And now for something a little different. I just got done a fairly recently-published audio CD of John Grisham's Playing for Pizza and thought you all might enjoy a bit of a review.
Playing for Pizza
by John Grisham
Unabridged Audio CD
Published by RH Audio on Septermber 24, 2007
6 CDs - Read by Christopher Evan Welch
I am not much of a John Grisham fan. I like legal thrillers just fine, but his seem to be written all to often to be turned into a film later. Things explode often. Private jets are frequently used. Kisses happen on the beach at sunset.
Still, I was looking for some light listening for a recent trip and the premise of Grisham's latest novel intrigued me. Since it wasn't a lawyer saving the world or a hooker exposing insurance fraud, i decided to pick up Playing for Pizza. The liner notes mentioned a down on his luck NFL quarterback looking for a last shot at redemption playing American football in Italy.
It sounded just interesting enough to spend the $20 on so I would not have to be punching buttons on my car radio for a day of driving across Pennsylvania.
And it was interesting enough to prevent that. But not by a whole lot.
It's a fun read about a lovable loser, Rick Dockery, who, after losing a game no one could have lost to cost the Cleveland Brows a shot at the Super Bowl, heads to Parma, Italy to play QB for the Parma Panthers. He's out of money, running from a possible paternity suit and desperately interested in seeing the cheerleaders of Italy. Dockery soon finds himself immersed in a city in love its food, wine and opera, and though a fish out of water, makes the best of his few months there.
The passages about the food and sights of Italy are amazing. It's some of Grisham's best writing. The football sequences make it clear Grisham knows a bit about the game. But if you're looking for a story, there isn't much here. It's a Tom Cruise movie of a novel. You know, talented rouge gets a break, faces adversity, bonds with unexpected people, overcomes said adversity, learns to enjoy life and triumph in the end. All the while, he beds a hottie and leaves us wondering what's next.
It's fun. Just not that special, which is a shame given all the material Grisham has to work with here.
It'll make a great movie.