15 March 2013

Playing for Pizza By John Grisham

Playing for Pizza 


 By John Grisham

Publisher: Cornerstone Digital
Print Length: 322 pages

Review of the book by Cashmere 
If you saw the name of the author (John Grisham) and expect a nice legal novel, please reconsider that expectation.The master story teller has not set this story in the court room, but in Italy. And it is beautiful!
It does not have anything to do with the finer points of law and every thing to do with the finer points of human emotions.

Playing for Pizza speaks of the story of Football Americano in Italy and its unlikely heroes.. The Parma Panthers. When Rick Dorsey manages to become the "Biggest Goat" in the history of NFL his agent Arnie realizes that Rick's NFL career has finally reached the end of the road. Only trouble is, his client is 28 years old and had no interest in calling it quits with football.

Desperate to play for any team and with the added complication of a possibility of a paternity suit from a team groupie, Rick is convinced by Arnie that going to play football in Italy is the best possible deal for him at the moment.

Rick is not so sure, but he goes anyway. The football Italian Super Bowl is nothing like its American peer. The Italian play for the love of the game, and for a free meal of pizza at the end of it. They play because they truly enjoy the game, a fact that Rick had begun to miss.

Add to that his cultural education on all things Italian, from the food,the wine, the cheeses and the Opera, it makes for an interesting tale. He is educated by his Italian team's American coach, Sam Russo. Having married an Italian Sam Russo lives in Italy and works as a guide. He also coaches the Parma Panthers and dreams of lifting the Italian Super Bowl Cup. A dream he believes that Rick can make come true.

In the name of romance there is an Italian Opera singer and an American Exchange student. The realization of which one is right for him, is also an interesting development. Rick Dorsey, a man who has been passed around much like the football from NFL team to NFL team in America, manages to take a team of odds and ends and shape them into a team with a chance for winning the championship.

While I do not understand the nuances of all the plays that were described in the book, I'm sure that someone addicted to sports would be able to enjoy the detailed descriptions of each play as it is given in the book. On the other hand I did enjoy the trivia about Italy and its many provinces that were covered by the author. I specially enjoyed the description of the churches and the way Rick Dorsey was forced to sight see!

All in all an enjoyable and quick read.

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