Grisham, John: The Partner
(researched by Jessica French)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
John Grisham. The Partner. New York, New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc., 1997. John Grisham holds the 1997 copyright. There are no parallel editions.
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
The first edition is published as a hard copy, binded with two stiff boards held together by string.
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
184 leaves, pp. [12] 13-366 [367-368]
5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
On the first page of the book, Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. advertises its Celebration of 100 years of excellence, followed by a recognition of John Grisham's other novels on the third page, and the author's book dedication to his friend, editor and agent on the fifth page. At the end of the novel on the last page, the author offers Acknowledgments to his friends who assisted with the book's production.
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
There are no illustrations.
7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available
8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)
The novel's 9 1/2" x 6 1/4" dust jacket provokes the eye with its dark green shadow of a man running off the top edge of the book. Size Serif type 95R, font Nikis on the 9 3/16" x 6" pages with 1" margins contribute to the novel's easy read. Chapters are introduced by written number headings in bold rather than title headings, while the first letter of each opening sentence is in larger, bolder print. Due to the novel's recent publication, the physical appearance is flawless.
9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available
10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)
Due to the novel's recent publication date, the quality of the pages and covers are in perfect condition. The texture of the paper is rough and somewhat thick, while the cream colors of the paper and black ink remain flawless.
11 Description of binding(s)
While the dust jacket is significantly more decorative, the book's binding only consists of two stiff ivory boards sewn together with yellow and brown string. The inside pages are attached to the spine's string twelve separate times. The green spine of the novel contains the title, author, publishing company and their symbol (an anchor with a dolphin wrapped around) all stamped in gold print. There are two dark green endpapers located in the front and back of the book. Spine's original transcription: The Partner John Grisham [Publishing Company's symbol of anchor and dolphin] Doubleday Dust jacket's spine transcription: JOHN GRISHAM [boxed image of feet running away] THE PARTNER [Publisher's symbol of anchor and dolphin] DOUBLEDAY Dust jacket's front cover transcription: THE | PARTNER | JOHN | GRISHAM Dust jacket's back cover transcription: IT BEGAN WHEN | HE DISAPPEARED. BUT IT | DIDN'T REALLY START UNTIL | THEY FOUND HIM...
12 Transcription of title page
Recto of title page: The | Partner | DOUBLEDAY | New York London Toronto Sydney Auckland The recto's format of the title and publishing information resembles the preceding page's format of the author's name, evident by the same gray text boxes. Verso of title page: [Publishing company's symbol with anchor and dolphin] | PUBLISHED BY DOUBLEDAY | a division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. | 1540 Broadway, New York, New York 10036 | DOUBLEDAY and the portrayal of an anchor with a dolphin | are trademarks of Doubleday, a division of | Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. | This novel is a work of fiction. The characters, names, incidents, dialogue, and plot are | the products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. | Any resemblance to actual persons, companies, or events is purely coincidental. | Book design by Paul Randall Mize | Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Applied for | ISBN 0-385-47295-1 | ISBN 0-385-48592-1 (limited edition) | ISBN 0-385-48578-6 (large print) | Copyright 1997 by John Grisham | All Rights Reserved | Printed in the United States of America | March 1997 | First Edition | 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
Grisham's manuscript holdings are located at Mississippi State University, while the original copies of the manuscript holdings are in the Manuscript Division of Mitchell Memorial Library. www.publisherweekly.com
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
While most books contain a summary on the back of the book, this novel's summary is located on the front flap of the dust jacket in white print. The front cover of the dust jacket contains the title in gold print, the author's name in black print, and a green shadow of a man running in the opposite direction. The spine of the dust jacket includes the same words and colors as the dust jacket's cover, including a boxed image of a man's feet running, as well as the Publishing Company's name and symbol in white print. The back of the dust jacket only includes a two sentence enticing description of the novel, while the back flap of the jacket displays a picture of the author, mentioning his current residences, a list of his other novels, and the Publishing Company's website advertisement.
Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History
1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Applied for ISBN 0-385-47295-1 Limited Edition: ISBN 0-385-48592-1 Large Print: ISBN 0-385-48578-6 Mass Market Paperback: 468 pages; 1.39 x 6.90 x 4.23 ; Dell Publishing Company ; ISBN 0440224764 ; February 1998 ; The front cover contains many more colors including pink and purple, as well as a full image of a man running as opposed to just feet. Audio Cassette (Abridged) : 1.18 x 7.10 x 4.17 ; Bantam-Books-Audio ISBN 0553472836 ; Abridged Edition, April 1997. Audio CD Edition (Abridged) : 1.02 x 5.64 x 4.93 ; Bantam-Books-Audio ISBN 0553455532 ; Abridged Edition, April 1997. Hardcover (Bantam/Doubleday/Delcorte Press Large Print Collection) [Large Print] : 1.30 x 9.50 x 6.44 ; Same cover as the first edition ; ISBN 0385485786 ; Large Print Edition, May 1, 1997. Audio Download (Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio) : Media Type, Audio Book ; Running Time, 12 hours ; Unabridged ; January 1, 1997 Mass Market Paperback : January 1998. Library Binding : October 1999.
2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available
3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available
4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?
Based on the New York Times records, by March 31st, 1997, there were 2.8 million first editions printed.
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
Turtleback Books Donco Media, Limited [Distributor] Active Record ; ISBN 0606156720 ; 1998. Verlag Wilhelm Heyne Distribooks, Inc. [Distributor] Active Record ; ISBN 3453151658 ; 2000.
6 Last date in print?
As of October, 2002 this books remains in print.
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
Based on the New York Times records, as of March 1997 there were 2.8 million books printed and sold.
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
According to publishers weekly in 1997, this book held the #1 spot in hardcover for five weeks, and also made it to the "top" twelve times. In Barnes & Noble's 1998 Top Ten paperback sellers, it held the #5 position throughout the year. The BOD Audio for this book was ranked under the 200,000-300,000 sales figure range according to the publisher's records. Market Partner's Publishing Trends newsletter considered Grisham to be the "undisputed sales leader in the world." They also reported in their breakdown of international bestsellers for 1997, this book indexed at almost triple the #2 book, Ken Follet's "The Third Twin."
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
Grisham made a New York appearance at Border Books and Music in the World Trade Center to promote his book. Doubleday submitted the first chapter of The Partner on America Online at 12:01am on February 12th. Then five days later, Doubleday submitted the second chapter of the book on America Online, due to the first chapters' significant, positive responses. Grisham agreed to an online interview, which was the only interview opened to the public before publication. www.lubbokonline.com/news/031197/grishams.html The New York Times presented an article on March 31st, 1997 advertising Grisham's new release. This article included an interview with Grisham, as well as a summary of the book. Grisham's novel was declared the #1 best-seller on March 16th, 1998, and was reported to be holding its position.
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
11 Other promotion
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
Grisham denied a movie release in order to take a break from Hollywood after his two previous books/films. Audio Cassettes, CD Editions and Downloads are provided in #1.
