I was looking for something different when I picked up this book at the store. I’ve read most of John Grisham’s books and especially liked The Client, The Firm, and The Pelican Brief. This book was different than those, though. It was more like my favorite story by Grisham, Skipping Christmas.
The story starts off with quarterback, Ricky Dockery, getting creamed during a Brown football game. Not just any game, the AFC Championship game. The bad thing is that he took the team from a 17-point lead to a laughing stock in the football community. What Rick doesn’t know is that this is a blessing in disguise. He is about to embark on a forced journey of self discovery that will lead him to a life he never dreamed possible.
After becoming an overnight laughing stock on the field, no one wants anything to do with the quarterback. No one but Parma, Italy. They want an NFL player to throw for their team and anyone will do. Agreeing to play for Italy, Rick thinks this will give him a chance to take some time out of the negative limelight but keep his hands in the game. What he doesn’t expect is an experience far more than just football. By the end of the season Rick will find himself becoming a part of a team for the first time in his life. He will make friends with men who play the game strictly for the love of the game. He will learn that there is far more to life than football.
I loved this book. I’ve never been a huge football fan, other than the yearly super bowl parties where I enjoyed the commercial more than the actual game. But with Playing for Pizza, Mr. Grisham did a terrific job of bringing me inside the head of the players and made me feel the rush of anticipation for the game plays. I loved the mouthwatering descriptions of the food and the tantalizing peak into the local culture. I originally bought the story in paperback but will gladly go back for a hardcopy to add to my John Grisham collection. Also, for those hardcore romance readers, there is a pretty neat romance tucked into the pages of this book. Check it out.