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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The thrilling novel that made Grisham a household name
The Firm was published in 1991, and almost overnight John Grisham became a household name and a force to be reckoned with in the realm of fiction. There must be something in the water down in Oxford, Mississippi; while Grisham is certainly no Faulkner, he is a man who knows how to make a novel come alive and ensnare any reader who comes along. I really do not care for...
Published on April 24, 2003 by Daniel Jolley

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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not The Best John Grisham Book I've read!
This book starts out smoothly and finishes, well, not so smoothly. This book about Mitch McDeere and his job at a Mafia-run law firm-and it's pretty good at making the reader love the book for suspense and such, but I didn't really like the ending at all. For those of you who have not read the book, go and buy another John Grisham book, anyone but this one. I think I...
Published on December 14, 2001


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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The thrilling novel that made Grisham a household name, April 24, 2003
This review is from: The Firm (Mass Market Paperback)
The Firm was published in 1991, and almost overnight John Grisham became a household name and a force to be reckoned with in the realm of fiction. There must be something in the water down in Oxford, Mississippi; while Grisham is certainly no Faulkner, he is a man who knows how to make a novel come alive and ensnare any reader who comes along. I really do not care for lawyer-type novels as a general rule, and the fact that Grisham makes such stories so gripping and fascinating has me quite in awe of his talents. Mitch McDeere (whom many may still envision as Tom Cruise, since he played in the role in the movie based on this novel) is a highly intelligent yet monetarily challenged law student finishing up his degree with high honors at Harvard. Holding serious offers from prestigious Chicago and Wall Street law firms for his services, he decides to go ahead and hear the pitch from a smaller law firm in Memphis. What he hears is an offer he cannot believe and cannot refuse. A starting salary significantly higher than he would make elsewhere, promises of large bonuses for passing the bar exam and succeeding on the job, an ascension to partner in as short a time as a decade, a new house with a miniscule mortgage rate, a brand new BMW, and other perks soon have Mitch and his wife Abby settling down in Memphis to enjoy a life of luxury (albeit with hard work on his part). The firm really seems to care about Mitch and his family, wanting happy marriages with several children, to a degree that has Abby a little suspicious. Mitch passes the bar exam, and life is great, despite the fact he is working eighty hours or more a week. Then an FBI agent comes to see him, dropping hints of nefarious dealings at the law firm, asking him for help. Thus begins a journey in which Mitch must first decide whether to risk the lives of himself and his wife to violate his legal oaths and sell out the Mafia-controlled law firm, or take his chances, make his millions, and hope the feds don�t find enough evidence to eventually land him and all of his coworkers in prison. It is really an exciting story, as the McDeeres have to deal with and evade both the feds and the Mafia in their efforts to somehow bring down the firm without sacrificing their own lives.
I found the schemes Mitch employed on his behalf were quite inventive and plausible, but as the novel progressed in the later stages I found myself wondering how the Mafia could really be incompetent enough in their surveillance to keep losing track of Mitch at crucial times. I can understand the feds having a little trouble staying a step behind him, but you would think that the Mafia could have put an end to all of these games (and to Mitch) long before he got into a position to bring them down. Also, Abby�s transition from a housewife who wishes her husband wasn�t spending all of his time at work to a wily assistant to her scared and scheming husband is a little abrupt. I also had a hard time completely liking the protagonist after a certain indiscretion on his part early on. I�m not complaining, though, because the tension of the novel ratchets up nicely in the final stages and kept me turning the pages with bated breath. I haven�t read Grisham�s more recent novels, so I can�t say whether or not the quality of his writing has gone down over the years. What I can say, having read both A Time to Kill and The Firm, Grisham�s first two novels, is that the man really and truly had �it� at the start of his career. The action never ebbs, the story never bogs down, and the reader finds himself hanging on for dear life and loving every minute of it as he/she follows the course of whatever events Grisham chooses to relate.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Grisham's best, January 24, 2005
By 
Free Pizza (College Park, MD United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Firm (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a truly amazing Grisham book, full of plot twists and suspense. It's no wonder it catapulted Grisham into the bestseller arena.

The story starts out simple: Mitch McDeere is recruited into a creepy law firm situated in Memphis. They give him a high salary, a BMW, and a good mortgage. No one has ever quit this firm, which seems to be a good thing... But then Mitch realizes that people from the firm have a tendency to die, and the FBI is involved too. No spoilers, but it gets even more intense as the book goes on.