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
Der Partner. Verlag Wilhelm Heyne, Distribooks, Inc. (No date given) ISBN 3453151658 ; Binding, Trade Paper ; Language, German ; Status, Active Record. L'associe de Grisham in French. ISBN 2266078615 hardcover ; April 7, 2000 ; Publisher Presse Pocket. L'associe in French. ISBN 2266078615 paperback ; October, 2001 ; Publisher Presse Pocket. El Socio in Spanish. ISBN 844067581X Hardcover ; January 1, 1997 ; Publisher Ediciones B El Socio in Spanish. ISBN 8440694369 paperback ; October 1, 1999 ; Publisher Ediciones B Mexico S.A. de C.V. El Socio in Spanish. ISBN 8466304282 paperback ; October, 2002 ; Publisher Distribooks Intl. Translasted into Thai by Nanmee Books in Bangkok. www.amazon.com
14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A
N/A
15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A
N/A
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
Although John Grisham's desire to pursue law did not last very long, his criminal and civil law experiences and knowledge, as well as his position on the Mississippi House of Representatives have significantly influenced his writing career and success. After witnessing a young girl's rape testimony, Grisham discovered his interest in exploring fictional court scenarios. This sudden spark of inspiration began his long-term success. Grisham states, "I seriously doubt I would ever have written the first story had I not been a lawyer" (capitolbookcafe). His first book, "A Time to Kill" did not receive much support until the second novel, "The Firm" sparked Paramount's film rights request for $600,000, providing him with significant "financial freedom" (yahoo.com). Once Grisham realized the public's recognition of his talent, he officially quit law. Grisham wrote six months out of each year, producing a long series of books. Grisham does not know who has influenced his style of writing, although "if he could emulate anyone it would be Steinbeck" (capitolbookcafe). He was gradually acquiring the title, "master of the legal thriller." During a short break, Grisham traveled to Brazil for one of his frequent Baptist Church's projects to help the poor citizens build chapels. Grisham stated that Brazil supplied "a rich landscape" (capitolbookcafe) for his next novel, "The Partner." He chose to maintain the recurring law theme, and confirmed this book's plot focus on "the legal system protecting its own" (capitolbookcafe). Grisham also reported that usually he "prefers to tackle the issues of death penalty, tobacco, litigation and insurance abuse, but it's not always possible every time out" (capitolbookcafe). In order to provoke interest in his readers, Grisham gave an online interview before the novel's publication. His publishing company contributed to its advertisement by putting the book's first chapter on America Online, followed by the second chapter five days after the book's release. Sales were reported to dramatically increase. Due to "The Partner"'s location in other countries, it reached international attention and success. With such positive responses, "The Partner" maintained its position in the top mass-market spot for weeks. Publishers Weekly acknowledged Grisham's many successes up to this novel, declaring him the "best-selling novelist of the 90s." The enticing novel was Grisham's revelation of "an old story?a lawyer's dream of escaping" (capitolbookcafe). He even admitted to knowing lawyers like the main character, who attempted to flee with their firm's money. In the past, Grisham and his publishing company were concerned with overexposure when four of his books were receiving incredible sales figures and one book was in theaters. Once "The Partner" and the following novel "The Street Lawyer" were acquiring film interests, Grisham chose to deny their film right sales. He confirmed he was only "taking a break from Hollywood" (publisherweekly) because "the films add another layer of notoriety and stress and hassle that I don't care to deal with" (publisherweekly). Grisham did not think denying this novel's film rights would affect his reputation or future success. He states, "The only pressure I put on myself is to write the best book I can write. I guess one of these days I'm going to publish a book and it's going to be a real dud that will sell half of what the last one sold?At that point, I'll probably worry about sales" (publisherweekly). During "The Partner"'s high standing in 1998, Grisham's Publishing Company, Bantam Doubleday Dell decided to join with Randam House Inc. to combine and maintain both company's' books' outstanding successes. Since the companies combined, Grisham has continued to produce successful novels. Overall, he has completed nine novels, screenplays and six film adaptations. As of 2002, two of his books, "The Gingerbread Man" and the "Runaway Jury" are in the process of filmmaking. Barnes & Noble reports that Grisham is 2002's #33 on their list of "100 Top Paid Celebrities." In addition to his writing accomplishments and recognitions, he has helped to produce the literary magazine "Oxford American," sponsored a visiting writer's program at Ole Miss with his wife, founded annual grants for outstanding faculty members at Mississippi State University, and in return has