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The Associate [Hardcover]

John Grisham
2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 27 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.

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The Associate + The Confession: A Novel + The Racketeer
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GRISHAM HAS A FIELD DAY…The Associate grabs the reader quickly and becomes impossible to put down.” —Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“Grisham’s confident style hasn’t changed, and THERE’S SUSPENSE APLENTY.” —People

“Grisham makes it easy for us to keep flipping the pages…A DEVASTATING PORTRAIT OF THE BIG-TIME, BIG-BUCKS LEGAL WORLD.” —Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post

“Throughout, Grisham unwinds the spool of his narrative at a MASTERFUL, page-turning pace that pulls readers in and keeps them wanting more…The Associate is an absorbing thriller that's A FITTING FOLLOW-UP TO THE FIRM.” —The Boston Globe

COMPULSIVELY READABLE…You're peering into a secret world of power and money. What more could you or any red-blooded American ask for?” —Time magazine

A PAGE-TURNER…Kyle McAvoy recalls Mitch McDeere from Grisham's breakout novel The Firm. He's young, idealistic, handsome, a little too cocky for his own good, but a brilliant lawyer who gets pulled in over his head and given an education in how the world really works.” —The Los Angeles Times

About the Author

JOHN GRISHAM has written twenty previous novels and one work of nonfiction, The Innocent Man, published in 2006. He lives in Virginia and Mississippi.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Compares Poorly to The Firm Jan. 31 2009
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
The Associate is further evidence that John Grisham's best legal thriller writing was in his early days. From the concept for the plot to the character development to the ending, this novel shouldn't get past the defense's request for summary judgment to dismiss the book without offering a defense of the request.

If you haven't already read The Firm, The Associate would almost come up to average level. I'm sure you have read The Firm (probably one reason why you picked up The Associate), and in every aspect of The Associate you'll wish you were reading The Firm.

Don't judge the book by its first 57 pages. Those pages are vivid, interesting, compelling, and will get your heart pumping. After that, it's all downhill . . . a long way down.

So what's it all about?

Kyle McAvoy is a third-year student at Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut where he's the star of the show as editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Review. Having grown up in Erie, Pennsylvania where his father runs a "serve-the-people" practice rather than a "take-the-peoples'-money" practice, McAvoy is planning to take a job as a poverty lawyer for 2-3 years.

Fate intervenes while McAvoy is coaching a youth league basketball game. The FBI wants to talk to McAvoy. Before the night is over, a series of events begin to unfold that make McAvoy a pawn in a game so big he cannot even imagine who the players might be. It's all tied up with a moment he would rather forget, even though he doesn't remember much about the moment through the mists of time and drunkenness.

As a result, McAvoy joins one of the nation's largest and highest paid firms, Scully & Pershing, as a litigation associate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just finished reading The Associate. It's a wonderful Grisham legal thriller. I found it hard to put down and finished the last 2/3rds in one sitting tonight. I had an inkling of what would happen to Kyle McAvoy but overall the ending and the events preceding it caught me off-guard. In fact, this is a Grisham book that frankly cries out for a sequel. What happens next? I want to know and likely so do many other readers.

I won't go into the plot and characters. Other reviewers have done it but I don't want to spoil the story. Suffice to say, it is crafted a lot like many of Grisham's other legal thrillers, but hey, it works! I was engrossed and if I hadn't needed sleep and to work, I probably would have read the whole book in one sitting. No, it isn't The Firm, but then, that's a classic - and if you haven't read the novel but seen the movie, read the novel as it's much better.

I rounded up on my rating - I'd give it a 3.5. The characters could use a little more fleshing out, especially some of the secondary ones. Some of the plotting too could use a little more exposition but then, my favorite author is Tom Clancy so I'm spoiled with details. Overall though, I found this a much better novel than other reviewers have. Give it a chance!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Latest Grisham Lawyer thriller March 16 2009
This is not Grisham's best.. it's still very good but doesn't have the "can't set it down" quality that some of his have. Still a very good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story, but unfinished Nov. 15 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I found this to be a great thriller, not up to The Firm, but better than some other Grisham novels. I had much difficulty putting it down, and I did so only twice - for dinner and for sleep. It falls flat at the end, as though Grisham had come to his quota of pages or run out of ideas. Too bad. I gave it 4 stars to offset some of the 1 star reviews.
This review is of the 2009 hard cover edition.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Easy to put it down! April 9 2009
Very dissapointed. Nothing like John's earlier titles. I am half wondering if its the same author. The plot is interesting in which a bunch of bad guys are asking Kyle to spy information from a legal firm. The bad guys are supposedly hi-tech, very well organised and extremely smart - makes you wonder why they would want an Associate to spy for them, then?! Kyle is forced to spy based on some flimsy video, which I did not think it was very damaging to Kyle. I have ready 75% of the book and am NOT looking forward to finishing the remaining 25%.

I am first going to read reviews before I buy any of John's next book.
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By Anakina
Format:Kindle Edition
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. It is not for the possible ending, in fact, that I found myself compelled to read "The Associate" in a few days, continuing to turn the pages, even in the most absurd hours just to go ahead and waiting with anticipation for the time when I could take the book in my hands.
It was what's inside the book, the details of the story, to keep me glued.
This time the author describes as a young graduate in law finds himself working in a large studio in New York, where the watchword is only one: billing. There is no form of protection for young lawyers, who are almost enslaved and taken every ounce of energy just to bill as much as possible in the hope of having a future in that study.
Getting in touch with this "underground" world, you are left to imagine why these people are extremely unlikely to have a decent social life and you cannot remain unimpressed, even if you only try to compare it with what happens in Italy. In my country, because of our mentality, which is very different from the American one, nothing like that could happen.
And it is precisely for this reason that, as always, Grisham's stories fascinate me: the extreme remoteness from the reality in which I live, because they open a window on what seems like a different planet. In narrating yet another "legal" story the author shows you real people, to whom it is impossible not to become attached.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks
Published 2 months ago by Marguerite Sigvaldason
2.0 out of 5 stars Like a good sexual buildup, but fails at orgasm..
Seriously, I was not expecting such an unresolved ending by Grisham. My first thought was there must be a sequel. Read more
Published on Sept. 10 2012 by F. Khan
2.0 out of 5 stars Only half a book?
I agree with just about everything that has been written here ... first off the plot and the whole premise of the blackmail was a stretch to put it mildly. Read more
Published on May 22 2012 by Long Canadian Winter
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Grisham's best
Grisham's best known trademark is his ability to write mesmerizing legal thrillers. With a political overtone to his one, he has brought us another story that is absorbing enough... Read more
Published on March 29 2011 by Toni Osborne
1.0 out of 5 stars Truly Awful

The book is slow-paced, uninteresting, and flaccid. A deplorable excuse for suspense and literature. Read more
Published on Aug. 1 2009 by Wes Lau
1.0 out of 5 stars What a waste
Do not read if you want to read the book
As a long time fan of Grisham novels, I eagerly looked forward to settling down to The Associate. Read more
Published on March 30 2009 by Bob C
1.0 out of 5 stars Untenable and dreary
I was amazed to see the first reviewer saying that the first 57 pages are the best. I'm not saying that he is not right, only that I can't even get to page 57. Read more
Published on March 1 2009 by Allan Martel
1.0 out of 5 stars One of worst Grisham novels
John Grisham should take longer to write his books between publishing. This is one of his worst every written.
Published on Feb. 14 2009 by Avid Reader
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