This book did not age well.
The Firm was published in 1991. It is a fast-paced legal thriller that was made into a 1993 movie starring Tom Cruise. If John Grisham was not writing the entire book based on the mental picture of Tom Cruise playing the main character, Mitchell McDeere, I will eat my shoe. The entire book is written as distinct scenes for some men to jaw at each other in manly ways and then a quick cut to another scene.
Mitchell McDeere is graduating near the top of the class at Harvard Law and is approached by a small law firm in Mississippi to work on tax law. They make him an offer so outrageous that he decides to forego his plans of working at the big firms on Wall Street and move to Mississippi to make the big money. He soon starts to think something is not quite right with the firm and hires a private investigator to look in to the mysterious deaths of several partners. Turns out, the firm is a front for the mob and Mitchell is in over his head.
The plot is interesting but the writing is dull. As I said, the chapters are just Scene->Scene->Scene. Mitchell is dumb enough to fall in to this mob scheme but somehow smart enough (and well-versed enough in the expected behavior of mob enforcers) to outwit the firm at every turn. Mitchell spends several scenes reading and brooding in a handsome, non-threatening way. He spends other scenes observing manfully. And he can do everything better than everyone else- get up earlier, read faster, study less but score higher, pick out office decor more efficiently and tastefully. Tom Cruise IS Mitchell McDeere!
The most nail-biting, tense parts of the book literally involves the speed of the xerox machines being used by Mitchell, his wife, and a trashy yet glamorous secretary. There is SO MUCH XEROXING happening in this book- at Mitchell’s firm (where the number of copies and location of copiers is tracked by the enforcers), at trashy secretary’s secret office, in a hotel room in the Bahamas. The copiers are the newest models, fastest speeds, and cost lots of dollars. Thankfully, the high-dollar copy machines pay off and the firm is taken down.