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Playing for Pizza by John Grisham

Playing for Pizza (2007)

by John Grisham

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,290991,659 (3.24)73
  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 93 (next | show all)
NHL football in Italy — more to life than game, $, sex — okay very light

In the AFC Championship game, Rick actually gets into the game. Rick provides what is arguably the worst single performance in the history of the NFL. Overnight, he becomes a national laughingstock. But all Rick knows is football, and he insists that his agent find a team that needs him. Against enormous odds, Rick finally gets a job—as the starting quarterback for the Mighty Panthers . . . of Parma, Italy. The Parma Panthers desperately want a former NFL player—any former NFL player—at their helm. And now they’ve got Rick, who knows nothing about Parma (not even where it is) and doesn’t speak a word of Italian. To say that Italy—the land of fine wines, extremely small cars, and football americano—holds a few surprises for Rick Dockery would be something of an understatement.
  christinejoseph | Apr 2, 2017 |
Having lived in Italy for 17 years, I found this interesting little story perfectly captured the essence of the Italian culture and how it can grow on you over time. ( )
  trezzadude | Sep 7, 2016 |
Book on CD read by Christopher Evan Welch

Rick Dockery doesn’t know anything but football, but he’s obviously not very good at it. In six years, he played with eight teams. Now no one wants him, unless it’s to beat him up for his latest performance, which basically handed the AFC championship to the rival team. But … it seems that Italy is bonkers for American football, and the Parma Panthers are in need of a quarterback. And leaving for Europe will also keep a former cheerleader’s attorneys from filing a paternity suit against Rick. So off he goes.

What’s the male equivalent of chick-lit? Jock-lit? Well, whatever term we use, this novel is it. Light on plot (and what’s there is predictable), a little romance, a life lesson learned (sort of), and a lot of football. I’m not a fan of this sport, so much of the book with detailed descriptions of game plays was lost on me. But it was a quick read, fulfilled several challenges, and I enjoyed some of the scenes that explored Italian culture (and food). But Grisham is definitely capable of better writing that this.

Evan Welch does a fairly good job of voicing the audio. He has good pacing and I liked the way he voiced the Italians – even when I was listening ad double speed on my MP3. ( )
  BookConcierge | Jun 9, 2016 |
Another non-legal Grisham book. This one isn't very good, but it makes a pretty decent beach read. If you don't take the story to be too serious, you won't be disappointed. ( )
  biggs1399 | Jan 19, 2016 |
Very light reading - no lawyers so very un-Grisham. Fulfilled the need for light reading. There was a bit too much football in it for me, so I would not really recommend it. ( )
  TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:23 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Cut from the Cleveland Browns after the worst performance in the history of the NFL, Rick Dockery, desperate to play football, is hired by the Panthers of Parma, Italy, and finds himself confronted by the confusing diversity of Italian culture, language, and romance.… (more)

» see all 10 descriptions

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