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Andy H. Cr.
4.0 out of 5 starsVintage Grisham without being a rehash of his early work
Reviewed in the United States on July 31, 2018
I did not read this book until recently because I was afraid that it was going to be a rehash of the Firm. A young, brilliant lawyer against a crushing conspiracy that can easily destroy him. While you can see parallels, it really is a different book. It is rather about a young lawyer being blackmailed for a crime he did not commit in an effort to force him to steal U.S. Department of Defense documents that his law firm is using as part of a big case. The background to this struggle is the life of a junior associate in a large and important New York law firm. Kyle works 100 hour weeks and spends a lot of that time on mind-numbing drudgery. His bosses treat him like a bell hop and sometimes appear to enjoy humiliating him or wasting his time for their own amusement. All of this on very little sleep. Still, even with his massive burdens, Kyle sets out to solve his problems in ways that are at least semi-believable. .
1.0 out of 5 starsAuthor gives up 90% of the way through the book. Extremely dissappointing.
Reviewed in the United States on February 2, 2016
Twice during the reading of this book I allowed myself to think, "Oh, yeah - here comes the good stuff!" Only to be sorely disappointed. About 85% of the way into the book the main character takes actions that go against everything that he had set up prior - all of which Grisham took us through in painstaking detail. He also chose to take us through an extended view of the AA process with a secondary character. Way too many pages dedicated to explaining one man's potential motivation.
It felt like Grisham's publisher called and said he needed the book in 2 hours - so he had the character do exactly what we knew he should have done in the firs 4 pages of the book. That ending (which still could have been decent) was horribly disappointing. It may have been laying groundwork for a sequel - but I'm so dissappointed with this book, I'd never pick a second installment.
5.0 out of 5 starsBlackmailer requires him to reveal secret information
Reviewed in the United States on June 16, 2019
He is very close to get his degree from law school. The blackmailer showed him a video, which, if published, might get him to prison and prevent him from ever working as a lawyer. The blackmailer requries him to get to work in a certain law firm, and reveal certain secret information from this firm to the blackmailer. All choices of action are unacceptable for him.
5.0 out of 5 starsAnother fantastic novel from Grisham
Reviewed in the United States on December 6, 2017
Another fantastic novel from Grisham. He always finds a way to show two sides of the same coin; namely, the perks and drawbacks of being a lawyer at a top-notch law firm.
What I like about this one, as opposed to some of his other books, is that you're dropped right into the action. The background of the protagonist comes later and at an appropriate time but the first couple of chapters really pull you in. The plot rolls along smoothly and there are few surprises. But the surprises that do come are definitely stunning.
Characters are believable, memorable, and best of all...human. Lawyers often get a bad rep in society, and while this book won't really alter that perspective it does at least put a face to the brilliance, motivation, ego, and exhaustion that lawyers are made up of (or at least, at one of the world's largest and most prestigious firms). The main character feels like a small fish in a big pond and I found myself really rooting for him throughout his predicaments.
The ending is slightly disappointing but is also consistent with the behaviors of the characters, so not unsatisfactory. All in all, a really good read.
For all of the building up, I expected a more exciting ending. I liked that the protagonist, Kyle McAvoy, did the right thing almost from the beginning. It added another dimension to the plot...a plot within a plot so to speak. It was just that the ending, similar to the lack of excitement of the ending of Gray Mountain, left me flat.
I'm never sure which John Grisham I'm getting when I start one of his books. The Associate is an example of Grisham's occasional lapses that result in a book that is almost an excellent read. Grisham the great story teller and Grisham the master of the spellbinding, complex plot both took time off from this book. Nonetheless, the novel is well written, as always, contains graphic character development and reads quickly.
As a long time John Grisham fan, I have eagerly looked forward to each new release. So much so that I accumulated books long before I had the opportunity to read them. So when I finally had a chance to read this book it was with great anticipation. My disappointment was not long in coming, when I found that the underlying premise reminded me a great deal of "The Firm" a much earlier work. In fact I had to go back and reread the dust jacket of The Firm to make sure they weren't the same book. They are not; The Firm deals with a young lawyer's recent indiscretion and The Associate deals with a young lawyer's possible indiscretion in college. As the book progressed I found that the possible involvement of some super secret quasi government organization to be reminiscent of Tom Clancy or Robert Ludlum. Not exactly what I would have expected from Mr. Grisham.
Reviewed in the United States on February 12, 2009
A brilliant law student, electronic surveillance, blackmail, ethical violations, mysterious money men, murder...haven't we heard all of this before? Yes we have. It has all been part of the John Grisham formula since
The Firm (Penguin Readers, Level 5)
. Now after a brief interlude with an inspired work of non-fiction
The Innocent Man
the formula is back, only this time it's on steroids.
The only thing missing from this remake of about six Grisham novels is a lack of remorse over the numerous violations of state and federal law. Our hero Kyle McAvoy, sort of a reprise of Mitch McDeere, learns how to over-bill defense contractors in ways that the Bandini, Lambert, & Locke would not even attempt. But Kyle does suffer for his sins and even though he is making $200,000 a year straight out of Yale Law you actually feel his pain.
But such treading over previously trod ground only serves to disappoint and hope for a quick return to originality.
2.0 out of 5 starsRubbish. Are these things now written by bots? A plot stretched as thin as graphite and a totally unsatisfactory ending
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 16, 2018
It's certainly the last Grisham I'll ever read. OK I did finish it, which is why I give it any stars at all. But that's just the power of the next page formula. Just glued and screwed - No tenons or dovetails in it anywhere. Short haul flight reading that you'd leave on your seat finished or not.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 1, 2014
It is difficult to start at the beginning and impossible to react at the end since the book contains neither a beginning nor an end. All the non story consists of is words and words and more words.No plot is developed. No character is defined. Nothing arouses the reader's interest. The pace is too slow, the ideas are puerile. It is as if Grisham has regurgitated one of his previous novels and misguidedly forgotten to include anything of substance. What has happened to the guy? His earlier books were terrific with fast paced unputdownable storylines -- this is a disaster. Goodbye JG, never again! It only gets one star because there is no option to award zero.
1.0 out of 5 starsThe worst Grisham I have read so far
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 1, 2010
I normally really like John Grisham's books, and have read quite a few - so I bought this one expecting another good read and even perhaps another very thought provoking novel like "The Chamber", which raised many issues about the rights and wrongs of the death penalty. Well, the read was good as the story was very engrossing but there was no proper ending. I turned another page expecting to find out who, why, how - and, er, that was the end of the book. So many unanswered questions. For example, where did the video come from? Who is Barry and where did his funding come from? I really found this book very disappointing as it left so much hanging in the air. The novel is unfinished, in my opinion, and very unsatisfactory as a consequence. I don't recommend it.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 10, 2016
After building fantastic tension from the first few pages, in the end the story stopped with no explanation of who what or why? Legal thrillers should have results which leave the readers satisfied that good has defeated evil. This did nothing of the sort. I am hanging in mid air!!??