Customer Reviews for

Playing for Pizza

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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 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2011

    Extremely Disappointing

    A friend recommended me this book saying "he couldn't put it down". I often wondered if we were reading the same book. Just boring, poorly written, lots of football play by plays which aren't interesting to non football lovers. Just so much wrong with this book. A lot left unresolved and not wrapped up properly. The writing was weak and plain cheesy at times. Just a really dumb book overall. I've never written a review before but this warranted a warning to fellow readers.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2008

    Condescending and Dull

    Usually I enjoy Grisham's books. I could barely get past the first chapter. Grisham sounds much like a tourist who has gone abroad for the first time and is desperately anxious to show off his savoir faire. Could have been a good story if he had actually developed the STORY. Instead of writing a novel he has written half guide book, half football play book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2007

    A reviewer

    I can't believe that John Grisham and Doubleday Publishing Co. would allow their names to be seen on a book like this. Apparently, they did it only for money because they know this name sells books. The plot, characters, and setting are all totally inane. I will never buy another book by John Grisham. As a librarian and teacher, I will not recommend this book to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2007

    Fluff

    A highly predictible book full of empty shells for characters. In short, its 'fluff', not good fiction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2007

    Lackluster

    I checked this out from the library thank goodness I did not spend money on it. I did not see the point of this book. Mr Grisham stick with legal thrillers, then I WILL buy your books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2007

    He must have got tired of writing!!!!

    Horrible!!!! So what happens? You read the book and it ends......no ending but the books just ends. Mr. Grissom has lost his touch. I will not waste my money on his books again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2007

    A reviewer

    I've read many of Grisham's books, and this one is by far his worst. The story is thin and predictable. Skip this book unless stranded with nothing else to read. What ever happened to his 'A Time to Kill' suspense?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2007

    SAVE YOUR MONEY - Click delete!

    What a disappointment for Grisham fans everywhere! This book is a football playbook with a few descriptions of Italian food thrown in for good measure. Horrible waste of time, paper and printing ink.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2007

    not worth reading

    I've read all Grisham's books. With the time his books are getting worth by the minute. No thrill, charcter, good story, etc... Just a blah book.

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