la prueba 1a ed. Barcelona (Espaana) : Ediciones B, 1991, c1990. Bogota, Colombia : Circulo de Lectores, 1991 2a. ed.: Barcelona : Ediciones B, 1991 Reprint: Barcelona : Ediciones B, [1998] 1a. ed. en offset. Publication info: Buenos Aires : Emece, 1991 Reprint: [Buenos Aires] : Emecae, [1997] (Barcelona : : Romanyaa-Valls) Roman: Die Burde der Wahrheit : Roman Edition: Neuausg. Publication info: Munchen : Knaur, 1993 1991 Portuguese: O aonus da prova / Rio de Janeiro : Record, [1997] (Barcelona : : Cayfosa) Vietnamese: Tha1/2 thaach khaaeac nghioaet [Haa Noaoi] : Thanh niaen, 1995. Japanese: Risshao sekinin / Taokyao : Bungei Shunjau, 1993. German: Die Beurde der Wahrheit : Roman / Publication info: Meunchen : Droemer Knaur, 1991. Italian: L'onere della prova 1a ed. Publication info: Milano : Mondadori, 1990. Hebrew: Netel ha-hokhakhah Tel-Aviv : Maariv, 1991 Sources: WorldCat RLIN
14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A
N/A Sources: *WorldCat - Unable to find any indication of Serialization. *RLIN
15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A
ìThe Burden of Proofî is a sequel to Scott Turowís first Bestseller ìPresumed Innocentî. Published in N.Y. by Farrar Straus Giroux, 1987. Sources: Bibliofind.com
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
While on a promotional tour for the phenomenally successful "Presumed Innocent", which earned Turow superstar author status, a $200,000 advance from Farrar Straus & Giroux (the most the publisher had ever advanced for a first novel (time 6/11/90)), $500,000 in sales to foreign countries, $3 million for paperback rights, and $1 million for the movie rights, Turow began writing his second novel "The Burden of Proof". Turow admits that Sandy Stern of "The Burden of Proof" is based partly on his uncle, a doctor who lived in Los Angeles. Turow states "I was always fascinated by his life and in his later years he found himself alone, unmarried, and I think, not entirely pleased with the way his life had gone." "I always wanted to write a book about a man like that who was starting again" (The Times Mirror Co. Los Angeles Times 6/11/90). "The Burden of Proof" took Turow three years to write, but almost didn't get finished. The first year and half on which he worked on the book Turow rose each morning at 6:15 and wrote until 8:15 then went to his office on the 77th floor of the Sears tower in Chicago. In 1988, his law practice consuming much more of his time caused him to quickly realize he "wasn't going to finish anything". He made an arrangement with the partners of Sonnenschin, Nath, & Rosenthal that would allow him to write at home in the mornings while taking calls from clients, and spend the afternoons in the office. Turow then used his commute time for editing instead of writing. After three days in bookstores "The Burden of Proof" was ranked number 1 on the New York Times best-seller list. (The Times Mirror Co. Los Angeles Times 6/11/90). Turow had done it again. Farrar Straus & Giroux set the first printing on "The Burden of Proof" to 800,000 copies ? a huge number for hard back. The paper back rights sold for a record-breaking $3.2 million. One month after "The Burden of Proof" debuted, the movie for "Presumed Innocent" was released, earning a box office receipt of $86.3 million, the tenth highest grossing film of 1990. If this wasn't success enough, Turow joined the ranks of Earnest Hemingway, J.D. Selinger, and Alex Haley by becoming the 92nd writer to appear on the cover of Time Magazine. (The Times Mirror Co. 6/11/90). Turow, despite being both a successful "high powered" criminal defense attorney (The Chronicle Publishing Co. 6/12/90) and a superstar author, has time for his family - wife and painter Annette, and his three children. They still live in the same four-bedroom house they purchased when Turow was district attorney, only having added an upstairs office where he now writes, and the purchase of an expensive automobile. Turow maintains the schedule of writing in the mornings, editing while commuting to work, and working in afternoons for Sonnenschin, Nath, & Rosenthal. Turow states "I'm the luckiest person I know" but he is always aware that the ground beneath him could crumble. Saying "Sooner or later you fall off of the mountain. It has to happen." (Washington Post 6/9/90). If it "has to happen" it definitely did not happen to Turow between the years of 1987 and 1990 nor does it look like it is going to happen any time soon. If you are interested in further information about Scott Turow please see other listings for him in the database. Here is a list of some of his works that may or may not have an entry. Presumed Innocent Burden of Proof Pleading Guilty The Laws of Our Fathers Personal Injuries Resources: Contemporary Authors Time 6/11/90 Washington Post 6/9/90 The Times Mirror Co. Los Angeles Times 6/11/90 Current Biography Yearbook 1991 Gannett News Service 5/16/88 Chronicle Publishing Co. 6/12/90 Lexis Nexus Dow Jones Interactive
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
