Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Associate by John Grisham

Enjoyed it. Looking back at my post last year on Grisham's last book, The Appeal, I was reminded how little I actually enjoyed that one. The Associate is a better read and is somewhat vintage Grisham in terms of plot, pace, and character(s). I cannot rank the book just yet as it needs some time to settle in my mind, but it is at least my favorite from Grisham since The Summons (which was 6 books ago by my count.) 

Without giving away any of the storyline of The Associate, the book builds the kind of intriguing plot which beckons a person to keep picking it back up, always wondering what the main character is about to encounter. Set in New York City, the book is typical of Grisham's love-hate approach to lawyers and law firms. The entire law industry is painted as intriguingly attractive and embarrassingly ugly at the same time as he has a way of both glorifying the work and smearing it with mud. 

As usual with a novel, I believe in a final reading which I refer to as the "last sitting" which should be as close to the final 100 pages as possible. While some brief "episodes" might be okay while in the middle of a good book, I am a firm believer in the value of a long period of reading for both the beginning and the end of the novel as such an approach more thoroughly entrenches my mind in what is taking place.  

If you're interested, my favorite Grisham books go as follows:
1. The Chamber
2. The Testament
3. The Runaway Jury
4. The Client
5. A Time to Kill