The Associate
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Product Description

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.

Customer Reviews:

  • I'm Done!
    I have loved reading John Grisham books for a very long time. HOWEVER,after reading the Appeal, I swore I would never read another of his books. After some time passed and The Associate came out, my thought was that maybe the disappointment in The Appeal was just a fluke and I could recapture in the new book what had been missing. Wrong again!! I'm done. I felt totally robbed and that I had wasted valuable time reading The Associate. ...more info
  • Grishham's latest
    John Grisham is the only fiction writer I religiously read. His latest book, "The Associate" rates right up there with his most intriguing novels, which in my opinion are The Firm, The Pelican Brief, and my personal favorite, The Runaway Jury. Glad he's got a hit this time, as he's been in a slump for the last few years, hovering around the Mendoza Line....more info
  • Starts Off Great; Disappointing Overall
    The Associate is the latest legal thriller from John Grisham. It was released in January 2009, and is his seventeenth legal thriller and twenty-second book to be published since 1989.

    The Associate starts off fervently. The first four chapters grab the reader into a seemingly hopeless encounter between the protagonist, Kyle McAvoy, and a mysterious stranger named Bennie who knows everything about Kyle's past, including Kyle's potentially life-altering activities at a frat party five years earlier. Grisham unexpectedly turns the plot around at the end of the fourth chapter. As with all of Grisham's thrillers, the plot of The Associate, is very clever and could only have been created by a former attorney.

    The book is typical Grisham with a lot of emphasis on the aspects of working for a big law firm. One difference in this book compared to Grisham's other legal thrillers is that this one is set in New York City. Most of Grisham's other legal thrillers, with the except of The Street Lawyer, The King of Torts, and The Broker, were set somewhere in the southern United States.

    Whereas the first four chapters were riveting, I found the rest of the book moved too slowly. Not too much happens for the rest of the book. I kept waiting for something to happen that would grab my attention and interest. But the remaining 22 chapters are comprised mostly of meetings between Kyle and Bennie and between Kyle and former frat buddies. There was very little tension after these initial chapters.

    There were also several scenes that didn't add much to the plot and which were confusing. For example, at one point Kyle is asked to drive two partners in the law firm to a meeting somewhere in lower Manhattan. We already knew that the partners and associates at the firm had 24/7 access to a limousine service and, in fact, in the following chapter Kyle makes use of this service for the second time in the novel. So why was he asked to drive these partners to their meeting? Why didn't they take a limo? That didn't make sense to me.

    Overall this book is a very easy read. But after the fourth chapter the plot fails to sustain itself. The ending is especially disappointing as loose ends that are created throughout the book are not resolved.

    I love John Grisham's books -- I've read all of them. I've read a couple of them twice. And while this one has a very clever initial plot, I found it to be a bit disappointing. If you like Grisham you'll enjoy this book. If you're new to Grisham I suggest starting with one of his earlier works, especially The Brethren or The Partner (my two personal favorites).

    See all my book reviews at info
  • VERY disappointing ending
    The book itself is very formulaic, but the ending is the most disappointing of all, as it muddles and whimpers and fizzles away, leaving far too much drifting, as if the writer just got tired of writing, paused, and brought the story to an abrupt and predictable close....more info
  • Disappointing
    The concept was definitely intriguing, a peek inside the life of a very intelligent Yale Law grad working at one of the best law firms in the world. However, the execution was plain out disappointing. The first 100 pages are slow, the middle 100 were slower and the last 150 we decent, but the ending was awful. No answers revealed, no justice, no satisfaction!...more info
  • good book & summer read
    I say this book is a good book, well worth reading but not his best and there are some logical issues to it. Would you knowingly go through tourture to be rich? And the character seems to have way too much future knowledge, there is no way he could guess everything that would happen and account for it. But this book is definitely way above the Firm which, to me was a total let down!...more info
  • Grisham returns to earlier heights
    This novel somewhat reminded me of the story-telling Grisham used to employ in earlier efforts such as The Pelican Brief and The Firm. Always a good story-teller, he has tried his hand at different styles and techniques more recently with mixed results.

