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Playing for Pizza by John Grisham
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Playing for Pizza (2007)

by John Grisham

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,851962,037 (3.23)68
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  1. 00
    Bleachers by John Grisham (KimSmyth)
    KimSmyth: Another sports themed Grisham book that is really not about sports after all
  2. 00
    Outcasts United: A Refugee Team, an American Town by Warren St. John (SqueakyChu)
  3. 00
    Lest darkness fall by L. Sprague de Camp (DWWilkin)
    DWWilkin: A new transplant trying to make a life in Italy. Heart-warming and fun-filled.
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Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
It wasn't until I lived in a college town that I really got interested in football, and even then, it was a slow process. Had I come across this book earlier, I might just have found my way to being a fan a bit faster. I also might have really attempted that Italian study abroad...

Following the story of a disgraced NFL player on his journey to play football, this is far from Grisham's usual tale. And yet, it is also a wonderful read.

Grisham strikes a perfect balance of writing about the life of a professional athlete against writing about culture in Italy. For football fans, there are just enough play-by-plays to make relevant sections of the book fast-paced and let you visualize the important parts of those important games. And yet, for readers who won't be as interested in that aspect, there's really not enough of it to detract from what is otherwise, very simply, a good story with believable characters. The book moves quickly and gracefully across a number of settings, and it does so with a natural evolution and change which makes it a fast-paced read, and likely a journey away from what you know, regardless of what that is.

All told, the only downfall of the book is that it will make you hungry for a good Italian meal and desperate to go off to Italy to, of all things, see a football game.

Absolutely recommended--this is just one of those fun reads worth reading and passing on. And, if you've got someone who you Want to like football? Give them this. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Sep 6, 2014 |
Playing for Pizza by John Grisham
Rick has woken up from his injury on the football field and has no recollection as to why he was even in the game. He had been in many football teams and didn't even register the latest one.
Only 28 and he's told to retire....he is about to be served for paternity suit, his investments are failing and he's made bad choices...
He runs away to Italy where they play mostly for the love of the game and the pizza after the game as the big prize...
Love hearing of everything that happens, being an American on foreign soil. So much detail in the descriptions. ( )
  jbarr5 | Aug 31, 2014 |
A bad NFL quarterback finds a new team to play for in Parma, Italy. ( )
  KristinaGiovanni | Apr 4, 2014 |
Was of interest because it is set in Parma, where I live. OK as a trashy holiday read. ( )
  twosheds | Feb 26, 2014 |
This book made me create a new LibraryThing collection called "not recommended but want similar novels." It was a page turner, but not original, something I could get behind and say, "you got to read this book." I'm a big football fan, and that helped me enjoy this book. Surprisingly, and very favorable to this book, my wife liked it even though she hates football. She said football was just a small part. I think she was wrong - the whole thing was about football. I'm off to read my next Grisham. ( )
  mainrun | Dec 3, 2013 |
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This book is dedicated to my longtime publisher, Stephen Rubin, a great lover of all things Italian--opera, food, wine, fashion, language, and culture. Perhaps not football.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440244714, Mass Market Paperback)

Playing for Pizza: A Q&A with John Grisham

Q: American football in Italy seems like an unlikely subject for a John Grisham novel. What was the inspiration for Playing for Pizza?

A: Three years ago when I was in Bologna researching "The Broker", I discovered American football. One of my guides in the area played football for the Bologna Warriors for 10 years. I couldn't believe that American football actually existed there, but the more I heard about it the more intrigued I became.

Q: There is some great football writing in this novel. What kind of research was involved in capturing how this American institution is played in small town Italy?

A: The only way to research the book was to go to Parma and watch a game. The coach is an American who played at Illinois State, and he proved to be extremely valuable. I met many of the Italian players and the story simply unfolded.

Q: Speaking of research, you write lovingly of Italian food and wine in this book. What's your idea of the perfect Italian meal?

A: First course: prosicutto and melon; second course: stuffed tortellini; third course: roasted stuffed capon, all served with a great Barolo wine.

Q: Without giving away too much of the plot, your protagonist falls in love by the novel's end. Did you know when you started writing that Rick would get the girl?

A: Of course.

Q: You have a new legal thriller coming in January 2008. Can you give us any hints about what to expect?

A: I really don't like to talk about a book until it's finished. Sorry. But it will not be another work of non-fiction, nor will it be about football. Lots of lawyers in the next one.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:35 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

After he is cut from the Cleveland Browns, Rick Dockery is hired by the Panthers of Parma, Italy, and finds himself confronted by the confusing diversity of Italian culture, language, and romance.

» see all 8 descriptions

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