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The Associate: A Novel [Mass Market Paperback]

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

Sept. 22 2009
Kyle McAvoy possesses an outstanding legal mind. Good-looking and affable, he has a glittering future. He also has a dark secret that could destroy his dreams, his career, even his life. One night that secret catches up with him. The men who accost Kyle have a compromising video they’ll use to ruin him–unless he does exactly what they say. What they offer Kyle is something any ambitious young lawyer would kill for: a job in Manhattan as an associate at the world’s largest law firm. If Kyle accepts, he’ll be on the fast track to partnership and a fortune. But there’s a catch. Kyle won’t be working for the firm but against it in a dispute between two powerful defense contractors worth billions. Now Kyle is caught between the criminal forces manipulating him, the FBI, and his own law firm–in a malignant conspiracy not even Kyle with all his intellect, cunning, and bravery may be able to escape alive.

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The Associate: A Novel + The Litigators: A Novel + The Confession: A Novel
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  • The Confession: A Novel CDN$ 10.79

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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

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, John Grisham 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, and The Appeal) and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 225 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.

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.

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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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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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2.0 out of 5 stars Like a good sexual buildup, but fails at orgasm.. Sept. 10 2012
By F. Khan
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Seriously, I was not expecting such an unresolved ending by Grisham. My first thought was there must be a sequel. Or that Grisham was testing alternative styles of ending and this is his first such project. Needless to say, if this was a first book by Grisham it would have been an epic fail. The triumph of good over evil is a staple ending of all crime and legal thrillers and is what drives the reader's 8-hour journey through the writer's created world. Unfortunately, The Associate is a noir which leaves the protagonist without hope, and the reader without closure.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Only half a book? May 22 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. Even after I decided to push through and 'forgive' that I found myself questioning every plot twist with "yeah but why doesn't he just go get help" or something similar. Worst of all though was the lack of reward for pushing through to the end - it honestly feels as one reviewer already wrote, as if J.G. was contracted for x number of pages and just stopped once he got there. So many plot lines left mid stream .... avoid.
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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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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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks
Published 27 days ago by Marguerite Sigvaldason
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story, but unfinished
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... Read more
Published on Nov. 15 2010 by David Huntley
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, not great but an enjoyable read and escape!
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. Read more
Published on Nov. 6 2009 by David W. Wildeboer
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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