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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 Ratings


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  • Overall


I've always enjoyed Grisham and this one did not disappoint. Good plot, although I can just about figure out what's going to happen, something changes. It's a good read (listen).

  • Overall

Nice light entertainment

This is just a fun book. The reader does a great job and the story is light and engaging. If that is what you are after it is a terrific pick.

  • Overall

Playing for Pizza: Not too Bad

This was a pretty good book. Intertaining without being too cheezy.

  • Overall
  • Luis
  • Miami, Fl, United States
  • 02-24-09


Not his best book but I liked it and it made me want to visit Italy.

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • Kenner, LA, United States
  • 02-03-09


A somewhat predictable story, but a fun book. I know nothing about football, but I enjoyed the descriptions of the Italian cities. I was surprised that it was a Grisham book. It was so different from his other books. I am glad I listened to it.

  • Overall
  • Andy
  • Westport, CT, United States
  • 01-09-09

nicely paced, quick story

Grisham did a good job here. The story is quick and entertaining. Narration is solid.

  • Overall

Pretty darn enteraining

It was a pleasant, feel good read.

  • Overall

Will Leave You Hungry

I really enjoyed this story. Lots of fun, interesting characters. The descriptions of the food made you want to travel to Italy and spend long hours eating and drinking. Not sure if this is a story doubling as a travelguide or a travelguide with a good story.

If you love football, love food, and are looking for a light story this is a good one.

  • Overall

Great story! Even if football isn't your thing...

I've never been big on football, but now I am! JG did a phenomenal job with this novel. The scenery, the character development, the plot...I felt like I was there in Parma. I've read the book and listened to the audiobook twice each now and love it even more. This one is worth it!

  • Overall
  • Larry
  • Gulf Shores, AL, USA
  • 07-21-08


Not like what we have come to expect from Gresham, however, it's light and entertaining. Sports fans with love it. This book has good description of the events in Italy and a good love afair too.