Sunday, May 22, 2011

# 27 - The Associate by John Grisham

Wow, I haven't read a Grisham book since I was in high school (high school here is from 13 to 16 years old), more than 10 years ago. I think my last was The Partner. To be honest, reading Grisham maybe probably contributed to my desire to be a lawyer, although I have come to realize that practicing law in my little third world is probably worlds different from practicing law as Grisham tells it.

Since my taste in books have changed since I was in high school, I wanted to see if Grisham could still hold my interest the way he did before. The short answer? Yes, definitely. I finished this one in just a few hours. Quick and easy read.

The book is about a graduating Yale law student, Kyle McAvoy, editor of the Yale Law Journal, great grades, promising future. He seemed to be the perfect law grad. Except that he was a bit of a party animal in college, and may have been part of a rape scandal. This bit of darkness in his past us then used by ruthless blackmailers who try to get him to steal information from a huge law firm. Kyle was idealistic, wanting to work in public service for a few years before whoring himself out to a huge law firm. But the blackmail forces him to accept a grueling job as an associate in the biggest law firm in the country.

An so it goes, the story of his blackmail, surveillance, counter-surveillance, and eventually, his extraction from the messy situation. Outside of the basic plot, the book explores such matters such as how it sucks to work in a huge cold law firm, concerned only with billable hours. Huh. I wish I billed by the hour.

The other thing that I guess struck me most is the part about the rape itself. Being a woman, I would think that rape is black and white, but is it possible that otherwise nice young men can commit a rape without knowing it?

Oh well, that discussion is one too serious for a John Grisham book review. Bottom line, he can still make me turn the pages. The writing is serviceable. However, when I finished reading, it didn't leave me satisfied and not just because they don't capture, or even know the bad guys. Maybe I have outgrown him.

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