had a UseNet group, alt.books.john.grisham dedicated to him. His various contributions and book successes have provided him with positive reputations and achievements. He admitted to possibly returning to Mississippi to write when he is older, however as of 2002 he wants to enjoy his career while he is doing so well. Grisham comments on his overall writing strategy, "I find my story, find its voice, its people, its pace?I don't think about the readers, the sales, the movies?I think about the story?If I get it right, everything else falls into place?One day, I don't know when, I'll write other types of books. But not in the near future, I'd be foolish to abandon this genre at this time" (capitolbookcafe). www.publisherweekly.com www.yahoo.com www.barnes&noble.com www.capitolbookcafe.com
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
As of 1997, Grisham was already a well-known author of best-selling fiction novels. Once he released "The Partner" in March 1997 he received enough significant praise to maintain his amenable reputation. The New York Times selected "The Partner" the #1 bestseller for weeks, while the Philadelphia Inquirer featured Grisham as "the best American storyteller writing today." There was an overwhelming amount of recognition for Grisham who as of 1997 had "become as prolific a purveyor of beach reading as America's got at the moment?[instructing] his readers on how to add an extra fifty weeks a year to their towel time" (Salon Magazine). Grisham's audience was recognizing his talent and ability to powerfully affect the reader throughout his novels. Entertainment Weekly revealed through Tom De Haven's March 14, 1997 article that Grisham's plot strategy was "irresistible?masterful and downright subversive" by influencing the reader to cheer for a corrupt, selfish character set against the legal system. In addition, Haven notes by the end of the novel, the reader should immediately distinguish "the brilliance of Grisham's legal fable, a cautionary tale for our cynical times if ever there was one" that "hits home, and hits hard." Reviewers continued to praise Grisham's plot and setup, influencing magazines and papers to keep exposing his success. Several commentators shared the feeling that Grisham had the power to invoke resilient curiosity and attention in his readers. Bestseller Reviews offered detailed spotlight reviews, such as Justin Vanderpool's book observation on February 24, 2002 stating, "at times it is slow but comes back with a bang?Grisham uses great detail in this novel?keeps you interested in the beginning, fades in the middle, and jumps out at the end." Peter Knutson also submitted a detailed review on February 28, 2001, stressing Grisham's ability to sustain suspense, while offering a challenging, "mind-boggling" novel. It is evident through these types of customer reviews and observations, that Grisham's new novel positively affected his readers and furthered his writing career. While containing new characters, plots and surprises, "The Partner" revealed to include many components seen in several of his previous novels. Grisham's critics have compared both apparent and lacking components as positive attributes. Kirkus Reviews in 1997 held an overall sensation that "Grisham justifies a colossal first printing of 2.8 million copies with his best plotted novel yet." They also stated there is no "dispersal of belief that often follows his knockout openings?he [came] up with a masterfully bittersweet end (with his title taking on a sly double edge) that may be his most satisfying ever." In support of Kirkus Reviews' opinions, Justin Vanderpool's outlook, offered in Bestseller reviews, mentioned that Grisham's great ending has also been identified in his past novels. However, Bestseller reviews follows this commending statement with another critic's disappointment in the book's ending. She complained that the end was "dangling" while "predictable to veteran Grisham readers." Grisham is criticized for writing another novel focusing on legal issues, evident in www.amazon.com's review that he "returns with a story about - - surprise! - - another lawyer in trouble." Publisher Weekly identified Grisham's focus on money in this new novel, already seen in "The Runaway Jury," showing "his fascination with the techniques of moving huge sums rapidly around the world." This strategy becomes the "key plot device" in "The Partner." While Publisher Weekly offers several tributes to his novel, they also present significant complaints. Despite the respectable plot, they feel the main character is ultimately the opposite of a hero. These critics display extreme antagonism towards this character's role, while recognizing "in Grisham's world money rules, and it is a sign of weakness to ignore its power. Not that the author is likely to do so, anyway; every indication is that his latest will rake it in once again." Salon Magazines' critics were not as accepting on the overall plot, suggesting the "story lines were a little redundant compared to other Grisham novels" (Review on May 16, 2002). Their critics also affirmed that Grisham "seems more interested in fooling the reader than in telling a plausible story" (Review on June 3, 2002). An overall criticism suggested the plot did not have