Monday, January 23, 2012

The Associate by John Grisham

Synopsis :

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.

Kyle has a secret, a dark one, an episode from college that he has tried to forget. When the secret falls into the hands of the wrong people, Kyle is forced to take a job he doesn’t want – even though it’s a job most law students can only dream about, an associate with the largest law firm in the world. 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 whom shares Kyle’s ‘cubicle’ at the law firm, to two of the most powerful and fiercely competitive defence contractors in the country – and featuring all the twists and turns that have made John Grisham the most popular storyteller in the world.

I quite like The Associate. I don’t love it but find it an enjoyable read. For some reason, John Grisham’s novels in recent years lack the thrill and complexity of his earlier works. Books such as Pelican Brief and A Time to Kill and The Chamber, among others, are just so classically intriguing that I can read them over and over again. I won’t want to read The Associate again that’s for sure.

In terms of characters, I quite like Kyle McAvoy. While I think he’s down to earth and extremely level headed even being forced into such a volatile situation, I also find him very detached and has not much substance. No doubt that he is brilliant but where is the passion? where is the character? On the other hand, I felt that his dad, John McAvoy has better character and would have more stories to tell and more to offer. I wonder if John Grisham would be interested develop a sequel featuring both father and son in another legal adventure?

The other characters are just basically supporting the storyline and have no lasting impression and lasting impact on me at all. Plot wise, it’s quite interesting but rather predictable. The only wildcard was Baster Tate and I wonder if John Grisham has another message he wants to share by Baster’s conversion to Christ on one chapter and have him killed off the next.

At the end of the day, I always have to make this call. Do I recommend this to you? In this case, I might actually have to flip a coin to decide. Heads for yes and tails for no and the result is........


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Err... perhaps it’s best you flip the coin yourself. :)

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