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Playing for Pizza

Average Rating 4
( 288 )
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(102)

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(85)

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(48)

2 Star

(32)

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(21)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

This book is like the minnisota vikings...really good, but not great.

Playing for Pizza by John Grisham
When I checked this novel out from the library, I had predicted how it would unfold. And I turned out to be completely right. I did this with some assistance from the blurb. The main character, Rick Dockery, is a sub-par quarterba...
Playing for Pizza by John Grisham
When I checked this novel out from the library, I had predicted how it would unfold. And I turned out to be completely right. I did this with some assistance from the blurb. The main character, Rick Dockery, is a sub-par quarterback that loves to play the game. After he is cut from his most recent NFL team, Rick signs with a team in Italy. And from that I came to the conclusion that it would be somewhat of a comedy that deals with him adjusting to Italian culture, while at the same time trying to help his new team win a championship. So yes it¿s a very predictable plot.
But that doesn¿t automatically bring down the quality of the book. It had a very good message: the NFL lifestyle is over luxurious, and there¿s really no passion for the game. In the Italian league, with exception to the American players, there are no salaries. The Italian athletes see pro football as a club, and have actual careers to support their financial needs. And they are fine with that. They have the passion for the sport that is missing, for the most part, from pro football in America. That is the theme I love from this novel.
Before when I said I predicted it was a comedy, that¿s on overstatement. Grisham has a way of wording things. When I hear them in my head as I read, they are really funny. This happens especially when Rick is practicing for the first few times with his new team. As you would have guessed the skill level in a Europe league is far below that of the NFL, and they have a different style of practice. So consequently Rick has trouble adjusting to the skill level of his offensive line and wide receivers. The way Grisham delineates Rick¿s frustration is very funny.
Something else I like about this book is the references to the real world. Several times Grisham mentions real NFL teams and players. And apparently the way Italian culture is portrayed here is very accurate. All the Italians teams are real, and the reputations are real. For example, in the text, the Bergamo Lions is the powerhouse of the league, and has one the championship the past nine years in a row. I looked this up on internet and its true. That is a big positive for me.
But no book is perfect. And Playing for Pizza is exhibit A to this statement. The ending was quite the disappointment. I¿m not going to spoil anything, but let¿s just say it leaves the reader very clueless about the future of Rick¿s career. This was something I was intrigued with and was looking forward learning how it played out. But Grisham leaves it up to the reader¿s imagination. I hate it when authors do that.
Another flaw is the many things Rick gets involved in besides football. The most annoying of which are his numerous Italian love interests. Rick has spends a lot of times thinking about girls, two in particular, and whenever I got to one of these chapters I felt very inclined to just skip it. It just seemed to get in the way from what the book could have been. I understand the setting is in Italy and it would be hard to ignore this theme, but it would probably be worth it. I chose this book because it had to do with football, not romance. But there is enough football that it can get confusing for someone who is unfamiliar with the game. By this I mean there is frequent use of football terms. This is no problem whatsoever for me, but could frustrate some people.
But the pros greatly overpower the cons, and overall it was an enjoyable read. I highly

posted by 491326 on December 1, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Check it out!

A fun book to read if you like food and football. Light expose. Different from John Grisham's usual legal fare. Makes you want to go to Italy!

posted by kteachML on November 21, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2008

    This book is like the minnisota vikings...really good, but not great.

    Playing for Pizza by John Grisham<BR/> When I checked this novel out from the library, I had predicted how it would unfold. And I turned out to be completely right. I did this with some assistance from the blurb. The main character, Rick Dockery, is a sub-par quarterback that loves to play the game. After he is cut from his most recent NFL team, Rick signs with a team in Italy. And from that I came to the conclusion that it would be somewhat of a comedy that deals with him adjusting to Italian culture, while at the same time trying to help his new team win a championship. So yes it¿s a very predictable plot. <BR/> But that doesn¿t automatically bring down the quality of the book. It had a very good message: the NFL lifestyle is over luxurious, and there¿s really no passion for the game. In the Italian league, with exception to the American players, there are no salaries. The Italian athletes see pro football as a club, and have actual careers to support their financial needs. And they are fine with that. They have the passion for the sport that is missing, for the most part, from pro football in America. That is the theme I love from this novel. <BR/>Before when I said I predicted it was a comedy, that¿s on overstatement. Grisham has a way of wording things. When I hear them in my head as I read, they are really funny. This happens especially when Rick is practicing for the first few times with his new team. As you would have guessed the skill level in a Europe league is far below that of the NFL, and they have a different style of practice. So consequently Rick has trouble adjusting to the skill level of his offensive line and wide receivers. The way Grisham delineates Rick¿s frustration is very funny.<BR/>Something else I like about this book is the references to the real world. Several times Grisham mentions real NFL teams and players. And apparently the way Italian culture is portrayed here is very accurate. All the Italians teams are real, and the reputations are real. For example, in the text, the Bergamo Lions is the powerhouse of the league, and has one the championship the past nine years in a row. I looked this up on internet and its true. That is a big positive for me. <BR/>But no book is perfect. And Playing for Pizza is exhibit A to this statement. The ending was quite the disappointment. I¿m not going to spoil anything, but let¿s just say it leaves the reader very clueless about the future of Rick¿s career. This was something I was intrigued with and was looking forward learning how it played out. But Grisham leaves it up to the reader¿s imagination. I hate it when authors do that. <BR/> Another flaw is the many things Rick gets involved in besides football. The most annoying of which are his numerous Italian love interests. Rick has spends a lot of times thinking about girls, two in particular, and whenever I got to one of these chapters I felt very inclined to just skip it. It just seemed to get in the way from what the book could have been. I understand the setting is in Italy and it would be hard to ignore this theme, but it would probably be worth it. I chose this book because it had to do with football, not romance. But there is enough football that it can get confusing for someone who is unfamiliar with the game. By this I mean there is frequent use of football terms. This is no problem whatsoever for me, but could frustrate some people. <BR/> But the pros greatly overpower the cons, and overall it was an enjoyable read. I highly