The Burden of Proof while spending 29 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list and 27 weeks on the Publishers Weekly Bestseller list received a broad range of reviews. Large majority of the reviews were favorable, 9 to 1 ratio. One of the reviews stating "The Burden of Proof, a more serious, more ambitious, and finally a better novel." (USA Today 6/1/90) To an Unfavorable review from The New York Times, "if re-creating the strengths of "Presumed Innocent" was Turow's intent, he comes up short." It also states, "if you're an aficionado of soap operas; you'll probably love "The Burden of Proof." The review ended stating "Scott Turow can do better, as he's already shown, and undoubtly he will again. (New York Times, 6/30/90) Several of the reviewers commented on the literary quality of "The Burden of Proof". Jonathan Yardly with the Washington Post wrote "Its that rare book, a popular novel that is also serious, if not "Literary" fiction." (The Washington Post 6/3/90) Other reviewers while giving Turow credit for the literary qualities of "The Burden of Proof" also commented that it fell short of Turow's first novel "Presumed Innocent". One reviewer wrote, "In its own right as outstanding a literary achievement?Lacks that books [Presumed Innocent] high melodrama and its courtroom excitement" this reviewer went on to say that he felt many readers will end up saying that it was a let down after Turow's first novel. (St. Petersburg Times 6/10/90) This review was not alone in his beliefs, other reviewers with the Financial Times in London, and St. Louis Post ? Dispatch wrote similar comments. One wrote "Turow's new novel does not take him to the Olympian Heights he reached with his remarkable debut, "Presumed Innocent"."(The Financial Times 7/1/90) The other wrote "It lacks the Brittle tension of "Presumed Innocent"."(St. Louis Post-Dispatch 6/17/90) Even though these reviewers made these comparisons to Turow's first novel they went on to give "The Burden of Proof " good reviews. The reviewer for the Financial Times wrote, "He has nonetheless produced a thriller that will certainly prove one of the year's best. Turow has once again written an engrossing crime story in which public transgression and private torment are woven into a seamless and compelling fabric." (The Financial Times 7/1/90) The reviewer for the St. Louis-Dispatch wrote "The writing is superior and the finale totally unexpected." (St. Louis Post ? Dispatch 6/17/90) Sources: The New York Times 6/3/1990 St. Petersburg Times 6/10/1990 USA Today 6/1/90 The Washington Post 6/3/1990 The San Diego Union ? Tribune 6/3/1990 St. Louis Post ? Dispatch 6/17/1990 The Financial Times (London) 7/1/1990 Bestseller Index, McFarland pg. 309
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
The Burden of Proof while spending 29 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list and 27 weeks on the Publishers Weekly Bestseller list received a broad range of reviews. Large majority of the reviews were favorable, 9 to 1 ratio. One of the reviews stating "The Burden of Proof, a more serious, more ambitious, and finally a better novel." (USA Today 6/1/90) To an Unfavorable review from The New York Times, "if re-creating the strengths of "Presumed Innocent" was Turow's intent, he comes up short." It also states, "if you're an aficionado of soap operas; you'll probably love "The Burden of Proof." The review ended stating "Scott Turow can do better, as he's already shown, and undoubtly he will again. (New York Times, 6/30/90) Several of the reviewers commented on the literary quality of "The Burden of Proof". Jonathan Yardly with the Washington Post wrote "Its that rare book, a popular novel that is also serious, if not "Literary" fiction." (The Washington Post 6/3/90) Other reviewers while giving Turow credit for the literary qualities of "The Burden of Proof" also commented that it fell short of Turow's first novel "Presumed Innocent". One reviewer wrote, "In its own right as outstanding a literary achievement?Lacks that books [Presumed Innocent] high melodrama and its courtroom excitement" this reviewer went on to say that he felt many readers will end up saying that it was a let down after Turow's first novel. (St. Petersburg Times 6/10/90) This review was not alone in his beliefs, other reviewers with the Financial Times in London, and St. Louis Post ? Dispatch wrote similar comments. One wrote "Turow's new novel does not take him to the Olympian Heights he reached with his remarkable debut, "Presumed Innocent"."(The Financial Times 7/1/90) The other wrote "It lacks the Brittle tension of "Presumed Innocent"."(St. Louis Post-Dispatch 6/17/90) Even though these reviewers made these comparisons to Turow's first novel they went on to give "The Burden of Proof " good reviews. The reviewer for the Financial Times wrote, "He has nonetheless produced a thriller that will certainly prove one of the year's best. Turow has once again written an engrossing crime story in which public transgression and private torment are woven into a seamless and compelling fabric." (The Financial Times 7/1/90) The reviewer for the St. Louis-Dispatch wrote "The writing is superior and the finale totally unexpected." (St. Louis Post ? Dispatch 6/17/90) Sources: The New York Times 6/3/1990 St. Petersburg Times 6/10/1990 USA Today 6/1/90 The Washington Post 6/3/1990 The San Diego Union ? Tribune 6/3/1990 St. Louis Post ? Dispatch 6/17/1990 The Financial Times (London) 7/1/1990 Bestseller Index, McFarland pg. 309
