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By John Grisham

Przysięgli byli gotowi.Po czterdziestu dwóch godzinach obrad, po siedemdziesięciu jeden dniach procesu, po pięciuset trzydziestu godzinach zeznań czterdziestu kilku świadków i po całych wiekach milczącego wysiadywania, kiedy prawnicy spierali się, sędzia pouczał, a widzowie wypatrywali jak jastrzębie znaczących sygnałów, przysięgli byli gotowi. Dziesięcioro zamkniętych w pokoju dla przysięgłych, odosobnionych i bezpiecznych, z dumą kładło nazwiska pod werdyktem, a dwoje obrażonych siedziało w kącie, samotnych i żałosnych w swoim sprzeciwie.Były uściski i uśmiechy, i sporo zadowolenia, bo wyszli cało z tej batalii i mogli dumnie wmaszerować z powrotem na arenę z decyzją, którą wybronili siłą czystej determinacji, zawzięcie dążąc do kompromisu. Przetrwali ciężką próbę, wypełnili obywatelski obowiązek. Odsłużyli swoje ponad normę. Byli gotowi.Tak zaczyna się nowy mystery prawniczy, w którym Grisham tym razem zaskakuje bezlitosną ironią. Balansuje między czarnym humorem a zjadliwą groteską. Dzięki temu cała rzeczywistość: postaci, prawo i sprawiedliwość przybierają jeszcze bardziej złowieszczy wyraz.

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All smell sweaty, bitter. The girl seems to think they’re beneath her notice, even as they grip her shoulders. Together, they seem to be waiting for someone to take a family portrait. The girl turns her eyes away, resigned, and wipes her nose. “It’s going to get cold soon,” she says. The three don’t hesitate. They grab her up and run along the length of the tube, away from me and the dead tooth-snout, with its exposed radula. I watch their backs for a moment, the flapping of their rags, not sure whether I have any astonishment left in me.

The room is long and low. Carts wait on the floor. Bodies flop down on the carts and squirm but they’re moving slowly, slower still. They’re all going to freeze. I lash out, pushing her away. She encourages me. “That’s it,” she says. “Breathe deep. Fight. Hurry. ” Standing makes my head spin. ” I cry out. ” “They’re already dead,” she says. ” So that’s why I’m special. This time, when she takes my arm, I don’t resist—I’m in too much pain, and I don’t want to freeze. She drags me through a tall oval door into a long hall, curving up far away where there’s brightness, to my left.

I think over the words for the various parts of my body, internal and external. I apparently know a lot of useless things, but maybe not how to avoid being eaten. I know what I am, how big I am, I know how to move, I know useless things and simple things, but I don’t know what’s going on, I don’t know where to find food, I don’t know what’s inside the book or why it has seven shallow scratches on one side. I’m dozing in and out. I can see myself—imagine myself—talking to young humans, young versions of me.

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Apelacja by John Grisham


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