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The Associate [Hardcover]

John Grisham
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 Jan 2009
If you thought Mitch McDeere was in trouble in The Firm, wait
until you meet Kyle McAvoy, The Associate

Kyle McAvoy grew up in his father’s small-town law office in York, Pennsylvania. He excelled in college, was elected editor-in-chief of The Yale Law Journal, and his future has limitless potential.

But Kyle has a secret, a dark one, an episode from college that he has tried to forget. The secret, though, falls into the hands of the wrong people, and Kyle is forced to take a job he doesn’t want—even though it’s a job most law students can only dream about.

Three months after leaving Yale, Kyle becomes an associate at the largest law firm in the world, where, in addition to practicing law, he is expected to lie, steal, and take part in a scheme that could send him to prison, if not get him killed.

With an unforgettable cast of characters and villains—from Baxter Tate, a drug-addled trust fund kid and possible rapist, to Dale, a pretty but seemingly quiet former math teacher who shares Kyle’s “cubicle” at the law firm, to two of the most powerful and fiercely competitive defense contractors in the country—and featuring all the twists and turns that have made John Grisham the most popular storyteller in the world, The Associate is vintage Grisham.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 373 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Books; First Edition First Printing edition (27 Jan 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385517831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385517836
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 16.5 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,367,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi, law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby--writing his first novel.

Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn't have the right stuff for a pro career, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi State University. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. In 1983, he was elected to the state House of Representatives and served until 1990.

One day at the DeSoto County courthouse, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl's father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood Press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988.

That might have put an end to Grisham's hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career--and spark one of publishing's greatest success stories. The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on another novel, the story of a hotshot young attorney lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared. When he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures for $600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers, and book rights were bought by Doubleday. Spending 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991.

The successes of The Pelican Brief, which hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and The Client, which debuted at number one, confirmed Grisham's reputation as the master of the legal thriller. Grisham's success even renewed interest in A Time to Kill, which was republished in hardcover by Doubleday and then in paperback by Dell. This time around, it was a bestseller.

Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year (his other books are The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, The Partner, The Street Lawyer, The Testament, The Brethren, A Painted House, Skipping Christmas, The Summons, The King of Torts, Bleachers, The Last Juror, The Broker, Playing for Pizza, The Appeal, and The Associate) and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 250 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 29 languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas), as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man. The Innocent Man (October 2006) marked his first foray into non-fiction, and Ford County (November 2009) was his first short story collection.

Grisham lives with his wife Renee and their two children Ty and Shea. The family splits their time between their Victorian home on a farm in Mississippi and a plantation near Charlottesville, VA.

Grisham took time off from writing for several months in 1996 to return, after a five-year hiatus, to the courtroom. He was honoring a commitment made before he had retired from the law to become a full-time writer: representing the family of a railroad brakeman killed when he was pinned between two cars. Preparing his case with the same passion and dedication as his books' protagonists, Grisham successfully argued his clients' case, earning them a jury award of $683,500--the biggest verdict of his career.

When he's not writing, Grisham devotes time to charitable causes, including most recently his Rebuild The Coast Fund, which raised 8.8 million dollars for Gulf Coast relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He also keeps up with his greatest passion: baseball. The man who dreamed of being a professional baseball player now serves as the local Little League commissioner. The six ballfields he built on his property have played host to over 350 kids on 26 Little League teams.

Product Description


"It's a damned good read. This is Grisham returning to what he knows best." (Scotland on Sunday)

"Grisham paints a fascinating picture. Vintage Grisham, with a really believable ending" (The Guardian)

"Tense and exciting" (Evening Standard)

"Easily his most recognisably 'back to form' novel since The Firm. Grisham has returned with a vengeance to his trademark territory: the grim world of corporate law and the sinister machinations of the men on its fringes." (The Times)

"In typical Grisham fashion it does hurtle along at a decent clip" (London Lite) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Did he get bored at the end?! 17 Feb 2010
I usually love Grisham books but found the end of this book hugley disappointing. There was a great opportunity to bring the book to a superb end (maybe even a twist or two!) but he seemed to simply get bored of writing and wrap things up.
Who knows, maybe a follow up book will come out but one to avoid for now.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ok till it ends with no ending 19 Nov 2009
I reckon he got to page 380 or whatever and went "good that's enough let's wrap it up." Nothing was resolved, glad I got it out of the library I would have felt more cheated if I'd paid for it. Grisham: time to retire.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What's gone wrong with JG ?? 25 April 2009
By K. Ross
I'm starting to wonder if Grisham is fed up with writing.

For the second book in a row (after The Appeal), he sets up a decent and reasonably intriguing plot only to finish up with a completely unsatisfactory ending.
As with most people, I've always enjoyed Grisham's novels. However, the page turning plots and the immaculate attention detail that were the trademarks of The Firm and A Time to Kill (and even The Last Juror) now seem to be things of the past.