any "special wrinkles," while Grisham only "flirted" with the idea of escape, but was "too busy filing countermotions to make much hay out of it." Consequently, these critics feel by the end of the novel the readers discover "Escapism's no fun if you have to keep looking behind you, whether for shady characters, or, in the reader's case, half-forgotten ones" (March 7, 1997). Although Grisham includes several repeated legal approaches from his other novels, Booklist recognized he "tries his hand at the fake-your-death-and-change-your-identity theme" for the first time. In support of Grisham's effort to take a chance on something new, bestseller reviews reports Peter Knutson's opinion that in past novels Grisham "usually takes a certain path at the beginning of the book and sticks with it. However?he did the exact opposite by taking many different branches of the story and then tying them all together as the story developed." Despite negative opinions, Grisham's writing strategy appears favorable by the majority of his readers. Although justified criticism will always be present in entertainment and literature, an overall acceptance of books such as "The Partner" manage to prevail. This book is one of many novels that have gradually constructed and preserved Grisham's significant success, which still holds strong as of November 2002. Sources Used: www.bestsellerreviews.com www.barnes&noble.com www.publisherweekly.com www.ew.com www.salonmagazine.com
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
As of 1997, Grisham was already a well-known author of best-selling fiction novels. Once he released "The Partner" in March 1997 he received enough significant praise to maintain his amenable reputation. The New York Times selected "The Partner" the #1 bestseller for weeks, while the Philadelphia Inquirer featured Grisham as "the best American storyteller writing today." There was an overwhelming amount of recognition for Grisham who as of 1997 had "become as prolific a purveyor of beach reading as America's got at the moment?[instructing] his readers on how to add an extra fifty weeks a year to their towel time" (Salon Magazine). Grisham's audience was recognizing his talent and ability to powerfully affect the reader throughout his novels. Entertainment Weekly revealed through Tom De Haven's March 14, 1997 article that Grisham's plot strategy was "irresistible?masterful and downright subversive" by influencing the reader to cheer for a corrupt, selfish character set against the legal system. In addition, Haven notes by the end of the novel, the reader should immediately distinguish "the brilliance of Grisham's legal fable, a cautionary tale for our cynical times if ever there was one" that "hits home, and hits hard." Reviewers continued to praise Grisham's plot and setup, influencing magazines and papers to keep exposing his success. Several commentators shared the feeling that Grisham had the power to invoke resilient curiosity and attention in his readers. Bestseller Reviews offered detailed spotlight reviews, such as Justin Vanderpool's book observation on February 24, 2002 stating, "at times it is slow but comes back with a bang?Grisham uses great detail in this novel?keeps you interested in the beginning, fades in the middle, and jumps out at the end." Peter Knutson also submitted a detailed review on February 28, 2001, stressing Grisham's ability to sustain suspense, while offering a challenging, "mind-boggling" novel. It is evident through these types of customer reviews and observations, that Grisham's new novel positively affected his readers and furthered his writing career. While containing new characters, plots and surprises, "The Partner" revealed to include many components seen in several of his previous novels. Grisham's critics have compared both apparent and lacking components as positive attributes. Kirkus Reviews in 1997 held an overall sensation that "Grisham justifies a colossal first printing of 2.8 million copies with his best plotted novel yet." They also stated there is no "dispersal of belief that often follows his knockout openings?he [came] up with a masterfully bittersweet end (with his title taking on a sly double edge) that may be his most satisfying ever." In support of Kirkus Reviews' opinions, Justin Vanderpool's outlook, offered in Bestseller reviews, mentioned that Grisham's great ending has also been identified in his past novels. However, Bestseller reviews follows this commending statement with another critic's disappointment in the book's ending. She complained that the end was "dangling" while "predictable to veteran Grisham readers." Grisham is criticized for writing another novel focusing on legal issues, evident in www.amazon.com's review that he "returns with a story about - - surprise! - - another lawyer in trouble." Publisher Weekly identified Grisham's focus on money in this new novel, already seen in "The Runaway Jury," showing "his fascination with the techniques of moving huge sums rapidly around the world." This strategy becomes the "key plot device" in "The Partner." While Publisher Weekly offers several tributes to his novel, they also present significant complaints. Despite the respectable plot, they feel the main character is ultimately the opposite of a