Friday, November 18, 2011

The Accidental Activist by Alon Shalev

The Accidental Activist is a Literary Legal/Political Fiction based on the McDonald's libel case of the 1990's.

Matthew is a computer programmer working on a program deal with an Oil conglomerate that could make or break his career.  His friends and colleagues are a tight knit group and the five of them always have each others backs.

On the night that Matthew and Paul attend a party, Matthew doesn't realize how much his life is about to change.  A woman approaches Matt and asks him to whisk her away from the boredom and from that day forward, their fates are intertwined.

Suzy is an activist who uses her education, tenacity and her willpower to bring light to degrading situations around the world.  Her newest pet project is saving the people in the Amazon jungle from an oil company who wishes to drill there.  The tribesfolk have stated they will all jump to their deaths if this is allowed.

As the two draw closer together, Suzy is arrested for handing out flyers that make the oil company look bad and she is charged with libel.  Matthew rallies his friends and colleagues together to fight back at the injustice of the British legal system and the big business that wishes to control the situation.  The group of friends create a web site to bring awareness to the plight and from there the site goes viral as more people are being informed.

For years Suzy, Matthew and their friends and family fight the charges in court, bringing in eye witnesses, scientists, experts and more to prove that some things are just worth fighting for.

I loved that this book was based on a true story, it always give the book an extra added appeal.  I thought that the characters were likeable and interesting to read.  I liked the dry humour that Matthew displays and the mysterious of Suzy as the story progresses was a nice touch.

I enjoyed reading about the British legal system and how it works, as well, the details shared in the courtroom were surprisingly easy to understand and follow.  The author writes with a layman's feel and you are drawn into the intrigue of courtroom drama.

I would give The Accidental Activist a four out of five stars.  While I enjoyed the read, I thought the book could have been expanded, giving us some more depth to the characters and their back stories.  I sometimes felt rushed in their introductions to the story and would have liked to have savoured their nuances.  However, this is a wonderful read and it has a feel good ending that I am sure most will appreciate.

David meets Goliath in the law courts of England in the 1990's. The advent of the Internet is leveling the playing field as a multinational corporation tries to silence two young political activists in a riveting court case that captivates the political and business world's attention. The company will try anything (sex, espionage, bribery and coercion) to stop or win this case. In fighting the corporation, a self-absorbed computer programmer discovers romance and a way to change the world one mega-pixel at a time.

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 ** Disclosure: I did not accept any compensation from the sponsors other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by I see it~!! **