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 21, 2011

    Check it out!

    A fun book to read if you like food and football. Light expose. Different from John Grisham's usual legal fare. Makes you want to go to Italy!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 2, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    It's a pretty good book, but found it very confusing to understa

    It's a pretty good book, but found it very confusing to understand exactly WHAT this story was supposed to mean. A good read though for those who like sports books and want to get a quick read in.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2011

    Skip the movie, read the book!

    An absolute delight. Really a must read

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 9, 2011

    Love It!

    I think people (and critics) are sometimes too hard on John Grisham. A writer should be allowed to cross boundaries without being scolded for trying to do so. In Playing for Pizza, Grisham does this beautifully. Rick Dockery is one of the all-time great fiction louses, the sensory details of Italian life are delicious, and Christopher Evan Welch perfectly captures Grisham aloof and happy-go-lucky tone. I highly recommend this audiobook to anyone looking for some fun.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2012

    A Total Surprise................................................

    A Total Surprise.......................................................
    I picked up this for  my grandson  when he needed to do a book report.   I thought football might be something that would interest him.   Not my bag at all.   But being the compulsive reader that I am I started reading it when he was done with it.   I care nothing about football and I loved the book.  For those confused about a lack of plot.  My read on it was it was about cultural differences--personal growth--human values.  I'd highly recommend it.   

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2011

    Still looking for a plot...

    Knowing Grisham's reputation, I thought this would be another great book filled with good writing and tension. The only things that were missing was a plot, great writing and tension in the story.

    I think Grisham took a vacation in Italy and wanted to find a way to write off the expense. So he devised a vacuous story and penned some drivel that is far below his usual lofty standard.

    I'm sure he justified the expenses, but also wrote off a lot of fans in the process. Quite the dissappointment!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 14, 2011

    Quick, fun read.

    A diversion for Grisham, not unlike Skipping Christmas. A pleasant story, filled with interesting characters, and lucious descriptions of Italian countryside and food. A story for a football fan, or his wife! It made me think of football strategy as I never have before. I give it five stars, and plan to read it again!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 21, 2011

    I'm so hungry, now. When are we going to Parma?

    Loved this very different, very human and engaging story from Grisham, the great writer of courtroom and legal dramas. One of two 'football' books he's given us. This one excels as a story of a man who has to re-evaluate his life in the face of changing citcumstances , reshaping his goals and lifestyle to reflect his new reality. Along the way it takes the reader on a grand epicurean tour of northern Italy. Really, it made me salivate and wonder, "How and when can I get to Parma?"

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2011

    Unexpectedly loved this book!

    My husband brought this home after borrowing it from a co worker. I do not know much about the ins and outs of football especially football leagues in Europe, but this book was so easy to pick up and get into. It is wonderful to follow the transformation of the main character and take in the feel and culture of Italy. I loved all the characters he meets along his incredible journey in Italy. It is an easygoing read that is hard to put down. I was surprised to also read the research put into the autheticness of creating this book! I don't think women and men alike will be disappointed!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2014

    To okay sad peeps

    Tris dies! It is so fuqin sad!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2014

    Okay sad peeps

    Why so sad :(

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2014

    Hush

    I don't see how l didn't screw up..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2014

    Ally

    C u at swim res 1

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2014

    Phillip

    Ok

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2014

    Jake

    *blushes* thanx Gracie

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2014

    Gracie

    "By the way yall are great together just saying bye."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2014

    Aiden

    Tttyt gracieu

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2014

    Gracie

    Chooe something plz.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2014

    Sun

    Next res? Lol.

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