Playing for Pizza

  • by John Grisham
  • Narrated by Christopher Evan Welch
  • 6 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- Patti

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...
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- Tim

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-21-2007
  • Publisher: Random House Audio