What year does John Grisham's novel "The Firm" take place in?

I am wondering what year "The Firm" by John Grisham begins in?

1 Answer

  • Zac Z
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    I don't think the year is specifically mentioned.

    It does mention a company (Dunn Lane, Ltd.) that "was established [...] in 1986" so one would assume that the novel is set after 1986 (otherwise the phrasing should be different). The book was published in 1991 but Grisham wrote it in 1989 so it's safe to assume that he wouldn't have set the plot later to avoid awkward omissions of relevant real-world events*.

    There is one detail that in theory determines the year. There's a scene in chapter 4 that is taking place on "Thursday, June 25".

    This must be in 1987.

    The previous time the 25th of June was a Thursday was in 1981, five years before the founding of that company, so we can rule this one out. The next one would be in 1992, one year after the book was published and three years after it was written.

    So, the answer to your question should be 1987.

    Unless, of course, Grisham didn't pay attention or didn't consult a calendar because, let's be honest, few people would go and figure out which year fits to a given day of the week of a specific date.

    Still, even though I consider this piece of evidence relatively week, it matches the other data points so in absence of more clues I'd go with 1987.

    * Imagine a book written in 2000 taking place in NYC in the year 2002 without it being an SF or alternate history novel but mentioning the WTC in passing. - You want to avoid this kind of thing as an author!

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