    The Associate is a straight forward page turner but with a bit more realism than some of his previous novels. I felt drawn in and remained so the whole way. No spoilers here, but I think some reviewers have come into this looking for reasons to be disappointed, and therefore found some instead of just letting the story tell it to them....more info
  • Almost wasted my time
    Last night I noticed that I had The Associate still unread on the shelve so decided to pick it up looking forward to a weekend of reading. Tonight I arrived at chapter 8 and had already looked twice to check whether I was really reading a Grisham. This book is really poorly written and it is so disturbingly unbelievable that anyone in Kyle's position (being as bright as he is displayed to be) would let him self being blackmailed for something he didn't do with a video to demonstrate he didn't do it. After reading the reviews here I decided to put the book away (my second time I do not finish a book ever; the other was The Rule of Four). I want to thank the other reviewers from saving me from a wasted weekend....more info
  • What a terrible ending
    Would somebody clue this guy in on how to end a novel? If nothing else, I can think of just one more line he should have added. If you've read it, you can probalby guess....more info
  • Okay, but unsatisfying ending
    This is a mildly satisfying book with an extremely unsatisfying end. Fans of Grisham will recognize echoes of The Firm in the pages of this book, especially when Mr. Grisham describes the torturous gruel that new associates are supposed to endure. I am not sure if such organized torture is the norm in the legal profession, but if Mr. Grisham's motive is to dissuade people from becoming lawyers, I must say he succeeds. But I digress ... back to the story. This book proceeds along nicely until the end, and then it finishes abruptly without any closure. The antagonist vanishes completely, no explanation is given (unless you are a conspiracy buff, and then you will divine the heavy hand of the government in all events that occurred in the book.) The story revolves around corporate espionage, except that the espionage part is conducted not in the corporate world but in the legal domain. A fresh Ivy-League graduate with an unsavory past but a stellar future is blackmailed in attaining employment in a huge law firm and encouraged to steal secrets in the form of discovery and deposition papers. Our intrepid hero, being the good-to-the-core person that he is despite his insalubrious past ("I was drunk and passed out; I have no recollection of what happened ..."), outsmarts an antagonist with deep pockets and even deeper connections. The protagonist is painted in broad enough strokes that the reader dosen't really care much for him. This is certainly not one of Mr. Grisham's best efforts, but I suspect that even a mediocre Grisham spinner has a high enough visibility quotient that people -- including me -- will read it. It is a short book that will test your endurance mostly for a day or two....more info
  • I wish....
    I wish I had liked this book more, as I had looked forward to it for so long. There was so little "meat" to this novel...and the ending was just a fizzle with no bang, no rationale. Even the character development, usually a strong point for Grisham, was lacking. I also thought there were many logical problems in this book, things that just made no sense.

    Fortunately, Grisham's ability to "spin a yarn" pulled me in and kept me reading, but it was not the usual page-turning experience I have with his books.

    So disappointing....more info
  • Such a Shame!
    The Associate started out well. It kept me interested,wondering how the plot would turn out! However, the characters never seemed to fully develop, so much more could have been done with them!

    The ending was very poor, hopefully there will be another book about Kyle McAvoy, so we can see what happened to him and how his life went.

