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The Firm - Referat

The Firm
The story is about a young lawyer, who thinks that his first job as lawyer, is just perfect. But with the time he realised that he brought himself and hise wife into deep troubles.


This story is set in 1985, although it was written in 1981. John Grisham tells us a story of the Mafia and a young student out of law school who could have any firm in the country but choose lowly Bendini, Lambert and Locke.
This boy is Mitchell McDeere, who is at the top of his class at Harvard Law and so he has his choice of the best in America. He has got three job offers and decides to take the one of a well-paying firm in Memphis. But unfortunately this should become a deadly mistake.
When Mitch McDeere signs on with Bendini, Lambert & Locke of Memphis, he thinks he and his wife, Abby, are finally on their way. The firm leases him a BMW, pays off his school loans, arranges a mortgage and hires him a decorator. He ignores the fact that five lawyers died over a period of 15 years. Mitch McDeere should have better remembered what his brother Ray - sitting since fifteen years in a Tennessee jail - already knew. You never get nothing for nothing.
So Mitchell McDeere finds out the Firm is owned by the most powerful Mob family in Chicago, and that they are laundering big sums of money through dummy corporations around the world. Before long he stumbles upon a secret that could bring every member of the firm, including himself, in jail. After talking with the FBI, who tells him among other things that his home phone was bugged and that there also are bugs in his car, in his home, even in the bedroom and that the firm has killed the lawyers and that they are killing everybody who does not want to work with them, Mitch still does not want to believe it.
His wife, Abby, wants him to leave the firm because it will make him a wreck, due to the fact that he works about 90 hours a week in order to become a partner as soon as possible. Eddie Lomax, a friend of Mitch's brother Ray, who is in prison, who is hired by Mitch to investigate into the case of the dead lawyers, also advises Mitch to leave the firm. But only some hours after the conversation Eddie is killed. Eddie's secretary, Tammy Hemphill, understands the real situation and meets Mitch. Also the FBI contacts Mitch again. They want him to copy all illegal files of the firm. They "promise" to take him to prison, if he would not co-operate,. If he agrees to co-operate he will get 2.000.000$, a new identity for him and his wife and the FBI would help Ray to escape from prison. Now McDeere realises that he is trapped and cannot escape without risk. So he has two choices: 1. He can obtain incriminating evidence against his co-workers, turn it in to the FBI, and avoid jail. If he does this, however, he can be killed by clients of the firm, the Mafia. 2. McDeere can avoid the FBI, work at the firm, and live a prosperous life, only to be arrested at some point in the future and serve a lengthy jail sentence. McDeere is faced with a tough decision, and after he decides, he must face the consequences. Mitch is caught between a rock and a hard place, with no choice -- if he wants to live.
As Tammy promises to help him, and as he finds a way not to break his professional discretion, he decides to work for the FBI. So he takes every file out of the building, and Tammy assists him. At one point he takes them with him to a wrong client, Frank Mulholland, and Tammy copies them in the neighbouring office. Another time Tammy plays a prostitute in Cayman and steals the office keys from Avery Tolleson. So they find a lot of different ways to copy the files. Also his wife Abby helps them.
But then the firm finds a leak in the FBI: "Alfred", an FBI man who betrays Mitch. Because of this leak Mitch decides to take the money, his wife, and his brother and to escape without telling the FBI where he is going. While he is fleeing he sends the files to the FBI: So the FBI and the Mafia are searching for the three McDeeres, who are hidden in Andi's Hotel. Then Ray notices a woman who follows them and holds her up. So they have to escape from the police as well. They kill a Mafia man, who wants to kill the McDeeres and escape at the end on a boat - like in nearly every novel. Mitch, together with his wife and brother, takes off to a little island, with the firmís money and spends the rest of his life on the beach, sipping cocktails, while in the meantime in Chicago all of the firms lawyers are sent to prison.

The person:

Mitch McDeere young lawyer, his wife Abbey, and his brother Ray.
Eddie Lomax a friend.
Tommy, Bendini.
Frank Mulholland

Mafia and the FBI:

In this book, the Mafia is characterised as being extremely powerful and very well-organised. They control the lives of their lawyers and can handle then, as they like. They corrupt them, making them addicted to money, women and power, and so soon they would have to do everything for the mob. Sometimes younger lawyers find out what is going on, but never to the full extent. So they are either blackmailed or have a dramatic accident. Only the senior members, who have proved their good will in working for the mob, get to know the dark side of their firm.
Also in this book the FBI characters are, again described as rather incompetent people, and mostly not very pleasant people. But in the end they turn out to be better then they acted throughout the whole story.


John Grisham has written with The Firm one of the most intense legal thrillers of our time.
It is simply a great book, another spectacular blockbuster, but certainly not without its flaws. I found it lagged a little at the beginning, but I cannot regard that as a setback. Most thrillers take a while to build up, after all. The first chapters certainly were good, as they established character and mood, and set me up for surprises. Once the conflict was established, I could not put down the book; it became a real page-turner! This book, the firm, holds you on suspense... until about the middle of the book, where you realise what will happen. The code names and the delaying of information does make the book a bit more interesting. Of course the idea of having a law firm as a front for the Mafia where once you get in you cannot get out - alive, was extremely entertaining. The book brings out the reality of corruption in some law firms that look too good to be true.
But, when I read The Firm, I noticed a very large similarity to The Client. Maybe it was even a mixture of The Pelican Brief and The Client. It has The Pelican Brief's runaway, chase, know-something-wrong plot and it has The Client's know-too-much plot and it's suspense.


