The Associate - John Grisham

***** A career’s beginning for a young lawyer in trouble 

Lately, or at least in the latest books I’ve read, Grisham likes to leave an open ending, highlighting how it is by no means the most important part of his novels. It is not for the possible ending, in fact, that I found myself compelled to read “The Associate” in a few days, continuing to turn the pages, even in the most absurd hours just to go ahead and waiting with anticipation for the time when I could take the book in my hands.
 It was what’s inside the book, the details of the story, to keep me glued.
 This time the author describes as a young graduate in law finds himself working in a large studio in New York, where the watchword is only one: billing. There is no form of protection for young lawyers, who are almost enslaved and taken every ounce of energy just to bill as much as possible in the hope of having a future in that study.
 Getting in touch with this “underground” world, you are left to imagine why these people are extremely unlikely to have a decent social life and you cannot remain unimpressed, even if you only try to compare it with what happens in Italy. In my country, because of our mentality, which is very different from the American one, nothing like that could happen.
 And it is precisely for this reason that, as always, Grisham’s stories fascinate me: the extreme remoteness from the reality in which I live, because they open a window on what seems like a different planet. In narrating yet another “legal” story the author shows you real people, to whom it is impossible not to become attached.
 Unlike other “choral” novels, here you have a well-defined protagonist, who is in a situation seemingly without a way out (he is, in fact, blackmailed), and you follow his troubles trying to picture how he could get out from them. Before all this, the ending of the story is just a background and you cannot but appreciate the skill of the author in getting you involved page by page, so that you are sad when you get to the last page.
 Grisham is confirmed with this book as one of the greatest storytellers of our time, capable to go beyond the genre, in which apparently he fits (legal-thriller), to give us so intense stories as to seem terribly real and from which you always have something to learn.

The Associate on