    What happened to Bennie Wright? What was his real name? Who did he work for?...more info
  • spellbinder
    fascinating thriller. If you want a page turner, this one is hard to put down. ...more info
  • A weak Effort
    I have been a fan of John Grisham, and have read most of his books. This is by far his weakest effort. Drab characters, boring and annoying story line, and a nothing conclusion. He is always easy to read, but I'd prefer the content to be entertaining. Who cares how much money big N.Y. firm lawyers make, or how hard they work, or how corrupt they are. These are things we already know....more info
  • Review of the Associate purchase
    Delivery was on a Saturday although it was programmed for the following Monday. That saved me having to have it sent to where I live since I was still at the address where it arrived on Saturday....more info
  • Wow! Really Bad!
    Before I borrowed the audio book from the library I saw that it had a majority of a 1 star rating.
    But no I wanted to see for myself, I thought come on now it's John Grisham ... and still it does deserve every single 1 star it's been rated!
    For all the reasons that have already been stated by other reviewers ... no suspense, no thrill, no twists everthing is as it seems, no character development anything that makes for a horrible story it's in there (or not in there). And the ending was by far the worst ever.
    I should have trusted the 1 star majority rating and not wasted one minute of my time on such an awful book....more info
  • Not good..
    The ending in this book was an absolute let down and I'm upset that I wasted my time reading it. There will surely be a sequel to this book but I will not be reading it John....more info
  • Awful!
    I usually love John Grisham's books, but this one was horrible. The plot was boring and the ending was awful. ...more info
  • Awful!
    I usually love John Grisham's books, but this one was horrible. The plot was boring and the ending was awful. ...more info
  • The Associate
    I enjoyed the book until the final chapter. The conclusion was disappointing and wondered if the author ended it the way he did to use the characters in a sequel. If so, I will not read it....more info
  • Not Grisham's best work
    I have been a fan of John Grisham since his first novel and have read everything he's written. I really like this particular genre and Grisham's books normally engage me from the start. 'The Associate' was no exception. I read the entire book hungrily, waiting for what I was sure would be a stunning conclusion. But on finishing the book, I was left with many questions and a feeling that I had been slightly cheated.

    Why spend 384 pages capturing every detail of this young attorney's experience and then not give the reader a satisfying ending? Who was behind the whole scheme? Did Kyle just fade into the York PA sunset never to be heard from again? Who was the other insider at the firm? Another 25 pages or so could have wrapped this up tidily.

    The detail of a young associate's first year at a big law firm was enough to make me happy I hadn't chosen a career in law!

    Someone who had read this book before me (it was from the library) actually did some editing! I had to laugh. There were several places where Grisham had his characters' names mixed up and the person had carefully crossed out the incorrect name and written in the right one. Those kinds of errors are inexcusable in a book from someone with Grisham's reputation. Was there only one edit? If a casual reader could find these errors, why couldn't the editor?

    Oh well. I liked this book well enough and will not cross John Grisham off my list of favorite authors just yet. I'm glad he's returned to the genre where he does his best work too. 'Playing for Pizza' was a big mistake!!! ...more info
  • Very Disappointing end
    I waited with excitement as the new Grisham book was released. In the beginning I couldn't put the book down. As I went through the book I kept waiting for some explanation on the events in the book but they never came. It was like Grisham decided that he must hurry up and complete the book. The entire ending didn't make any sense and it didn't give any explanation on who the people were that were behind the scheme. I was very disappointed in this book. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come from John Grisham....more info
  • Conflict, compromise, murder and honor
    Kyle McAvoy's decline from editor of the Yale Law Review to a spy/employee of the world's largest law firm paints a vivid picture of conflict, compromise, murder and ultimately honor.

    As with every John Grisham legal thriller, the reader doesn't need to be a lawyer to enjoy the story. Grisham gives the reader just enough information about the world of "lawyering" so that the layman can "get it" and enjoy the story without getting caught up in the legal detail.

    This, like every Grisham book is imminently readable. It is an easy read, with believable characters, and just enough plot twists to keep things interesting.

    The thing that appeals to me is that young McAvoy is conflicted and willing to compromise his integrity, yet leaves the reader with the pretty clear idea that he'll eventually do the right thing. And he does.
    ...more info
  • Good Read
    Good Read!

    One of his best. Typical Grisham from beginning to end.

    ...more info
  • It's not 1 star because I was at least able to finish it
    Probably the most irritating thing about this book is that Grisham resolves the problem with a solution that would have been just as (if not more) plausible 5 pages into the book. We spend 275 (or so) pages being told why the obvious solution can't work and then see our protagonist end up pursuing it anyway.

    I get the feeling that Mr. Grisham wrote this book with a different ending in mind. But as the novel progressed, he kept finding himself digging deeper and more implausible holes out of which he could not crawl. Ultimatley, he was so flummoxed, he just took the easy (and obvious) way out. Of course, to follow that path from the start would have made for an even less intersting story.

    Grisham writes a mildly entertaining novel here, to be sure. But if this were the first of his works I ever read, you could be sure it would also be the last. The main thing that kept me going was my familiarity with what Mr. Grisham is capable of producing....more info