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The Associate Hardcover – 27 Jan 2009

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Century; First Edition edition (27 Jan. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846050928
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846050923
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.5 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (186 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 306,123 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


"John Grisham's latest thriller The Associate is full of threat, hidden secrets and very dubious business practice on Wall Street. Definitely of the moment" (Daily Express) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Book Description

The latest legal thriller from international number one bestselling author John Grisham

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Customer Reviews

2.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 50 REVIEWER on 22 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Associate is a mildly interesting thriller which had the potential to be significantly better than it is, but which is let down by several fundamental flaws.

What is wrong with the book? Well for starters, the hero has no motivation for his behavior. The premise is that some mysterious guys blackmail Yale law student Kyle McAvoy into going to work for a prestigious law firm and passing on inside information to them. They do this based on his involvement with a group rape five years previously. The problem is that he wasn't actually involved and there is no evidence that he was. So rather than having something that he didn't do come out, he agrees to abandon his career plans and participate in illegal activities. It doesn't make any sense.

The next problem: There's no tension. The book does get more interesting in the middle section when Kyle enlists an ally and starts to devise a plan to turn the table on his blackmailers. However rather than building the tension (something that he did so well in The Firm), Grisham just lets it dissipate. For the majority of the book, Kyle doesn't do any spying and his handlers seem okay with that. Nor does he ever seem to be in serious danger of getting caught at work.

Finally, there's the ending. There's no pay-off for the reader. The book just peters out and many key plot points are left unresolved. A very unsatisfying note to end on.

It's frustrating because there was a decent book buried somewhere in this mess but unfortunately it never saw the light of day. A better novel that follows a similar premise is Paranoia by Joseph Finder.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Pearson on 18 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is undoubtedly readable, but sadly it lacks any real depth and shies away from any meaningful ending. Another review I read described this as Grisham on "auto-pilot" and this sounds about right. He repeatedly hammers home the same points about how much money Wall Street lawyers charge, how hard it is for young associates and how clever and evil the baddies are, but never actually develops any realistic relationships between the characters. I don't feel I know any more about the characters than I did at the beginnning and I certainly don't understand their motivation for acting the way they do.

As for the ending - rubbish. I was hoping that, hidden under all the tedious stuff about the machinations of corporate law, it was building to a thrilling climax where Kyle would overcome his nemesis. Unfortunately the story simply peetered out and there was no resolution to Kyle's personal or professional problems.

The only saving grace of this book is that it's an easy read and keeps you interested until the end. It's just a shame that, once you get there, the end wasn't worth the read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Smoky Thorne on 16 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
First Grisham novel I've read and based on this it'll be the last. It kept me interested but all the time I was waiting for the "twist", and it never came. The ending was laughable, the whole book the main character was battling invisible forces and possible career ruin only for his dad to simply "make it all go away" and said invisible forces to just disappear. The author failed to fully develop some characters and others seemed to be there just to fill the book and served almost no purpose. A lazy effort from Grisham who I'd only ever heard good things about before I picked up this book.
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48 of 53 people found the following review helpful By G. J. Oxley on 11 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover
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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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Tina Elliott on 11 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By dixie dean on 11 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
This is positively the last time I am ever going to waste my time reading another John Grisham book. His last few have been dreadful and this is no exception. The initial plot is acceptable but thats where it gets stuck and as so many other people have said Grisham has simply not bothered to work out an ending. Surely he could have thought about a bit of a twist but the book simply peters out and left me with a feeling of utter disbelief that he had been so lazy in his mind. It was rather like giving students an exam question - heres the narrative now whoever can write the best ending wins the prize. It is a rambling load of rubbish and Grisham should give up now.
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