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
Turow's novel "The Burden of Proof" is the sequel to his first mega-successful novel "Presumed Innocent". In writing "Presumed Innocent" a genre, legal thriller, was re-invigorated and became instantly popular. Much in the same way and for similar reasons, Ian Fleming's, James Bond, novels became instantly popular in the 50s and 60s with the events of the cold war. The Iran Contra hearing is one of the reasons the legal thriller genre became so popular in the 80s and 90s. Scott Turow, John Grisham, Ian Fleming, and John LeCarre are all professionals working in the same field their books were written about. Fleming and Grisham both produced/produce on average a book a year which is written using a particular formula, and both are considered less serious writer in their genres. Turow and Le Carre produce/produced on average one book every three years and are considered more serious writer in their genres the way they purposefully mix the genres to achieve a high suspenseful level of complexity. "The Burden of Proof" was released three years after Turow's first mega successful fictional novel "Presumed Innocent". In 1987, when "Presumed Innocent" was released it became an instant bestseller. "Presumed Innocent" remained on New York Times bestseller list for forty-four weeks, eight of those weeks it was listed number one, and remained on Publisher's Weekly bestseller list for forty-three weeks holding number one for ten of those weeks. By November of 1987 700,000 hardback copies of "Presumed Innocent" had been sold. One of the reviewers raved "Presumed Innocent" is without a doubt a ambitious and absorbing novel, the work of profoundly gifted writer with a fine, distinctive voice." (Stephanie Osbourne, "Presumed Innocent" Database entry) Turow instantly became a household name with this profoundly successful novel, a rare event for most authors first fictional novel. This type of success and popularity opened the doors for Turow's second novel "The Burden of Proof". Upon "The Burden of Proof" release in June of 1990 it promptly became a number one bestseller on both the New York Times and Publisher's Weekly bestseller list. Turow reinvigorated the legal thriller genre with "Presumed Innocent". Some believe this genre became so popular because of world events. During the release of "Presumed Innocent" American's were glued to their televisions watching the litigation of the Iran Contra hearings. Much like in the 50s and 60s with the events of the cold war being the center of everyone's attention the spy thriller genre became instantly popular. Novels by Ian Fleming, James Bond, and Le Carre, "The Spy who came in from the Cold", became huge bestsellers. In the 50s and 60s Fleming's, James Bond, novels were made into blockbuster movies. Le Carre novels were also made into popular movies and popular television miniseries while not performing as well as the James Bond movies. During this time television shows such as I Spy, the Saint, and Mission Impossible became popular. It seemed as though American's, the World, couldn't get enough of, spy thrillers. Much like in the 80s and 90s when legal thriller movies from Turow and Grisham became blockbusters, popular television miniseries, and several law themed television shows appeared such as Law and Order, currently in their 15th year, Matlock, and JAG became and remain very popular. Fictional Law thriller television shows weren't the only popular law themed shows; shows such as Judge Wapner and Judge Judy became very popular and currently air during daytime hours on many television stations. Even Playboy jumped on the law craze with their version of Judge Wapner and Judge Judy, just with a twist, called Sex Court. Scott Turow is a practicing lawyer who writes legal thrillers. Grisham, while he is not currently practicing, is a lawyer who also writes legal thriller. Fleming and Le Carre were both spies who wrote spy thrillers. Having worked in the field of their subject matter gives the Authors the advantage to create a more realism through out their novels with the attention to detail. The CIA criticized Le Carre's novel "The Spy who came in from the Cold" as being to realistic and hurting the reputation of the department. Ian Fleming's character, James Bond, is thought to be a prototype of Fleming even to having similar physical characteristics. Grisham gives details to his courtroom scenes but he lacks details on the characters in his novel. One reviewer, from Times Union stated "Grisham's