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The Firm Paperback – 28 Oct 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (28 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099537095
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099537090
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,511 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


"Slickly plotted... unputdownable" (Mail on Sunday)

"A furiously paced thriller" (Sunday Times)

"Enthralling characters and mesmeric plot" (Time Out)

Book Description


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 24 Oct 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the second JG novel that i read after The Appeal and i have to say that it has been one of the best books i have ever read. It has the fast pace style that i enjoy reading. If you have never read a JG novel then this is the perfect one to start with!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By C J Thomas on 21 Jan 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If I ever saw a classic Grisham this is it ladies and gents. This was the very first Grisham I ever picked up, my dad assured me that it was excellent and on that basis gave it a read. I would like to offer YOU the same assurance. This book is simply inimitable. If you have a liking for the legal and a thirst for thrillers, hay presto, this is what you've been looking for.
The Firm tells the story Mitchell McDeere - Mitch, practically the best that Harvard Law School has to offer, is in demand. All the big boys want him, Wall Street, you name it. After the interview he passed before he got there, he starts work, as a tax layer for Bendini, Lambert & Locke, a small Memphis firm that are apparently more of a family than a firm. The trouble starts hear.
What started out as a very rosy beginning for Mitch, a new BMW, house and student loan paid off by the firm not to mention a huge salary, begins to turn into a nightmare. The firm is not legit. Their crooks. Now Mitch has to get out.
This book, I think, was once described as a compulsive page turner, and man, thats so right. Comfortably within my top five books of all time. And something you need to read! Very strongly recommended to the first time reader of the fantastic and brilliantly talented Grisham.
If you've never read a Grisham - you've never read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lendrick VINE VOICE on 16 Dec 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first half of this is very well done - ambitious young lawyer joins a law firm who offer him great riches but at a cost of working himself into the ground - can anyone realy survive on so little sleep? Gradually it begins to dawn on him that things might not be what they seem and there is a sinister side to the firm. All this is gripping and belivable in a glossy sort of way.
However, as the book progresses it begins to lose its way. Mafia characters appear who are lifted straight out of ganster central casting. The plot get more and more far fetched and the whole thing is let down by the authors attempt to have it every possible way with the ending. Which is a shame because it started so well.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Kimble VINE VOICE on 4 Feb 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mitch McDeere has graduated 3rd in his class at Harvard law, all the big firms are about to come calling. He has come along way from a broken and humble family to make it all the way to the brink of boundless opportunity. The good life is within touching distance and Mitch can almost taste the success.
However what he didn't expect was an offer from a smaller company in Memphis called Bendini, Lambert and Locke who are ready to beat the highest offer of any of the New York of Chicago Firms exceeding Mitch's wildest dreams and fantasies.
The Bendini firm charms the pants of Mitch and it's not long before him and his beautiful wife are heading south to their beautiful new house and BMW, a far cry from the student digs and broken down heap they have been driving while Mitch slugged his way through law school.
'The Firm' is much more than meets the eye, and as they begin to swamp Mitch with work for the bar exam and renovations for his new house, he is approached by an FBI agent early on who informs him that no one has ever left his firm alive! Some have tried and all have ended up dead, for his new employers are none other than the mob itself, and unbeknown to him Mitch has just bought into a life in the mafia, whether he likes it or not.
His only way out is to steal files and hand them over to the feds, thus exposing the corruption, however in doing this not only will he be disbarred for breach of the lawyer client privilege, but he will also face a certain death sentence and a life on the run in the witness protection program. Mitch has a decision to make.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Davison on 28 Mar 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
A thriller should thrill, and unfortunately several of the reviewers on this site give away far too much of the plot. [This is what I meant, Amazon, by querying your advice to be "detailed and specific".]

This is one of my favourite Grishams, from the days when he took a plot and ran with it, and personally I was pretty gripped right up to the last chapter.

But oh John, you gave us all these great baddies to enjoy, and their long-awaited come-uppance is glossed over in a couple of sentences, as if your wife had said: "Hurry up and finish your book, honey, it's dinner-time."

We needed the midnight arrests, the police cars surrounding the luxury villas, the villains blinking in the media flashlights.

Oh well. The rest was great.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Charon on 13 Dec 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Reread this again recently and quite simply it is so well written it hurts. What a great premise, what a great cast of characters, what a great plot. Grisham once said "I sell too many books to get good reviews", which I think explains some of his detractors. Nobody bats it out of the park every time, nobody, but this is as good as a beach read gets.
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