It's as if he's made his fortune, he's got a captive audience, and now he doesn't have to bother anymore.

Really disappointing stuff, and I expect so much more from Grisham. I'll wait for the reviews of the next novel before I decide to buy.
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
By G. J. Oxley TOP 500 REVIEWER
This latest book by JG is very much 'The Firm'-lite insofar as a newly qualified law graduate (Kyle McAvoy) passes the bar exam and gets involved in shady dealings within a law firm. The difference here is it's not the firm that's dodgy, but the people Kyle's dealing with outside of it.

I've read several tautly-written thrillers where absolutely EVERY word counts and to expunge a single one would diminish the book. Not so with 'The Associate' where you could literally remove 100+ pages with zero effect on the plot! But, as almost always with Grisham, it's still very slickly written and entertaining despite the padding.

Now, at this stage I would award the novel three stars were it not for the ending - because the author forgot to include one! I was reading on excitedly for the last thirty pages wondering how JG was possibly going to tie everything up... when it just petered out. Nothing is resolved and if a sequel isn't on the cards then it should be.

Overall this is a fairly enjoyable shaggy dog story, but John is capable of much better than this.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars AncientR 23 Jan 2010
I'm afraid I'm with all the One Star folk here! This is a very disappointing story. Grisham writes as always with great page turning style, and the insights into New York law firms and big business are revealing and no doubt accurate. BUT the plot is totally lame and the ending abysmal! Three quarters of the book is a big build up, then Grisham just cops out! Also, it may have become fashionable to write books where the hero doesn't always win and the villain doesn't always lose, but to let the big villain walk away as he does here is just immoral. No thanks.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lazy 16 Nov 2009
I should have believed the reviews, but I had some time to spare and I thought I'd make up my own mind. A mistake. This was really not very good - a real disappointment, actually - and will only serve to compromise Grisham's previously well-earned reputation for producing taut and thrilling stories. The pace was laboured, the characters cardboard, and the plot thin and - worst of all - very, very familiar. It's just The Firm all over again, but nowhere near as gripping or fast or fresh. In short, Mr Grisham, it was lazy.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Living death in the legal department. 11 Feb 2009
The last 10 chapters are missing....unless I'm missing something. This is the first John Grisham I've read and I gather from the other reviews that it isn't his best. It's well written and is a page turner but (and it's a big but) I got to the end and wondered where the final chapters were. There's no resolution of who did what and why - I felt really let down. The frustrating thing about it being unfinished is that it didn't need to be. I'm thinking about emailing Mr.G to ask if he'd like me to complete it so he can put the ending up on his website FOC.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A real let down 26 Jan 2009
I'm a huge JG fan but this book was a real let down. The story is repetitive as if he's struggling to fill the pages, its longwinded because it takes so long to move the weak plot forward. The character descriptions are good and you do feel you get to know the characters, but overall its a huge let down. The blurb says its full if twists and turns... strongly disagree on this ... there are more twists and turns on a ruler than in this book.

Save your money .. use your local library for this one . You have been warned twice now.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A career's beginning for a young lawyer in trouble
Lately, or at least in the latest books I've read, Grisham likes to leave an open ending, highlighting how it is by no means the most important part of his novels. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Anakina
5.0 out of 5 stars another gripping story
Once more John Grisham had me hooked. I read and read until I had finished. I love the genius of the plot.
Published 7 days ago by Peter Worthington
3.0 out of 5 stars Could he not think how to end it, then?
On the plus side, this nearly 500-page paperback kept me gripped right up until the last four chapters. Read more
Published 2 months ago by CrinkleCutChip
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Very similar to The Firm
Great Read, curios ending bit of a cliff hanger heading.
i definitely would recommed it
Published 2 months ago by nita odedra
2.0 out of 5 stars Not happy!
Although I bought this c,d, some time ago,I have only taken it out of the case to play for the first time! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. R. bunce
5.0 out of 5 stars book
I was pleased with all aspects of this purchase: the product arrived promptly and was in excellent condition and met my expectations.
Published 5 months ago by Ms. S. J. Rolph
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb reading
This is an excellent example of John Grisham's work, well constructed plot that moves along smartly and keeps your attention.
Published 5 months ago by J. D. Thomas.
3.0 out of 5 stars I've read better.
I love JG but this book was readable.
Not up to his usual brilliant self and a very poor comparison to Sycamore Row which was absolutely BRILLIANT.
Published 6 months ago by LA
5.0 out of 5 stars so i do not know if is good, but i have received it in perfect...
this book was for a friend, so i do not know if is good, but i have received it in perfect conditions.
Published 7 months ago by Pedro
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable read - but with a weak ending
An exciting gripping read that for me was sadly let down by a weak ending unfortunately...... (I do hate it when that happens!!)
Published 10 months ago by Mrs F McCarten
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