Friday, December 29, 2023

Book Review: Playing for Pizza by John Grisham


Goodreads Overview:

Rick Dockery was the third-string quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. In the AFC Championship game against Denver, to the surprise and dismay of virtually everyone, Rick actually got into the game. With a 17-point lead and just minutes to go, Rick provided what was arguably the worst single performance in the history of the NFL. Overnight, he became a national laughingstock and, of course, was immediately cut by the Browns and shunned by all other teams.

But all Rick knows is football, and he insists that his agent, Arnie, find a team that needs him. Against enormous odds Arnie finally locates just such a team and informs Rick that, miraculously, he can in fact now be a starting quarterback–for the mighty Panthers of Parma, Italy.

Yes, Italians do play American football, to one degree or another, and the Parma Panthers desperately want a former NFL player–any former NFL player–at their helm. So Rick reluctantly agrees to play for the Panthers–at least until a better offer comes along–and heads off to Italy. He knows nothing about Parma, has never been to Europe, and doesn’t speak or understand a word of Italian. To say that Italy holds a few surprises for Rick Dockery would be something of an understatement.

Jacque's Review:

I am a fan of Grisham's legal thrillers and have slowly but surely been catching up on his books. I read every one of his books when they were first released starting with A Time to Kill through The Runaway Jury. After my college graduation, I didn't have much time for reading and now I am playing catch up. 

Playing for Pizza is very different from Grisham's other books. It is not a legal thriller, but a story about an NFL quarterback who isn't quite ready to choose an alternate career path. His NFL career is essentially over after he single handedly threw the game away and landed himself in the hospital with his third concussion. Nobody will hire him, so his agent suggests he play in Italy for a while to let things die down in America. He is offered a free place to stay, the use of a car, and $20,000 a year to become the starting quarterback for the Parma Panthers. The team consists of players who work day jobs to pay the bills, but have a passion and love for the game. They want nothing more than to win their equivalent to the super bowl and believe Rick Dockery is just the player to help them achieve their goal. 

I listened to the audio version of the book and found it to be entertaining, but not up to the standard of his other books. I usually rate Grisham's books in the 4–5-star range, but this was a 3-star book for me. I enjoyed the story, but there wasn't anything exceptional about it. I wasn't sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen next like I am with most of his books. I am happy that I read it, but I will choose a legal thriller for my next Grisham book.

No comments :

Post a Comment