hero. These critics display extreme antagonism towards this character's role, while recognizing "in Grisham's world money rules, and it is a sign of weakness to ignore its power. Not that the author is likely to do so, anyway; every indication is that his latest will rake it in once again." Salon Magazines' critics were not as accepting on the overall plot, suggesting the "story lines were a little redundant compared to other Grisham novels" (Review on May 16, 2002). Their critics also affirmed that Grisham "seems more interested in fooling the reader than in telling a plausible story" (Review on June 3, 2002). An overall criticism suggested the plot did not have any "special wrinkles," while Grisham only "flirted" with the idea of escape, but was "too busy filing countermotions to make much hay out of it." Consequently, these critics feel by the end of the novel the readers discover "Escapism's no fun if you have to keep looking behind you, whether for shady characters, or, in the reader's case, half-forgotten ones" (March 7, 1997). Although Grisham includes several repeated legal approaches from his other novels, Booklist recognized he "tries his hand at the fake-your-death-and-change-your-identity theme" for the first time. In support of Grisham's effort to take a chance on something new, bestseller reviews reports Peter Knutson's opinion that in past novels Grisham "usually takes a certain path at the beginning of the book and sticks with it. However?he did the exact opposite by taking many different branches of the story and then tying them all together as the story developed." Despite negative opinions, Grisham's writing strategy appears favorable by the majority of his readers. Although justified criticism will always be present in entertainment and literature, an overall acceptance of books such as "The Partner" manage to prevail. This book is one of many novels that have gradually constructed and preserved Grisham's significant success, which still holds strong as of November 2002. Sources Used: www.bestsellerreviews.com www.barnes&noble.com www.publisherweekly.com www.ew.com www.salonmagazine.com
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
Although John Grisham has received minor criticism for his bestseller "The Partner," he achieves an appealing portrayal of a lawyer fighting the legal system. This narrative was quickly received by readers worldwide and maintained sensation for several months. Publisher Weekly positioned "The Partner" as the #1 bestseller for a few weeks. His previous novels have all entailed a lawyer in threatening situations or circumstances, while spending the novel trying to overcome them. Despite the critics' opinions of recurring components, Grisham successfully conveys a broader scope of events and characters that are intense, shocking and satisfying. Bestseller reviews includes Peter Knutson's February 28, 2001 opinion that Grisham's novel was highly "mind-boggling." Grisham presents and reveals the plot in a jagged format, suspending the gaps that fulfill the holes when and where the reader least expects. It is easy to look beyond the overall, redundant legal theme the critics keep emphasizing, by grasping the new elements that compose the complicated series of occurrences. Grisham's talent enables him to ironically portray an obvious criminal as a deceived, rationalized hero attempting to escape a corrupted environment. "The Partner" specifically addresses the issues of morality, legality and corruption in a comprehendible structure appealing to any individual, even outside of the legal realm. When considering Grisham's publishing history, a few of Grisham's novels preceding "The Partner," including "The Rainmaker," "The Firm," "The Client" and "A Time to Kill" all received publicity through extensive reviews and sales, as well as the sale of their movie rights. Grisham was constantly obtaining significant praise, success and publicity. Most of his books were reaching the bestseller charts while he continued to produce more novels. By the time he released "The Partner," some critics felt he needed to break away from the same lawyer theme. This theme envelops what an amazon.com reviewer describes as "a return with a story about ? surprise! ? another lawyer in trouble." However, this criticism did not prevent Grisham's novel from obtaining the reviews that helped raise it to bestseller standings. In his novel he adjusts his typical theme to encompass an even larger enticement of a twisted plot and variable characters. Booklist recognizes for the first time Grisham "tries his hand at the fake-your-death-and-change-your-identity theme." The main character is a former lawyer who steals money from his law firm, plans and stages his own death, and flees to another country under a new identity until he gets caught. Grisham's strategy of slowly revealing the gaps enhances curiosity and suspense in his readers. He successfully disperses the details of the main character's deception, journey and fate throughout the entire novel, designing the perfect trail of apprehension. The novel sets the mood with the capture and torture of the main character. The reader gradually discovers the lawyer has suffered many misfortunes and deceptions, and is simply escaping the financial