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The Associate by John Grisham

The Associate (2009)

by John Grisham

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This is another taut, legal drama from former lawyer John Grisham. The plot involves recent Yale Law School graduate Kyle McAvoy, who has been spurning offers from big law firms so he can do legal aid work for migrant workers. Unfortunately, a man named Bennie Wright wants to steal secrets from one of those big firms, and knows something in McAvoy’s past that will kill any career McAvoy has in mind. Wright thus is able to “persuade” McAvoy to join this firm and help him obtain classified military information, which the firm has because of a monumental suit it is litigating.

The plot is a little strained; one wonders why someone as bright and altruistic as the hero doesn’t seek the help of a good criminal lawyer, the Justice Department, and the FBI on page 50 rather than on page 300, but it wouldn’t be much of a story if he did. Nonetheless, the book is worth reading to get a flavor (if a bit exaggerated) of the trials and tribulations of young associates in big law firms. Having once been one myself (i.e., a young associate in a big firm in Chicago), I could empathize with Kyle as he struggled with the pressure and temptations of life in the fast lane.

Evaluation: Grisham never lets the narrative stall, and although it is not as breathtakingly paced as The Da Vinci Code, this one will keep your attention.

(JAB) ( )
  nbmars | Aug 1, 2014 |
The Associate by John Grisham
I am a big fan of Mr. Grisham. Unfortunately, I am not as big a fan of this book. I think this may be this first of his books which I found to be weak. His style of writing is thrilling and exciting. The story, however not so much. The story was not as believable as previous. I didn't get as consumed and absorbed into the writing as I would normally. As a result, while I would call it dull, I just would not say it kept me hooked. ( )
  ReneeRobinson | Apr 29, 2014 |
It was a nice reading. The plot is very well set, also some times I got the feeling it is a bit too far-fetched and it tends to bad guys / good guys thriller. A graduate from a law college is under a blackmail pressure by some dubious persons. Therefore he takes a job as an associate in a big law firm in New York. He feels very uncomfortable with the task to steal confidential documents from his employer. He gets the ability to detect his shadows and all the equipments which were tailing him and he tries to turn over the rules. With the help of his lawyer and different security agencies he was able to send off his persecutors.
I have to admit that I miss a proper end because it is still open for which side the blackmailers are working. ( )
  Ameise1 | Apr 26, 2014 |
Thrilling read, solid grishamesque descriptions of Wall Street quirks and absurdities, all very enjoyable, but in terms of plot, not up to the level of the best Grisham. There is great build up, and the concept is really intriguing, but the story never seems to "really take off". The pace is good, it kept my interest high, but it never reaches that special traction that I enjoyed in other Grisham books. Still a very good read.

I found it funny how Grisham, in order to keep his charchter likeable, needed to make sure that he ended up at the top law irm in the world against his will, while his true desire was to go and help people and make very little money for some years. This way, you get your readers to "like" the main charachter more (because he's not as immoral and soulless as the other associates in the firm!), and at the same you can give them up-close descriptions of the crazy wall street law firm life, that is a big part of what keeps the reader hooked. ( )
  tabascofromgudreads | Apr 19, 2014 |
Like all Grisham thrillers, this is a good page-turner and won't last long on your bedside table. But this one comes disappointingly short compared to his other novels. The characters lack depth, the story is rather straightforward, and the conclusion is entirely, almost depressingly expected. The book is replete with the usual law-firm clichés : ginormous salaries, abusive billing, staggering work hours... so much that the actual intrigue almost becomes a side story at times. Yawn. ( )
1 vote timtom | Jun 26, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Grishamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kuipers, HugoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Steven Rubin, Suzanne Herz, John Pitts, Alison Rich, Rebecca Holland, John Fontana, and the rest of the gang at Doubleday.
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The rules of the New Haven Youth League required that each kid play at least ten minutes in each game.
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Book description
It's a deadly game of blackmail. And they're making him play. Kyle McAvoy is one of the outstanding legal students of his generation: he's good looking, has a brilliant mind and a glittering future ahead of him. But he has a secret from his past, a secret that threatens to destroy his fledgling career and, possibly, his entire life. One night that secret catches up with him in the form of some bad men in a dark alley - they have a deeply compromising video of the incident that haunts him. The men make it clear to Kyle that he no longer owns his own future - that he must do as they tell him, or the video will be made public knowledge, with all the unpleasant consequences. What price do they demand for Kyle's secret? Strangely, it is for Kyle to do exactly what any ambitious young lawyer would want to do: take a job in New York as an associate at the largest law firm in the world , a job that is incredibly well paid and, with mammoth hours and outrageous billing, could lead to partnership and a fortune. But Kyle won't be working for the company, but against it - passing on the secrets of the company's biggest trial to date, a dispute between two defense contractors worth billions of dollars to the victor. Now Kyle is caught between the criminal forces manipulating him and the FBI, who would love to unmask the conspiracy. Will his intellect, cunning and bravery be enough to extricate him from an impossible dilemma?
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Three months after leaving Yale, Kyle McAvoy 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.… (more)

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