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The Associate: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – Sep 22 2009

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Dell; Reprint edition (Sept. 22 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440243823
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440243823
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.6 x 19.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #266,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


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

2.5 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Jan. 31 2009
Format: Hardcover
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 By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER on March 29 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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 to keep readers attention. If you liked "The Pelican Brief" and "The Firm", you may want to read this one.

The hero is Kyle McAvoy, onetime editor of the Yale Law Journal, whose post-graduation plans were to work as a legal-aid representing illegal migrant workers. His dream is chattered when he is visited by Bennie Wright, a sinister fellow who has discovered a skeleton in Kyle's closet: a video of Kyle's fraternity brothers, gang raping a girl in his apartment while he watched on. Bennie threatens to make it public and destroy Kyle's legal career if he doesn't accept a job at the prestigious law firm of Scully& Pershing. He needs Kyle inside the firm to obtain confidential information and documents regarding a law suit against two defense industries.

We have two main themes playing throughout the novel that criss-cross each other, first the novel highlights the extreme pressure of being an associate in a powerful firm where it is expected two work limitless billable hours in order to artificially inflate their customers bill. The other is Kyle's reluctant role as Bennie's in house spy.

The author usually writes intricate plots that have his readers flipping page after page. This novel started in the same manner but for some reason mid-way, the storyline fizzled and the pacing began to bog down. Although not unique, Kyle's character is interesting and rather smart. I particularly liked his clever plan to outwit Bennie; it provided some unpredictability and helped maintain my attention. As for the supporting characters, most were rather dull and some I would even consider a distraction to the main plot. I felt Grisham ran out steam towards the end, this has left me with a so so memory of the novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David W. Wildeboer on Nov. 6 2009
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 By Linda Hutchinson on March 16 2009
Format: Hardcover
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 By David Huntley on 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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