EXTENSIVE READING Student’s name : Lotte van den Brink Class : V6C
Date : 30/09/2011
Title : The Firm
Author : John Grisham
Number of pages : 432 Points : 7
What is the setting?
time :The story takes place in the years 1986 and 1987.
place : It takes place in the United States and Caribbean Islands.
Explain the title.
The book is called ‘The Firm’ because of ‘Mendini, Lambert and Locke’, the tax law firm where Mitchell McDeere is working.
What is the theme of the novel ?
The theme of the book is making choices. Mitchell McDeere has to make the choice between cooperating with the firm (becoming rich in an unfair way) or with the FBI (and risking his life). He finally chooses not to cooperate with either one of them, and to disappear. Still he gives the FBI the information to destroy the firm and the Morolto crime family.
What is your opinion about the book after reading the first chapter?
I read the first chapter very fast, it wasn’t very thrilling and the beginning but still very easy and nice to read. The characters were introduced in a good way, so that I was immediately taken into the story.
What is your opinion about the book after reading the last chapter?
In fact, all of the chapters were as easy to read as the first one, and each chapter became more sensational, so that I couldn’t stop reading. It was easy to have sympathy towards the main character, even though he isn’t really a nice man. I felt the tension of Mitchell McDeere when he had to choose and didn’t want to die. I think this is really good written by the author.
Has your opinion changed? Explain why.
My opinion hasn’t really changed, in the first chapter I already expected that it was going to be a book that’s very fast to read. The sympathy towards the main character(s) just became more with each chapter and the style of writing stayed the same. So, no, my opinion stayed the same too.
Who would you recommend this book to (based on contents not on level)?
Someone older, younger or the same age as you? Why?
I would recommend this book to a person younger or the same age as me, because it is very easy to read. You just ‘fly’ through the book, and there is a lot of tension. That kind of thing do younger people often like more, older people sometimes want a little more depth in a book. I already sensed that I found the book a little too shallow sometimes, and that’s why I would recommend the book to a younger person.
Change the setting (time and/or place) of the story. What would the effect be?
I think if the time or place were changed, the story was still the same. The firm and FBI would, in an earlier time, maybe have less technical accessories and less media-attention, but the story wouldn’t change that much. The firm would still want to make as much money as they could, in an illegal way, and the FBI would still try to catch them. Maybe it would be easier for Mitchell to escape, because in an earlier time they wouldn’t have electronic listening devices to spy on him. But they would surely find another way to do that, so, no, I don’t think the story would change much.
(eg: changes in behaviour, state of mind, outlook on...) Choose one person from the novel and describe his/her character. Also describe 3 changes in his/her character.
Mitchell McDeere, the main character, is in the beginning of the book kind of naive. He is very driven in his work, loves his wife and suspects only the good out of people. But as the story evolves, he becomes more and more obsessed by his work, gives his wife less attention and becomes fixed on earning money. And when he finally understands the firm is criminal, he isn’t naive any more. He gets back to his wife and they make a very bright escaping-plan. He still is fixed on the money, and succeeds in getting it in the end.
Compare the story to another novel you have read or a film you have seen.
(think of: setting, characters, climax, plot, etc.)
I've seen the movie 'The Firm', based on this book. A lot was the same, especially the plot, but there were some differences too. In the novel Mitch steals 10 million dollar from the firm, and receives 1 million from the FBI by cooperating. In the movie, Mitch doesn't steal any money from the firm. Instead he uncovers an overbilling scheme of the firm, that seperates the mob and the law firm. Also, he doesn't get that much money from the FBI and gives all of it to his brother. In the book this isn't the case, because the character of Mitch is still fixed on money and kind of egoistic. This is the only difference in the character of Mitch there is between the book and the movie. The end of the film is also different to the end of the book. In the book Mitch and Abby end up in the Caribbean, but in the movie this is left open. They do get into their car, but it is unclear if they ever reach the Caribbean.