The Associate

Version: Unabridged (Abridged version available here)
Author: John Grisham
Narrator: Erik Singer
Genres: Fiction & Literature, Suspense
Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
Published In: January 2009
# of Units: 9 CDs
Length: 11 hours
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If you thought Mitch McDeere was in trouble in The Firm, wait
until you meet Kyle McAvoy, The Associate

Kyle McAvoy grew up in his father's small-town law office in York, Pennsylvania. He excelled in college, was elected editor-in-chief of The Yale Law Journal, and his future has limitless potential.

But Kyle has a secret, a dark one, an episode from college that he has tried to forget. The secret, though, falls into the hands of the wrong people, and Kyle is forced to take a job he doesn't want—even though it's a job most law students can only dream about.

Three months after leaving Yale, Kyle becomes an associate at the largest law firm in the world, where, in addition to practicing law, he is expected to lie, steal, and take part in a scheme that could send him to prison, if not get him killed.

With an unforgettable cast of characters and villains—from Baxter Tate, a drug-addled trust fund kid and possible rapist, to Dale, a pretty but seemingly quiet former math teacher who shares Kyle's "cubicle" at the law firm, to two of the most powerful and fiercely competitive defense contractors in the country—and featuring all the twists and turns that have made John Grisham the most popular storyteller in the world, The Associate is vintage Grisham.

Reviews (16)

Written by Walter Hamilton on August 21st, 2014

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Story started off well and kept me interested. Excellent story line. Loved it till the end.

The Associate

Written by Carl H from Wildomar, CA on September 2nd, 2012

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Good story that moves along well with a good amount of suspense and thrill. It lacks snap at the end though, like so many of Grisham's books.


Written by Anonymous on June 10th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 2/5

This book started out pretty good and if you didn't ask too many questions and just went along for the ride it was a good time, until the end. There was a lot of build for a hugely dissapointing ending. Because the end made me regret bothering with the book at all, I can give the whole thing only 2 stars.

Not my favorite Grisham

Written by Englewoodian from Englewood, TN on May 11th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I would have preferred some sort of surprise ending. It was too predictable and seedier than earlier works.

Disappointing End

Written by Karen from Germantown, MD on May 5th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I love Grisham books (and so does my husband) ... we listened to this book on a trip we took and were instantly hooked. We couldn't wait to see how it would end only to be disappointed. Up to the end though we really enjoyed the book (I would have just had a different ending).

The Associate

Written by Anonymous on April 21st, 2010

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Typical Grisham. The usual twists and turns. Loved it.

A yawn

Written by Anita on March 31st, 2010

  • Book Rating: 3/5

This was like The Firm only with a different main character and a worse ending. I kept waiting for it to pick up and get thrilling, like the thriller is it supposed to be, but it never happened.


Written by The Colonel from Alpharetta, GA on February 3rd, 2010

  • Book Rating: 2/5

Story was just OK but the ending was a huge disappointment.

shades of The Firm

Written by KathyB on January 17th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I have been waiting for John to go back to his earlier style in the manner of The Firm and The Pelican Brief. I enjoyed his earlier books because they gave you a peek into the inner workings of the world of a lawyer, while providing some intrigue and suspense. The Associate has all of those elements. My only criticism is that I would have like a few more twists and turns, but all in all, it was a good book.

The Associate

Written by Don WZ from Tonto Basin, AZ on December 23rd, 2009

  • Book Rating: 2/5

As a Grisham fan I was disappointed. An unbelievable plot which never reaches a conclusion. The so called conclusion left you hanging. I hope Grisham gets back on track and doesn't try to live on his name alone.

Author Details

Author Details

Grisham, John

Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel.

Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn't have the right stuff for a pro career, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi State University. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. In 1983, he was elected to the state House of Representatives and served until 1990.

One day at the DeSoto County courthouse, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl's father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood Press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988.

That might have put an end to Grisham's hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career—and spark one of publishing's greatest success stories. The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on another novel, the story of a hotshot young attorney lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared. When he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures for $600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers, and book rights were bought by Doubleday. Spending 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991.

The successes of The Pelican Brief, which hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and The Client, which debuted at number one, confirmed Grisham's reputation as the master of the legal thriller. Grisham's success even renewed interest in A Time to Kill, which was republished in hardcover by Doubleday and then in paperback by Dell. This time around, it was a bestseller.

Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year (his other books are The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, The Partner, The Street Lawyer, The Testament, The Brethren, A Painted House, Skipping Christmas, The Summons, The King of Torts, Bleachers, The Last Juror, and The Broker) and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 225 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 29 languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas), as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man. The Innocent Man (October 2006) marks his first foray into non-fiction.

Grisham lives with his wife Renee and their two children Ty and Shea. The family splits their time between their Victorian home on a farm in Mississippi and a plantation near Charlottesville, VA.

Grisham took time off from writing for several months in 1996 to return, after a five-year hiatus, to the courtroom. He was honoring a commitment made before he had retired from the law to become a full-time writer: representing the family of a railroad brakeman killed when he was pinned between two cars. Preparing his case with the same passion and dedication as his books' protagonists, Grisham successfully argued his clients' case, earning them a jury award of $683,500—the biggest verdict of his career.

When he's not writing, Grisham devotes time to charitable causes, including most recently his Rebuild The Coast Fund, which raised 8.8 million dollars for Gulf Coast relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He also keeps up with his greatest passion: baseball. The man who dreamed of being a professional baseball player now serves as the local Little League commissioner. The six ballfields he built on his property have played host to over 350 kids on 26 Little League teams.