Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Associate by John Grisham .

Kyle McAvoy, a 25 year old law student gets a $200,000 job with the top New York law firm. He takes this job only because he has been blackmailed into commercial espionage.

This crime/thriller has 373 pages and was written in 2009. John Grisham has written 20 other novels but this is the first one I have read. The quality of this book right from the start is poor and I wondered if it was worth continuing to read it. I found no empathy for Kyle, the central character of this novel. This story is very far fetched but John's writing style is very clear although there are a lot of very short paragraphs. This novel has a lot of dialogue between the characters but it lacks depth and attitude. It is easy reading but on page 177 when Baxter is talking to Brother Manny it reads...

Brother Manny issued the questions and absorbed the answers with such ease that after fifteen minutes together, Kyle felt as though he could chat for hours and tell him everything.

...Only Kyle was not there!

There is nothing special about this crime/thriller and I rate it as simply OKAY. I do not suggest that bloggers buy a copy of this book. What is good about this novel is the exploration of the American salary based work ethic. Kyle's firm had head-hunted him and his co-workers with very large salaries. The catch is that although the work is charged to the client by the hour, the lawyer gets a flat salary regardless of the number of hours worked. I think that this practice is totally unfair and that all workers should be paid by the hour as I am. The whole billing culture of corporate America is explained and it is this tale of workplace culture that saves this book from being an AVOID. The ending of this book is poor and I wonder how the owner of this book felt when he got to the end? I did not buy this book but I would like to thank the person who left this book in the reception of the Riu Green Park hotel at Port El Kantaoui in Tunisia for other holiday-makers to enjoy.
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