John Grisham- Playing for Pizza (Dell 2008) 3.5 Stars
As Rick Dockery finds his NFL career crumbling before his eyes, his agent knows that he must find a new job for the quarterback. Playing for the Browns he is brought in at the end of the final game in the AFC Championship and he manages to blow a 17-point lead for the team. Now no professional team will have him and Browns fans are threatening his life. Suddenly his agent tells him that the only team that will have him is the Mighty Panthers in Parma, Italy. With this job he will be one of only a few Americans on the team and he will be the starting quarterback. Rick Dockery accepts the job and really doesn’t understand just what he is getting himself into.
The introductory pages in Playing for Pizza are kind of humorous, although sad at the same time, as we see Rick’s career fall apart and him screw up quite severely in his final NFL game. Then we see him flee the country under a cloud of shame to a beautiful Italian landscape. I enjoyed hearing about the amazing Italian food. This book made me so hungry at so many different points. I also enjoyed reading about the Italians landscape. It made me want to hop on a plane and pay Italy a visit. The plot in this novel was not overly deep and at times I found it was lost in Grisham’s habit of including many unnecessary details, but in the end it came through to provide a pretty good final couple of chapters. We find our character, who has seemed kind of shallow and self-absorbed before this, end up discovering a great life lesson, that there is more to life than worldly possessions and money. I did find that the novel got to be a little slow and tedious at times, but may have enjoyed it more if I was a major football fan or someone who had been to Italy.
I recommend Playing for Pizza to football fans and lovers of Italian culture.
For more of my reviews check out my website, www.tonypeters.webs.com
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