Encouraged by his law student niece, Anonymous Lawyer starts expressing his dissatisfaction on a blog where, cloaked in anonymity, he can at last be honest about himself and his life. Through the blog entries (spanning seven weeks) and emails – at first just between Anonymous Lawyer and Anonymous Niece, but after he adds an anonymous email address, between him and his growing readership – we get an increasingly detailed picture of the not unusual life of a senior manager in modern America. The blog, originally designed to get things off his chest, becomes both a vital release and a potential source of Anonymous Lawyer’s downfall – if anyone at the firm discovers who he is, his career could end.
I found this aspect particularly poignant as one of my favourite bloggers (Barbados Butterfly, a Melbourne-based surgical registrar) was suspended and forced to shut down her blog when her employing hospital discovered her identity.
The novel is based on the mock blog lawyer Blachman started a few years ago as a joke and an outlet. For someone who is not part of the corporate rat race, Anonymous Lawyer is a fascinating and disturbing insight into the lives of what may be a large proportion of white-collar employees.
"There are lots of things I can’t control. As you get older, you can’t control your body. My shoulder hurts from throwing a pair of scissors at my secretary last week…. My foot hurts from kicking a homeless man who was lingering around my car in the parking lot. I think he was homeless. He may have been a paralegal. I’m not sure. It’s not important."- Alex