The Accidental Activist
on Jan. 06, 2012
The Accidental Activist is loosely based on the Mc Libel case in London that took place in the 1990's. Like the real case, the character, Suzie and other protesters took on a big corporation distributing leaflets about their poor environmental practise and poor working conditions. The corporation sued for libel. Back then, people who were sued for libel were not given a public defender but this eventually changed because of this case.
This is a story of courtroom drama with a bit of romance thrown in. Matt was a computer geek who happened to meet Suzie by chance. It was instant love. When she got sued for Libel from a big oil corporation he found a way to help her with the assistance of his co-workers/ friends. Back then, websites were very new but they developed a website to get the word out. This was the first political website as far as it was known. Matt and his co-workers were basically fired from their jobs for setting it up.
I couldn't help but root for Matt and Suzie throughout the book and the courtroom drama was gripping. It even had a bit of sardonic humor in it. I would have liked to have seen a bit more character development but the story itself was great. Alon Shalev has explained that he likes to write "transformational fiction where ordinary people are drawn into fighting a social injustice and in doing so experience a life-shifting internal change." He succeeded using Matt as his transformational character.
If you're looking for a John Grisham like thriller that puts the main character in peril, this book is not for you. However, if you want a well written courtroom drama with British humor and style, I highly recommend this book