10. - 473.) The Associate by John Grisham – Kyle McAvoy, son of a small town
lawyer, is getting ready to graduate from Yale law school. His plans to do public law for a few years before heading to the big firms of New York are turned upside down by threats related to a potential multiple date rape by his fraternity brothers early in his university life. Industrial spies get him to join the world’s biggest law firm with the intention he will provide secret information on a gigantic corporate lawsuit over the development of a new U.S. Air Force bomber. Grisham portrays the total grind of life in a Pennsylvania legal factory. McAvoy starts at and goes late into the night every day. I cannot see why anyone would accept such a life. Billing is worshipped and questionably calculated. I am busy as a lawyer but I am able to carry on activities and be part of organizations. Grisham continues to create page turning plots. I raced through the book. For the first time there was a twist or two that did not ring true. The ending was subtler than I expected. I wonder what my son Jonathan, considering entry into a demanding big firm, would think of the book. The relationships and opportunities between small town and big city law in the book are so close to our lives. I hope Grisham is back to New York in his next book. Hardcover one more time. (Feb. 23/09) Mississippi
Since writing the review my son, Jonathan, has joined a big firm in Calgary. The contrast in the book between the practice of law in a huge urban centre and a small rural centre resonates deeply with me.