Nina's Reading Blog

Comments on books I am reading/listening to

Posts Tagged ‘Playing for Pizza’

Playing for Pizza

Posted by nliakos on December 18, 2015

by John Grisham ( (Doubleday 2007, ISBN 978-0-385-52500-8)

Playing for Pizza is a lightweight, pleasant novel which will appeal to football fans and people interested in multi-cultural themes. Guess which category I fit into! The protagonist, Rick Dockery, is a third-string quarterback who has been bounced around the NFL for several years, either not playing at all or playing badly. Most recently, he threw a pass to the opponents, singlehandedly losing what would have been a winning game for his team of the moment, the Cleveland Browns. Injured and unable to find another NFL team to take a chance on him, Rick winds up playing for the Parma Panthers (Yes! There really is an Italian football league and even an Italian Super Bowl.). The novel covers one season for the Panthers, during which Rick is gradually adjusts to living in a new culture (he even goes to the opera, learns how to drive with a manual shift, and somewhat reluctantly visits many galleries, churches, and castles with Livvie, his American girlfriend). He even comes to like living in Italy.

A mostly predictable, enjoyable read. If you don’t like or understand football, you will just ignore sequences like On the first play, Rick faked to Franco on a dive, then pump-faked to Fabrizio on a five-and-out. The corner, sniffing an early and dramatic interception, took the bait, and when Fabrizio spun upfield, he was wide open for a long second. Rick threw the ball much too hard, but Fabrizio knew what was coming. He took it with his fingers, absorbed it with his upper body, then clutched it just as the safety closed in for the kill. But the safety never caught him. Fabrizio spun again, hit the afterburners, and was soon strutting across the goal line. Seven–zip.  Say what?

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