• by John Grisham
  • Narrated by John Grisham
  • 4 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Neely Crenshaw was once star quarterback for Messina High School's football team. His playing days ended with a sickening injury. Afterwards his life went nowhere: his marriage foundered and his real estate business drifted. For fifteen years he's been trying to forget his glorious past as sporting hero but hasn't been able to move on. But now the man who moulded him, Coach Eddie Rake, is dying and Neely returns to Messina. Rake has acted as football coach for 34 years at Messina High; his teams have won 13 state championships and been on an 84 game unbeaten streak. The town idolizes him. Players old and young have returned to pay their respects. Neely congregates with them on the bleachers as they wait for Rake to finally pass away. It is in the many conversations and revelations that follow that Neely can confront what his explosive relationship with Rake really meant to him and, in the moment of loss, find redemption.


What the Critics Say

"I defy even the hardest jock not to shed a tear." (Daily Mirror [London])


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


This story of an over the hill football player returning home for his coaches funeral just goes on and on. Pretty boring stuff - especially if you don't understand American football - particularly during the interludes of football announcing.
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- Beth

Small and human

Grisham has two books families i know.
the epic movies material about legal staff, which i really like, and the small, shorter "Human" staff which i LOVE.
add Bleachers to skipping Christmas, playing for Pizza and admire his look into the human soul.
when author is the narrator add extra level to my admiration, it takes the book to next level most times. on this one, it sure does.
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- Jonathan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-26-2005
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks