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Publisher's Summary

Rick Dockery was the third-string quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. In the deciding game at the climax of the season, 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 National Football League. Overnight, he became a national laughing stock and, of course, was immediately dropped by the Browns and shunned by all other teams.

But all Rick knows is American 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. Great says Rick - for which team?

The mighty Panthers of Parma, Italy.

Yes, Italians do play American football, to one degree or another, and the Parma Panthers desperately want a player from the home of American football at their helm. So Rick reluctantly agrees to play for the Panthers, at least until a better offer comes along, and 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, the land of opera, fine wines, extremely small cars, romance, and football americano, holds a few surprises for Rick Dockery would be something of an understatement.

© Belfry Holdings Ltd; (P) Random House

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Peter
  • United Kingdom
  • 05-04-08

Enjoyment

As an non US person I found this thoroughly enjoyable. I know nothing about the rather silly game where guys needs to put pads on where Rugby Union does it without but nevertheless it maintained pace and was good fun from start to finish............. I found myself wishing there was more

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting Sports Story

John Grisham wrote about Italy in "The Broker", and much of this novel has a travel feel to it.

As a non-american I know precious little about American Football, but I still enjoyed this book as much as "Bleachers", although I may have missed some of the finer points.

This book is not a thriller, but it has an interesting and heartwarming story line, and seems perfectly plausible.

Christopher Evan Welch does an excellent job of narration, and brings the story to life. This is not an all-time classic novel, but it is enjoyable and well worth the listening time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ron
  • Sydney, Australia
  • 04-30-09

nice one

I really like this story. It wasn't a difficult read. It was a nice, easy, enjoyable story.
Well written and well read. Great characters, funny in spots. Great insight into Italian Grid Iron. Good concept. Not the most original but quite fun.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • game lover22
  • 03-25-15

impressionable

enjoyed every minute made me want to be in Italy.

had to listen more than once and found it just as enjoyable the second time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 04-17-11

Playing for Pizza

If you follow American Football this would be more interesting but never the less an interesting yarn giving some insight into Italian ways.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kurt
  • 04-07-08

pizza in paradise

I thought this book was absolutely delightful and was disappointed when it finished. I read some very negative reviews from UK readers on Amazon and almost didn't purchase the audio book. I'm glad I did. It's a lighthearted love story- love for football (the american version), love for all things Italian, and regular old boy-girl love. I'm a fan of 'futball americano' so quite enjoyed the story of the washed up quarterback who finds not just his game, but his humanity and appreciation for what's really important in life when he is 'deported' to the Italian version of the NFL. John Grisham's descriptions of Italian food made me hungry and I've now put Parma on my list of Italian cities to visit. OK- so this isn't your typical Grisham legal thriller, but he's a wonderful writer, whatever the genre.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Lindy
  • 06-14-14

Very light for Gresham

What disappointed you about Playing for Pizza?

Slow to get into. Light hearted. Not the usual complex work I usually enjoy fro this author

Would you ever listen to anything by John Grisham again?

Definitely though I don't recommend this book

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The narrator was very good

What character would you cut from Playing for Pizza?

None

Any additional comments?

Weak story line

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Farmer G
  • 10-30-13

American football

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

I've bought and enjoyed many Grisham books so thought this would be another gripping read. Whilst the story is well told and excellently read I was disappointed to find that it wasn't a typical Grisham courtroom drama or mystery. The whole story is based around an American football player, if you follow American football you would no doubt enjoy the story, but I know nothing about the game so my enjoyment of the book was limited.

Would you ever listen to anything by John Grisham again?

Yes, but I'll read the blurb more carefully next time

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • chris
  • 02-07-15

Great sports book

Love it, great sorry, couldn't put it down
Great story and wish there was another book, John should write more books like this