Thursday, August 1, 2013

Book Review: Playing for Pizza by John Grisham

by M. J. Joachim

Immersing myself in Italian culture and the NFL while reading John Grisham’s, Playing for Pizza, was positively a delightful experience. The fictional story centers around an American pro NFL, third-string quarterback whose only claim to sport’s history is how badly he screwed up in the Super Bowl. Everything else he did in his American career was clearly forgotten, as Rick Dockery boldly led the Cleveland Browns into a dismal, disappointing and unprecedented loss.
Turns out, Dockery couldn’t get an American contract to play football anywhere after that, and his agent boldly paved the way for him to play NFL in Parma, Italy. It wasn’t an easy sell, but once Rick (or Reek, as his fellow Italian football players fondly call him) landed and started playing football in Parma, nothing would ever be the same for him again. 

Still a player among the ladies, he met and entertained a few of them in the story, even stretching his interest in Italy’s unique and intriguing culture of opera and architecture to do so. Cuisine in Italy is not to be missed either, apparently, as you could practically smell the aromas presented while flipping through the pages. Oh, to have some of those decadent cheeses and irresistible sauces, sensually tantalizing my taste buds right now!

Dockery’s contract was with the Parma Panthers, and his “assigned” mission was to help them win their first Italian Super Bowl. Yes, they really do have a Super Bowl in Italy too. Soccer is the much more prominent sport there, which easily explains the title of the book. Italians play football for the love of the game, the thrill of victory and even the agony of defeat. They play for enigmatic male bonding experiences and to look and feel manly – they play for pizza, dreams and memories. 

Playing for Pizza is a fun and energetic football story, one that everyone who loves football will appreciate. It’s also a story about humanity that lends insight into human emotion and our ability to overcome past mistakes. Light, fun and easy to read, Playing for Pizza is joyfully being added to my Recommended Reading List.


Thank you for visiting Writing Tips.

M. J. 

Note: I added an update to my recent Bend Me, Shape Me review. This book touched my heart and prompted me read and conduct further research about homelessness. Consequently, I published another book review for Danielle Steel’s book, A Gift of Hope, today on my Effectively Human website, and have added Bend Me, Shape me to my Recommended Reading List

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Photo Credit: Pizza al Taglio, Rome, shoebill 2, public domain