deception his partners were about to perform against him. His motives seem justified, which contribute to the heroic image Grisham had hoped to portray. Once the main character is joined with other lawyer friends, he gradually reveals the extensive time, brilliance and focus it took him to overcome the challenges and conquer his enemies. He undergoes torture from a group of individuals who are out for revenge, as well as intense investigations by the FBI. Grisham provides many opposing factors and sources to create a series of surprising revelations and experiences. Characters and relationships are ambiguous, contributing to the sense of suspense and motivation for the readers. Although the gaps are indefinite throughout the novel, the reader discovers after an extreme analysis and disclosure of the events that took place that the majority of experiences, faults and decisions in the main character's life were intentional. Grisham presents the main character's motives in a justified manner, therefore invoking a heroic image. Despite Grisham's efforts, he has been criticized for portraying this character as the ultimate hero who has committed criminal offenses and lacks morality. Grisham allocates the justification of the character's criminal actions as well as his release to freedom in the end. The twists and turns throughout the novel compel the reader to sustain curiosity, and the end proves Grisham's strategy a success. The lawyer succeeds in achieving the innocence and freedom from his past through the help of former legal friends. However in the very end he discovers his ultimate confidant who has assisted him behind the scenes and who he has grown to love has consequently deceived him and fled with his money. He concludes that after years of hiding, he will spend however long it takes to find her. He is "no longer the prey, he was now the hunter" (Grisham, 366). He is left with no money, and realizes his only hope of being with her is in her hands if she wants to be discovered. The main character has been ironically deceived by a person he trusted and by the exact same strategy he used to initially disappear. The reader is ultimately shocked by the turn of events. When considering plot reviews, Bestseller Reviews reports Justin Vanderpool's February 24, 2002 observation that "at times it is slow but comes back with a bang?Grisham uses great detail in this novel?keeps you interested in the beginning, fades in the middle, and jumps out at the end." Grisham's plot design somewhat correlates with his previous novels, while involving more significantly creative elements. "The Partner" is undoubtedly bestseller material, and enhanced Grisham's reputation and career. In addition to the plot development, his constructions of several countries as locations in his book provide a sense of cultural awareness. These approaches and attributes helped launch this book into worldwide acceptance, and collaborate to label "The Partner" a bestseller. Although his increasing acknowledgments contributed to his new level of success, he chose not to release movie rights for this particular novel. Grisham was avoiding overexposure after previous novels had already entered the film industry. He decided to take a break from Hollywood and focus on producing more novels, as opposed to expanding "The Partner's" coverage. This decision evidently did not affect the book's acceptance and achievement. While Grisham avoided overexposure, his career continued to climb. Due to Grisham's previous novels, he had already gained and maintained a well-deserved status among the early ninety's authors. He had been labeled as an attractive, small town country author who continued to produce fascinating novels and varying aspects concerning the legal system. These aspects are a correlation of Grisham's experiences and legal background. In discussing "The Partner" Grisham admitted he knew lawyers who had attempted to steal money from their law firms in hopes of regaining a new life and getting away with it. Grisham admits this novel is "an old story?a lawyer's dream of escaping" (capitolbookcafe). His accuracy and character depiction based on personal observation and legal practice regarding the legal world aid in engaging his readers. His appearance, aura and personality in interviews and descriptions evidently sparked new interests in the public eye; however his talents and writing style significantly maintained his readers and supporters. Grisham's decision to leave the legal system and pursue a writing career proves to be rewarding. Once Grisham denied movie rights for "The Partner," he began redirecting his novels to represent new ideas, as opposed to continuing with the legal aspect. Grisham received far more praises than criticisms; however the critics were accurate in recognizing it was time for a change. As of December 2002, Grisham maintains a thriving production of bestsellers with the majority of his books. He has not revealed any limitation or loss of ideas, advancing his reputation as a talented, reliable author. Sources Used: John Grisham's "The Partner" www.amazon.com www.salonmagazine.com www.bestsellerreviews.com www.publisherweekly.com www.capitolbookcafe.com www.barnes&noble.com
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