Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Business brain stormingSince my last round-up of reviews, a few more outlets have written about Supreme Ambitions — favorably, as it turns out.

In a review for HuffPost Books, former Supreme Court clerk Aaron Zelinsky read Supreme Ambitions against the backdrop of one of the fall’s most buzz-generating books, William Deresiewicz’s Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life. This was a brilliant move given the books’ shared themes, such as the nature of ambition and the young overachiever’s search for self. As for his views on Supreme Ambitions, Zelinsky declared it “a fun read…. Lat has created a character that the reader feels attached to…. [F]or those eager to see what happens when the organization kids grow up, when the excellent sheep must leave the farm, Supreme Ambitions is for you.”

Over at Simple Justice, prominent legal blogger and noted criminal-defense attorney Scott H. Greenfield ingeniously used Supreme Ambitions as a vehicle for revisiting the early days of law blogging, back when the legal blogosphere was smaller, less commercial, and (arguably) more fun than it is today. His bottom line on Supreme Ambitions: “I absolutely loved this book. It was funny, fascinating and taught me about a world that [outsiders] would never know, or have reason to know…. If you take any pleasure in the secret sauce that makes the judicial hotties hot, then you will adore Supreme Ambitions.”

Finally, in the Indiana Law Blog, Marcia Oddi declared that Supreme Ambitions “will appeal to readers of Lat’s blog, Above the Law, as well as readers of other law blogs such as How Appealing and SCOTUSblog — those interested in the inner workings of the federal courts…. I would recommend it particularly to those interested in pursuing federal clerkships.”

As I’ve mentioned before, if you’re a book reviewer or journalist and would like an advance reader copy, please just email me to request one. Thanks!

When Excellent Sheep Grow Up [Huffington Post Books]
Book Review: David Lat’s Supreme Ambitions [Simple Justice]
Courts – Supreme Ambitions: A Novel by David Lat [Indiana Law Blog]
Supreme Ambitions: A Novel [Amazon (affiliate link)]
Supreme Ambitions: A Novel [Barnes & Noble (affiliate link)]
Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life [Amazon (affiliate link)]
Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life [Barnes & Noble (affiliate link)]

blurbIn a few weeks, hopefully around early December, Supreme Ambitions should arrive in bookstores (and get shipped to folks who pre-ordered it). Some time ago, we finalized the back cover, featuring these five wonderful blurbs (some from early reviews and some from recipients of advance reader copies):

“So realistic, it makes your teeth hurt. So much fun, you can’t put it down. A sprightly, gripping novel with a serious message about the rewards and dangers of unbridled ambition.”

Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

“This fine novel by a leading Internet commentator and analyst of the courts provides disquieting insight into the secretive world of federal judges and their brilliant anxious young law clerks.”

Judge Richard A. Posner, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

“Lat’s novel is a cross between a serious look into the heart of darkness and an insouciant study of Manolo Blahnik footwear…. This is legal realism at its finest but told in the highly unusual and difficult form of a well-crafted novel.”

Judge Richard G. Kopf, Hercules and the Umpire (book review)

“An interesting and revealing look at the lives of law clerks — bright young lawyers who give up sleep, sex, and happiness so that someone else can take credit for their work.”

Ed Hayes, author of Mouthpiece: A Life in — and Sometimes Just Outside — the Law

“Supreme Ambitions is a legitimate page-turner. Lat knows the story he wants to tell, and he tells it well. He makes no secret of the themes he wants to convey, and he conveys them effectively. Overall, it’s a smashing success.”

Steve Klepper, Maryland Appellate Blog

I thank Chief Judge Kozinski, Judge Posner, Judge Kopf, Ed Hayes, and Steve Klepper for their most generous praise. Positive reactions from readers, especially readers who are leading figures within the legal profession, make the many solitary hours I spent in front of my MacBook all worth it.

Supreme Ambitions: A Novel [Amazon (affiliate link)]
Supreme Ambitions: A Novel [Barnes & Noble (affiliate link)]

thumbs upEarly reviews for Supreme Ambitions have come in — and so far, so good.

The first review, a capsule review from a librarian and prolific book blogger, described Supreme Ambitions as “[e]xtremely well written and absorbing.” This review was brief, but I was glad to see that a non-lawyer enjoyed the book.