This is a great and fairly easy read. Like most Grisham books, you will find yourself hooked to this book from the start. The ending is good, and you may even find yourself re-reading it sometime in the future. You will not be disappointed with this book.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The greatest firmness is the greatest mercy." Longfellow, February 21, 2011
This review is from: The Firm: A Novel (Paperback)
Mitch McDeere accepts a position with the Memphis law firm, Bendini, Lambert and Locke, a firm specializing in tax law.

Shortly after starting his employment with the firm, he learns that two of the newer associates in the firm were killed while boating in Grand Caymon.

After passing the bar, Mitch is approached by an agent with the FBI who tells him that the Mob actually owns the firm and that many of the firm's clients are engaging in tax fraud. The agent also informs him that Mitch's home, car and office at the firm are being bugged by his company. He is also being followed by the firm.

Mitch hires Eddie Lomax, a detective friend of Mitch's brother, Ray. He asks Lomax to look into the death's of the associates and of two other associates. Lomax gets the information but is caught and pays the price.

Mitch works with Avery Tolar who brings him to a meeting in Grand Caymon. There, Mitch is set up and incriminating photos are taken. Back home, the head of the firm's security, a man named DeVasher, informs Mitch that the photos are help as a warning not to do anything to harm the firm.

We follow Mitch's life as he changes from an ambitious employee to a man in fear of his career and his life. Will the FBI be able to help? How will Mitch survive and get out of this situation?

This is a well plotted novel that is just as engrossing the second time it is read. The reader is drawn to Mitch's dilemma and can visualize soomething like this really happening and we hope for a successful conclusion.

