cover image The Firm

The Firm

John Grisham, read by Scott Brick. Random House Audio, unabridged, 14 CDs, 17 hrs., $19.99 ISBN 978-0-449-00997-0

This smart and smooth audio edition of Grisham’s 1991 novel—now a television series on NBC—about attorney Mitch McDeere and his wife, Abby, captures everything that made the book so popular. Narrator Scott Brick follows the author’s lead, reading in a steady pace during expository sections—the introduction of newly minted Harvard law graduate McDeere to the sinister members of the Memphis law firm of Bendini, Lambert & Locke and his gradual understanding that the death rate of the firm’s lawyers is off the charts—and picks up the pace during moments of action and suspense. For his rendition of Mitch, Brick initially captures the character’s youth and brash overconfidence and later shows his confusion, suspicion, and fear. Additionally, Brick is masterful in his portrayal of Tammy Hemphill, a friendly private eye’s blonde, buxom secretary, who is at first nervous and afraid, but blossoms as she helps McDeere. Her deep-fried Southern accent takes on a triumphant insouciance that may be this audio’s brightest moment. A Dell paperback. (Jan.)