books are more like screen plays, populated by one-or at best two-dimensional characters (Times Union 8/7/87). The reviewer went on to say that this was why Grisham's books have been turned into such popular movies stating, "There is nothing to simplify. Bring in star actors and let them by their very presence define the characters, because the men and women in Grisham's tales have such little identity" (Times Union 8/7/87). This is somewhat true with Ian Fleming's, James Bond, character. Actors such as Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Pierce Bronson while having general physical characteristics (tall, thin, and dark hair) the actors themselves help further define Bond's character. Creating the legend James Bond; the person everyone wants to be. Fleming and Grisham novels were both written using a formula. Formulas give the readers a comfortable level of familiarity with their books. Readers know the basic storyline and probable outcome prior to reading the novels. They know they will like Grisham's or Fleming's novels prior to purchasing them. In most cases these authors tend to write with simpler "Reader Friendly" language. This style of writing also allows the writer to produce novels faster. Fleming and Grisham on average produced/produce a book a year. The Authors are also credited as being less serious writers within their genres. When Laura Lippman, from the Baltimore Sun, asked Turow about John Grisham, Turow's response was "I always tread lightly here" but he went on to say, "The truth is, I don't have the same ambitions. There are many things to admire about John Grisham's work. He has the broadest readership probably of any American novelist working. His books are going to be read by junior high school students, blue-haired ladies in their 80s and everyone in-between. That, I think is very much by design, and I give him credit for that. There is much more about his story telling that is utterly seamless. But, I obviously tarry longer with characters and language. John is far and away the most popular of the lawyer writers, and god bless him for it. When my 12 year-old asked if she could read "Personal Injuries", I said, go ahead and try but I doubt she'll be able to" (The Baltimore Sun 10/17/99). Turow and Le Carre are different type of writer than Fleming and Grisham. Their books do just as well as Grisham's and Fleming's but their writing styles are very different. Turow and Le Carre don't use formulas to write their novels. Turow and Le Carre deliberately mix the genres to create complex characters, dialogue, and plot through out their novels. In "The Burden of Proof" Turow purposefully mixes the genre of legal thriller with that of psychological and emotional thriller. Sandy Stern, Turow's main character, is forced through out the novel to examine his own life as he would one of his clients. Le Carre mixes the spy thriller genre with the romance genre in his novel "The Russian House". Turow and Le Carre produce/Produced on average one book everyone three years and both have received many reviews complimenting the literary quality of their novels. "The Burden of Proof" being the sequel to Turow's first mega successful fictional novel "Presumed Innocent" which reinvigorated the legal thriller genre because of events with the Iran Contra hearings causing American's seemingly unable to get enough of it in the 80s and 90s. Turow, and other authors, being a professional in the their subject matter aids to the popularity of the genre. Unlike Grisham, Turow deliberately not using a formula and purposefully mixing the genres to create a high suspenseful level of complexity in his characters, dialogue, and plot to produce a number one bestseller. Sources: Database Entry by Brandis Russell, Turow, Scott: "Pleading Guilty" Database entry by Stephanie Osborn, Turow, Scott: "Presumed Innocent" Database entry by Lonette Merriman, Grisham, John: "The Pelican Brief" Database entry by Jeff Braintwain, Grisham, John: "The Client" Database entry by Meegan Yates, Grisham, John: "The Firm" Database entry by Katie Sachs, Grisham, John: "The Chamber" Database entry by Jill Johnson, Fleming, Ian: "The Man with the Golden Gun" Database entry by Joseph Maloney, Fleming, Ian: "You Only Live Twice" Database entry by Edward Martin, Le Carre, John: "The Spy who Came in from the Cold" Database entry by Nate Hagerty, Le Carre, John: "The Russia House" Database entry by Jason Hoffman, Le Carre, John: "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" The Baltimore Sun 10/17/1999 Times Union 12/7/1997 The Chronicle Publishing Co 6/12/1990 Contemporary Authors The Washington Post 6/9/1990 Time 6/11/1990 Bestseller Index All Books, Publisher's Weekly and the New York Times through 1990 PG 309.
Supplemental Material
If you would like to see Turow or attend one of the events involving his books. You can go to his website at this url to get a list of all the events scheduled. http://www.scottturow.com/author.html
Picture of Scott Turow
You are not logged in. (Sign in)