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Playing for Pizza: A Novel | [John Grisham]

Playing for Pizza: A Novel

Rick Dockery was the third-string quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. In a championship game, to the surprise and dismay of everyone, Rick actually got into the game and then provided what was arguably the worst single performance in the history of the NFL. Overnight, he became a national laughingstock and, of course, was immediately cut by the Browns and shunned by all other teams. But against enormous odds, Arnie finally locates another team that will have him: the mighty Panthers of Parma, Italy.
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Publisher's Summary

Rick Dockery was the third-string quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. In the AFC Championship game against Denver, to the surprise and dismay of virtually everyone, Rick actually got into the game. With a 17-point lead and just minutes to go, Rick provided what was arguably the worst single performance in the history of the NFL. Overnight, he became a national laughingstock and, of course, was immediately cut by the Browns and shunned by all other teams.

But all Rick knows is football, and he insists that his agent, Arnie, find a team that needs him. Against enormous odds, Arnie finally locates just such a team and informs Rick that, miraculously, he can in fact now be a starting quarterback: for the mighty Panthers of Parma, Italy.

Yes, Italians do play American football, to one degree or another, and the Parma Panthers desperately want a former NFL player, any former NFL player, at their helm. So Rick reluctantly agrees to play for the Panthers, at least until a better offer comes along, and he heads off to Italy. He knows nothing about Parma, not even where it is, has never been to Europe, and doesn't speak or understand a word of Italian. To say that Italy holds a few surprises for Rick Dockery would be something of an understatement.

©2007 Belfrey Holdings Inc; (P)2007 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (675 )
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4.1 (154 )
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4.3 (150 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 07-10-08
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 07-10-08 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Give Him A Break!"

    Like many others have said, there is some good and bad to this story. You know Mr. Grisham is at his best with lawyers, courtrooms and the like. But I applaud his efforts to go somewhere else. To me, it improves his talent level! Even though the new style may need some work.

    I am not a football fan, nor have I ever traveled across the great seas. However, I expand my horizons through reading. This book did that for me. Yes, some of the detailed descriptions of both the sport and the scenery got tedious, and I am not a fan of loose sex, but I have been more bored or confused or disgusted by other selections than this one.

    There was no mystery, no twisting plot, but there was a story. The main character was enlightened in the end. We got to experience that change of heart along with him. That was the story. Predictable? Maybe. Entertainng? Definitely.

    The narration was well done. Nothing spectacular, but well done. I appreciate Frank Muller and Michael Beck from numerous previous titles, but Mr. Welch did a fine job.

    If you enjoy Grisham, you will still enjoy this slightly different style of his stories.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Brentwood, CA, USA 06-14-08
    Tim Brentwood, CA, USA 06-14-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A little slice of Italy"

    I have read all of his other books. I believe this book has a unique quality -- it lacks the urgency of the other stories, at the same time it invites you to consider why you like the things that make up your life. There is a subtle suggestion that you may be too serious or too structured. You may have been patterned to think you like the pleasures in your life. The Italian option will no doubt inspire many who read about Parma and the Panthers. This felt to me me like another trip to Italy. I have been to many of the places in the story and hearing about them again makes me want to see them in person again. Thank you for the vacation. Thanks also for the visit to the world of those who truly love football. I hope there are more of these stories to come...

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David McGlothlin 10-02-07 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not worth the wait"

    This was not one of Grisham's better efforts. Got to the end and still did not catch the plot. I have read all of Grisham's books and this is at the bottom.

    16 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet PLANO, TX, United States 10-07-07
    Janet PLANO, TX, United States 10-07-07 Member Since 2005

    A good narrator can make a mediocre book come alive. I love having a story read to me - it's a wonderful escape.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyable"

    Grisham is a very good story teller. His writing is fluid and descriptive. While this story may not resound with thunder and lightening, it is solid and enjoyable. It tells a realistic and possible story about honesty with yourself and others. It does have quite a bit of football game descriptions in it, but they are easy to follow and if you like Grisham, but are not familiar with football, don't let that stop you from listening to this good story about a good guy. As for the reader, he is very constant. I liked his easy style and his different accents were quite believable. I recommend this book for a nice, light listen.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David San Antonio, TX, USA 10-02-07
    David San Antonio, TX, USA 10-02-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Story, but..."

    This is a great story and I enjoyed listening to it, but... the narrator sounds a bit stilted for some reason.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. McMillen Danville, IL USA 11-28-07
    J. McMillen Danville, IL USA 11-28-07 Listener Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "YUMMY!"

    What a wonderful little book! This book really made us laugh and have a good time. Even if you are not a football fan you will really like the story and the characters!
    Get this one and have some fun!

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samuel Brown San Diego, CA USA 11-01-07
    Samuel Brown San Diego, CA USA 11-01-07 Member Since 2002
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    "Really Funny"

    Great story with a central character that rediscovers his love for the game. I wish we all could get back to the ideals that sparked our enthusiasm for life. I was laughing and smiling at the trials and tribulations of the poor down and out football player who had great talent but a few flaws that too many of us have. There were a few twists and turns that I did not see coming, especially what he did on his trip back to the US. There were times in my life when I wish I did what he did. Thrown in with all this is a nice expose to Italian customs and traditions. Really hard to believe that this is a John Grisham novel.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marci portland, OR, United States 04-05-13
    Marci portland, OR, United States 04-05-13 Member Since 2006
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    "Story was great, narrator almost ruined it."

    I'd give this 3 1/2 stars. The story was fun, simple, and enjoyable. I loved how it began and how you get to know Nick, the main character. I also really, really liked the ending. I listen to these Grisham books about sports with my 12 & 14 year old step sons, this is our third of Grisham's, This was the best of the three. The narrator just wasn't very warm and didn't include any of the humor in his voice, he was a bad choice for this story.
    Still worth a listen though.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. G. Mcloud 10-23-07 Member Since 2007
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    "Entertaining"

    I'm new to Audio books -- and since I really enjoy Grisham -- I thought I'd give this one a try. I was thoroughly entertained. Frankly, I hated to hear it come to an end. Grisham did a fine job of describing the local scene of Italy -- makes me want to visit.

    I've read some criticism of this audio download -- fortunately we're all entitled to our opinion -- mine is as valuable as any -- they're all free!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clyde Delmar, NY, USA 10-07-07
    Clyde Delmar, NY, USA 10-07-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointed"

    I wish Mr.Grisham would stick to rogue lawyers. I really don't get this effort. It was boring. I kept waiting for something to happen. I'll buy his next book, but I hope he goes in another direction

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
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