The setting is well done, with the traditions and old time beliefs of Memphis but underneath there is corruption. Grisham also writes in a visual method so that the reader can picture the action taking place. This creates a most entertaining reading experience.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Firm, May 3, 2000
This review is from: The Firm (Mass Market Paperback)
PLOT: Mitch McDeere is fresh out of Havard Law School with an ambitious attitude and the will to succeed. He receives the best job offers from the largest firms in the country, but a small firm out of Memphis brings him in with the best pay, a new home, relief of his student loans, and a new BMW. Within his first week at the firm, two of his coworkers are killed in a mysterious explosion off the coast of Grand Cayman Island. This makes him suspicious and later finds out that five lawyers have died in the past fifteen years, all very suspicious. An encounter with an FBI agent investigating the firm arouses his curiousity with the security of the firm and starts to unravel a downward spiral of crime, corruption, danger, and possibly death.
GENRE: Drama-Suspense
STRENGTHS/WEAKNESSES: Grisham's character development is perfect in a sense where you know the characters, but not too well. The predictability of the book is impossible as well as the ability to put it down. The scene changes act as a stimulant for the reader, not elaborating one part of the book too much. Grisham did a supurb job in entailing drama, suspense, and humor into his work.
This book was the first of Grisham's I read and it will not be the last.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Money Kills..., January 30, 2001
This review is from: The Firm (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is the story of Mitchell McDeere, a young, poor lawyer out of Harvard Law. He finished among the top three in his class and has recieved offers from law firms all over the country, including the small, conservative tax firm of Bendini, Lambert & Locke in Memphis, Tennessee. They offer more than any other firm: a new BMW, a new house, a large salary with many incentives and bonuses, student loan relief, and a community and way of life. But before long, Mitch is confronted by the truth: the firm is actually owned by a powerful Chicago mafia family and once you are in, there are but two ways out: dying and retiring while keeping your mouth shut. The whole book is fascinating, from the beginning when the lawyers were outlining the terms, to the middle, when we discover why those terms are in place, and the espionage begins, to a suspenseful manhunt for the McDeeres which includes the police, the FBI, and the mob. This is absolutely compelling reading and makes you think about if a firm that controls every aspect of your life, that can hear every word you say, does exist.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Story, Flawed Social Message, July 22, 2002
By 
Amazon Customer "microtherion" (Sim City, CA (Somewhere in the Bay Area)) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Firm (Mass Market Paperback)
A great story which keeps the suspense up right until the end as you wonder how the protagonist is going to escape his predicament.
One aspect of the novel which I think somewhat flawed is the way that Grisham is trying to package a social message. While I agree with his message, that lawyers and some other white collar workers enjoy enormous privileges of which they often are not particularly conscious, this message is here blurred by the fact that in this case, these privileges are justified by the shady activities the Firm engages in. Furthermore, after all his lamentations about his ill-gotten privileges, ultimately the protagonist opts for a life of wealthy retirement rather than working for the betterment of society (as opposed to, e.g., the protagonist of Grisham's later novel _The Street Lawyer_).
However, this flaw does not detract much from the reading enjoyment in this highly entertaining novel.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars exciting and entrancing, July 8, 2002
By 
Meg (Traverse City, MI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Firm (Mass Market Paperback)
This was my first ever Grisham book, and it is definitely not going to be my last. I loved this book. And I would recommend it to anyone, even if you aren't a Grisham fan, or someone who loves courtroom drama (which there isn't much of anyway). It's the story of Mitch McDeere, a new lawyer employed by a seemingly perfect law firm until he discoveres the Mob is behind the firm. The book is about his grappling with what to do concerning the FIB, the mob, and his friends at the firm.
I truly enjoyed this book, it made me want to keep reading. Grisham's writing is witty and never boring.
Since I read The Firm, I have dove into "The client" which I am enjoying, however I enjoyed The Firm more.
Read this book, you'll love it!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Firm, May 31, 2002
By 
Matt Denison (Metcalfe Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Firm (Mass Market Paperback)
When John Grisham published his first novel in 1989 the results were mixed. Now with this book everything changed for him. The book became an instant hit earning excellent reviews across the board. At the centre of the story is a young Harvard Graduate Mitch Mcdeere who has chosen to sign with a prosperous firm known as Landini Lambert and Locke. They lease him a new car, buy him a very expensive home and hire an interior decorator to help Mitch and wife Abby with the decorating of the home. It all seems to good to be true. It is. An FBI agent who claims that they have evidence of corruption and murder within the ranks of the firm and unless he helps them out he will go down with the rest of them contacts Mitch. They agree to help shorten Mitch's brother Ray's prison time in Tennessee where he is serving a fifteen-year sentence. Now Mitch is torn between a rock and a hard place and whatever choice he makes will forever change his life. The Firm is a brisk thriller that starts good and ends with a rowdy finale. The supporting characters are all really good as is the pacing of the story.
A superb read.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not The Best John Grisham Book I've read!, December 14, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Firm (Mass Market Paperback)
This book starts out smoothly and finishes, well, not so smoothly. This book about Mitch McDeere and his job at a Mafia-run law firm-and it's pretty good at making the reader love the book for suspense and such, but I didn't really like the ending at all. For those of you who have not read the book, go and buy another John Grisham book, anyone but this one. I think I might have liked it A LOT more if Mitch McDeere had cooporated with the FBI (Don't worry, that line won't give away the book.) It's an okay book, but if you don't want to waste time with so-so books, go read something else!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still Grisham's best, May 28, 2005
By 
Elizabeth J. Brown (Wilmington, NC United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Firm (Mass Market Paperback)
This one grabbed me from the first page and never let me go. I read it on the recommendation of a friend when it was first publised in 1991, and just finished re-reading it this morning. Fourteen years have not dimmed the excitement of the story or slowed its heart-racing pace.

Grisham is gifted at plotting and knows how to layer the suspense. His characters are not the deepest in the world, but they aren't all purely good or evil, either. In "The Firm," Mitch, Tammy, Avery and Tarrance in particular are all well-developed, strong characters.

What makes the book work is that the Memphis law firm of Bendini, Lambert & Locke completely underestimates Mitch. He may come from an impoverished, miserable background; he may seem to lack sophistication and worldliness (despite his Harvard education). But the firm does not count on Mitch having a strong moral compass and sense of ethics. The hiring committee feels certain his poverty and misery have made Mitch hungry, and they have, but for the right things -- not those that are important to the firm.

Despite its length, "The Firm" is a very fast read. It is perfect non-think entertainment, and you'll hate to see it end. The movie version is quite different; it is entertaining and well-cast, but the book is better in my opinion. I also believe Grisham is at his best writing thrillers, rather than wrestling with huge moral questions, as he does in "The Chamber," for example.

"The Firm" is the perfect introduction to John Grisham's books, and if you enjoy it you will read it again, and you will probably like most of his other books as well.
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The Firm
The Firm by John Grisham (Mass Market Paperback - February 14, 1992)
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