The book was not only about a up coming lawyer torn between a law firm that was doing bad business and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but it was also about a little thing we call peer pressure.
Mitchell McDeere was
a confused man not knowing whether to cooperate with the government or with the people that he worked for. Teenagers can relate to this because it's like not knowing whether to listen to the authority in their lives or their friends. Of course in the book the main character chooses the right thing, unfortunately too many teenagers choose to go the opposite way.
This book teaches a valuable lesson, it states simply that when you are caught between the right decision and the wrong decision, the right decision is always the best way to go.


First of all I would recommend The Firm to anyone who has plenty time to kill.
Then, of course I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has never read any of Grisham's books or has not the slightest interest in law or any matters related to it. I also think, that The Firm is the right book for anyone who gets excited of stories/thrillers about the cold war in business.

The Movie:

Already in 1990, before the book was published, Paramount Pictures paid $600,000 for the rights to the Firm. The movie however was a big disappointment.
But at least the ending was much better, because it ended differently from the novel. In my opinion the novel's ending is a kind of flat. But it does leave you with a smile on your face because Grisham gives you a tease on the second to last line.

Life of John Grisham:

John Grisham was born on February 8th in 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas. He was raised in a family of five children. During his youth he moved around a lot because his father was a construction worker. They lived in many different places, for example in Crenshaw, Mississippi. Finally the Grisham family settled in Southaven, a little town outside Memphis, when he was twelve and then he started studying at the Southaven High School.
During his school years he was an athlete and he wanted to play either professional football or baseball. This interest of his made him go to study at the Northwest Mississippi Junior College in 1973. At the Northwest he played baseball for a year and he really did not care for his grades, he just wanted to play baseball. Grisham moved to the Delta State University after a year at Northwest to improve his skills in baseball. At the Delta State University he found out that he really was not meant to be a baseball player and so he decided to concentrate on his studies, which he had not done before. So he moved once again, this time to the Mississippi State University (1975). John Grisham really liked the Mississippi State University and he started studying for an accounting major. Since he could not become a professional baseball player anymore he now thought of becoming a tax lawyer. Grisham graduated from the Mississippi State University in 1977 with an accounting major. After studying at the Mississippi State University he went to law-school at the University of Mississippi, from which he graduated in 1981. In the same year as he graduated from law-school he married Renee Jones.
John Grisham was now a lawyer and he got himself an office in Southaven where he practised criminal and civil law. He was also politically engaged at this time and in 1983 he was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives. During his time at Mississippi State University he had started on two books, none of them were ever finished. In 1984 he started writing a third. This time he finished it. The original title of the book was Deathknell, but the publisher did not like that so he changed it to A Time to Kill. In April 1987 three agents called and the year after, in 1988 the book was sold to Wynwood Press. A year after it was published and 5,000 copies were printed. During these years he had been writing his second book, the Firm, which was finished in 1988. In the same year he started writing on his third book, The Pelican Brief. The Firm was then his big hit. It was the book that made him famous. In 1990 he left the House of Representatives and moved from Southaven to a farm outside Oxford.
Today he lives in Charlottesville, Virginia with his wife Renee and his two kids Ty and Shea. Grisham writes six months a year and coaches his son's Little League team the other half. He only gives a few interviews a year and he has said that he hates reviews. John Grisham just wants to write books and live peacefully and undisturbed with his family.

His books:

The Time To Kill (1986)

The Client (1988):
The book was first published by Century in the United Kingdom in 1993. The story is told by an omniscient narrator who shifts in the point of view. The story contains forty-two chapters.
The story takes place in Memphis and tells about an eleven-year-old boy, Mark Sway, whom a secret is told where the corp of a US senator is hidden. Together with his lawyer, Reggie Love, they fight against the FBI, because they want to know the location of the murdered senator, at whatever cost of Mark and his family.

A Pelican Brief (1992):
"The Pelican Brief" is a political thriller from John Grisham. It was published by "Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc. / New York" in 1992.
The story takes place in New Orleans, Washington and New York. In a cold October night two judges of the highest law-court are killed. A young law-student writes a file about her theory of the murders. But she doesn't know how dangerous this file is for everybody who read it. So she also has to run for her life.

The Chamber (1993)

The Rainmaker (1995)

The Runaway Jury (1996)

The Partner (1997)

The Street Lawyer (1998):
The story is about a lawyer, who gets confronted with the problems of homeless people. At the beginning he was just a normal, rich lawyer who worked for a big law office(D&S), but an incident with a homless changed his life completly and made him to a fighter for the rights of homeless people.
The story is about a lawyer, who gets confronted with the problems of homeless people. At the beginning he was just a normal, rich lawyer who worked for a big law office(D&S), but an incident with a homless changed his life completly and made him to a fighter for the rights of homeless people.

Ever since he wrote the Pelican Brief Grisham has published a book a year with the same result. It should be said that all his books have been best-sellers and that six of them have become movies (The Client, The Pelican Brief, The Firm, The Time to Kill, The Chamber and The Rainmaker). John Grisham has also written the script to the movie the Gingerbread Man and a script to a baseball movie.

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