The second review, by Judge Richard G. Kopf (D. Neb.), examined Supreme Ambitions in much greater detail. Reviewing the book for his widely read blog, Hercules and the Umpire, Judge Kopf wrote, “Lat’s novel is a cross between a serious look into the heart of darkness and an insouciant study of Manolo Blahnik footwear…. This is legal realism at its finest but told in the highly unusual and difficult form of a well-crafted novel.”

Finally, writing for the Maryland Appellate Blog, Steve Klepper declared Supreme Ambitions to be “a legitimate page-turner. Lat knows the story he wants to tell, and he tells it well. He makes no secret of the themes he wants to convey, and he conveys them effectively. Overall, it’s a smashing success.”

I thank these reviewers for taking the time to read and write about Supreme Ambitions. I am especially grateful to Judge Kopf and Steve Klepper, prominent commentators within the world of law, for their thoughtful engagement with and kind words about the book. You can read their full reviews — which contain some constructive criticism as well — via the links below.

If you are a member of the media — and yes, of course that includes bloggers — and would be interested in a review copy, please feel free to email me to request one. Thanks!

David Lat’s first novel, “Supreme Ambitions,” deftly dissects judicial power [Hercules and the Umpire]
Book Review: David Lat’s Supreme Ambitions [Maryland Appellate Blog]
Supreme Ambitions by David Lat [Cayocosta72: Book Reviews for Avid Readers]
Supreme Ambitions: A Novel [Amazon (affiliate link)]
Supreme Ambitions: A Novel [Barnes & Noble (affiliate link)]

Supreme Ambitions coverOyez, oyez, oyez! Supreme Ambitions will appear in hardcover near the end of 2014 or early in 2015.

Although the book won’t hit stores for a few months, it’s now available for pre-ordering. You can read a short description of the book and place an advance order through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me. Thank you, as always, for your interest and support.

Supreme Ambitions: A Novel [Amazon (affiliate link)]
Supreme Ambitions: A Novel [Barnes & Noble (affiliate link)]

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’ve been exploring different ways of finishing Supreme Ambitions. After a great deal of thought, I’ve concluded that the story would be best served by publication as a traditional book.

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve just signed a book contract with ABA Publishing, the publishing arm of the American Bar Association. I’m going to submitting my complete manuscript to them later this year, and Supreme Ambitions: A Novel will be published sometime in 2014.

One of the advantages of working with a traditional publisher is editorial support. I’ll be working on finishing my manuscript with Jon Malysiak, executive editor at the ABA’s Flagship book imprint. Jon has worked extensively with fiction writers before, as an editor, agent, and teacher, and he also writes fiction himself.

Those of you who have read all of the web installments of Supreme Ambitions will notice many changes in the book version. I’m in the process of extensively revising what I’ve previously written, in addition to producing new material. In the revision process, I’m taking into account many of the excellent suggestions that I’ve received from web readers in posted comments and by email.

Once again, my deepest gratitude to all of you for your interest, insights, and encouragement. If you have any other thoughts you’d like to share with me about this project, I welcome them by email. Thank you!

In response to some recent comments and tweets, no, Supreme Ambitions is not dead. But yes, it has been on extended hiatus (not unlike the Supreme Court itself, which takes off for the entire summer).

I do plan on finishing the story, which I already have fully outlined (even if not yet written). But I’m mulling over different possible approaches to doing so.

In any event, I thank everyone for their patience and their interest!

19: Breaking Bread

Ed. note: Apologies for the delay between this installment and the last one. As you can see, I’ve moved from a Wednesday/Sunday posting schedule to something more… sporadic.

I spent Tuesday morning reading the briefs and doing some research for Hamadani, an immigration case involving a Pakistani man seeking political asylum in the United States. The immigrant, who overstayed illegally years ago but went on to start a successful small business (a grocery store), as well as to raise two kids here, seemed sympathetic. But the legal standard for granting asylum struck me as stringent.

So immersed in my reading, I didn’t realize it was half past noon until James’s tall, slender figure materialized in the doorway of my windowless office.

“Lunch?”

Continue Reading »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 37 other followers