The Firm by John Grisham


The Firm, John Grisham, 1991

(MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS)

My favorite quote: “If you don’t think about death, you don’t appreciate life.” 

Most interesting characters: Mitch McDeere, a bright-eyed young lawyer with a great future in front of him; Abby McDeere, his wife

Opening scene: Royce McKnight, senior partner at Bendini, Lambert, & Locke law firm, is looking over Mitch McDeere’s resume, thinking how perfect he’d be for their firm. How perfect and white and male — because that’s how they do things at Bendini, Lambert & Locke. They’re very particular, you see. I’m just surprised they didn’t check him for hemorrhoids before hiring him on 

The gist: A young lawyer’s dream job becomes his worst nightmare. Personally, I think working for any law firm sounds like a nightmare (can you imagine all that boring paperwork?) but this one is really, really bad. Like, life and death bad 

Greatest strengths: John Grisham’s books always give readers solid insight into the world of lawyers and law — which is cool, if that’s your thing. Personally, I always feel lost and think there ought to be a map or something at the beginning of the book, like the ones they put in all those really long, boring sci-fi novels, but that’s no fault of John Grisham’s or The Firm. I’m just very left-brained or whatever they call it, and have a hard time reading about people in suits doing stuff in offices and courtrooms — but if navigating the world of the American justice system is your bag, John Grisham’s The Firm will probably leave you pretty breathless and whatnot 

Standout achievements: The Firm is one of those rare books that shot to superstardom and put John Grisham on the map, opening up a whole new world that readers hadn’t really seen before. And if you don’t know the story about how it got so famous, look it up. Interesting stuff (there’s a great video on YouTube with Stephen King and John Grisham where he talks about it — the whole thing is just pure entertainment. I mean, Stephen King and John Grisham on stage together? Whhhaaaaat?? It’s a definite must-see)  

Fun Facts: John Grisham is one of only three authors to have sold 2 million copies on first printing (the other two being J.K. Rowling and Tom Clancy) and has written 28 consecutive number one bestsellers

Other media: The 1993 film, The Firm, starring Tom Cruise (because who else?) Jeanne Tripplehorne (whose name always sounds very painful to me) Holly Hunter (whose accent makes me feel kinda tingly in funny places) Ed Harris (who has the biggest, most handsome bald head in all of Hollywood, I don’t care who you are) Gene Hackman (whose name also sounds very painful to me) David Strathairn (who got exactly what he deserved in Dolores Claiborne) and Hal Holbrook (who stole my heart in The Fog and has had my undying hero worship ever since he fed his drunk wife Billie to that thing in the crate in Creepshow) 

Additional thoughts: After hearing more than one person name The Firm as the “best book they’ve ever read,” I decided to give it a go. I was underwhelmed. Then I watched the movie, which pretty much went in one eye and out the other. I guess I just don’t get it — but I will say that John Grisham is a fine writer who knows how to tell a good story. It’s just not the kind of story that captures me. It might be that it was talked up so much, but I found myself wanting to re-paint the walls so I could watch them dry instead

Hit or Miss: Miss — but that’s on me, not the book 

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Read The Firm by John Grisham

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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