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English Book Club: ‘The Firm’ by John Grisham

The novel: The firm
The firmThe Firm is a 1991 legal thriller. It was the first widely recognized book written by John Grisham; in 1993, after selling 1.5 million copies, it was made into a film starring Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman. Grisham’s first novel, A Time to Kill, came into recognition afterwards due to this novel’s success.
Mitchell Y. “Mitch” McDeere is a graduate from Western Kentucky University with a degree in accounting, who has passed his Certified Public Accountant exam on the first attempt and graduated third in his class at Harvard Law School.
Mitch spurns offers from law firms in New York and Chicago in favor of signing with Bendini, Lambert and Locke, a small tax law firm based in Memphis. He finds the firm’s offer too generous to resist.
When Mitch McDeere signed on with Bendini, Lambert & Locke of Memphis, he thought he and his beautiful wife, Abby, were on their way. The firm leased him a BMW, paid off his school loans, arranged a mortgage and hired him a decorator. Mitch McDeere should have remembered what his brother Ray — doing fifteen years in a Tennessee jail — already knew. You never get nothing for nothing. Now the FBI has the lowdown on Mitch’s firm and needs his help. Mitch is caught between a rock and a hard place, with no choice — if he wants to live.

The author: John Grisham
John Ray Grisham Jr. was born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro,john-grisham-photo-credit-bob-krasner- Arkansas. As a child, he dreamed of being a professional baseball player but 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, 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. Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers. 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.
Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year and all of them have become international bestsellers.
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.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.

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