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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2005
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 January 2013
CONFIDENTIAL.

The partners of Messrs. Bendini, Lambert & Locke have an announcement to make. It has come to our attention that Mr. McDeere, who you will all know as an associate of the firm, has engaged a literary agent, a former lawyer by the name of John Grisham, who has helped him write his own account of his career with Bendini, Lambert & Locke. The book is titled, 'The Firm'. Clearly anyone found co-operating with Mr. McDeere or Mr. Grisham will face disciplinary action.

We also understand that 'The Firm' is already attracting reviews on Amazon. According to one reviewer, a T. T. Rogers, 'The Firm' is "...an excellent novel, Grisham's best..." This T. T. Rogers character also has the temerity to add: "In his construction of the lamentably corrupt law firm of Bendini, Lambert & Locke, Grisham shows that the most sinister evil comes with a smiling face. It's perversely comforting to know that anyone can be taken in by this kind of evil, but at the same time chilling. As the story progresses, Grisham skilfully constructs a creeping sense of unease and moral entrapment. There is little obvious drama; this is more a modern morality tale that sets-up society's conventions for attack by accentuating the very worst qualities that our most respected citizens exhibit within a bankrupt social system. Grisham slowly unveils a Southern law firm's corrupt heart, which rests, viper-like, within a comforting net of white-shoed insouciance, pouncing suddenly and trapping McDeere in its net. Yet the novel's dénouement isn't so much a moral vindication, more an amoral victory for the main character. McDeere is ensnared by his own shallowness and greed, but he thrives on it; he is not a sympathetic character, very much more akin to an anti-hero, if not a villain of a kind in his own right."

Now, it's clear to us that this T. T. Rogers fellow has not the first clue about real literature and he is just full of so much bombastic waffle. He is an eccentric and not a very popular reviewer on Amazon at that, so the damage to the firm is minimised and we needn't worry. Nevertheless, our security team will be visiting on T. T. Rogers with a view to having this scurrilous review replaced with a statement of clarification from the firm. In the meantime, anyone caught browsing the Amazon website - especially the book reviews of T. T. Rogers - will also be liable for disciplinary action.

As you all know, Bendini, Lambert & Locke practices to the highest ethical standards. However recently we conducted a review of a sample of live files and we identified discrepancies between time-recording and billing data. We will be asking you all individually to rectify any apparent errors and put files in order. This will be in readiness for an inspection visit by the State Bar, which we have requested and which we welcome as an opportunity to reassure the Bar that we are an upstanding and ethical law firm.

Mr. McDeere's nefarious activities have now been referred to the City of Memphis Police and the State Bar and we anticipate criminal and disciplinary procedures will be commenced against him. We have also filed for an injunction in federal court against the FBI, blocking any further investigation and ensuring no search and seizure of our offices in light of their illegal investigative methods (which included, inter lia, the theft of our files). Furthermore, we have submitted strong complaints about these disgraceful and highly improper activities to the Department of Justice and the FBI Inspector-General respectively. These are flagrant abuses on the part of a few rogue FBI agents and we have made it clear to the authorities that this type of corruption will not be tolerated.

Now you all know Mr. DeVasher, our head of security. He and his colleagues will be speaking with each of you individually over the next few days. Most of the meetings will take place out of the office, to ensure minimal disruption to billing. It is important that we conduct these meetings as quickly as possible so that we can establish an understanding. Any current live files you are working on will also be reviewed to ensure they meet our standards. We expect your full co-operation in this endeavour.

Bendini, Lambert & Locke remains the pre-eminent mid-sector corporate tax firm in the United States with a reputation for high-quality and discreet advice to its many established clients. We look forward to working with you to protect our good name and build a future we can all be proud of.

While writing, a memorial service will be held on Tuesday for Avery Tolleson, who sadly died recently of a heart attack. You all know Avery had been unwell and had to be hospitalised, nevertheless his sad and premature death is difficult for all of us.

Your time spent reading and then destroying this memo should be assigned to your next case file, using billing code FBI1.

Oliver Lambert, Senior Partner.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 16 December 2002
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
VINE VOICEon 4 February 2005
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.
I loved this book, much more so than the film version, which i must say is also a very good adaptation matching the book stride for stride except for a few minor details and ending totally different, which was refreshing and enjoyable.
I felt the book also gave more food for thought and allowed for better plot and character development as so often is the case. I would highly recommend this book as an enjoyable thriller that you'll find easy to get into and hard to put down, enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2011
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2010
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
This is the book that made Grisham a #1 bestseller, and that is fitting because it is first rate. With outstanding suspense and entertainment, Grisham delivers a novel that is worth reading more than once.

Roger Weston, author of The Golden Catch
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2014
A very good and fast pace novel by John Grisham. The books protagonist, eager and naive law student Mitchell Y. McDeere, is fresh out of Harvard and lured into top Memphis law firm 'Bendini, Lambert and Locke'. Despite it being somewhat smaller and perhaps less reputable than the top Wallstreet firms, it offers a much larger pay cheque, BMW and fancy subburban house, all for signing on the dotted line. However, what "Mitch" does not know, and what we all become acutely aware of, is that he has signed up to more than just a new career; he has signed away his life. The question is can he get back it back?
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on 30 April 2015
The Firm is a thriller about a workaholic man starting work at an amazing company that seems too perfect. Unsurprisingly, it is too perfect. Criminals are behind the scenes, there are cameras everywhere, and the firm is not willing to let Mitch leave.

The writing style is very straight forward to the point that it's almost dry. It is light on description, light on character development, but very fast paced. I think this works well for a novel set in the life of a highly pressured lawyer, but The Firm is going to disappoint anyone looking for beautiful prose and lavish descriptions.

I did not like any of the characters. The major characteristics of most of the characters seem to be greed, self-obsession, self-satisfaction, and achieving dominance over others. This makes sense considering almost all of the characters in this story are criminals, lawyers, and stupidly rich, but I did not want to root for any of the characters, including Michell McDeere.

While I was put off by the characters and writing, I found the story to be very exciting. It was tense, fast paced, and never stops introducing new challenges for Mich to face. The Firm immerses you into the life of a lawyer. I'm not a lawyer so I can't say how accurate The Firm is in this regard, but it sure does a good job to make you believe you're reading about one.

I don't think this book is a masterpiece of the thriller genre, but it was an exciting read.
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