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Playing for Pizza Hardcover – 25 Sep 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Century; First Edition edition (25 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739487892
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846053689
  • ASIN: 1846053684
  • Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 2.4 x 21.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 548,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi, law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby--writing his first novel.

Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn't have the right stuff for a pro career, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi State University. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. In 1983, he was elected to the state House of Representatives and served until 1990.

One day at the DeSoto County courthouse, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl's father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood Press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988.

That might have put an end to Grisham's hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career--and spark one of publishing's greatest success stories. The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on another novel, the story of a hotshot young attorney lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared. When he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures for $600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers, and book rights were bought by Doubleday. Spending 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991.

The successes of The Pelican Brief, which hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and The Client, which debuted at number one, confirmed Grisham's reputation as the master of the legal thriller. Grisham's success even renewed interest in A Time to Kill, which was republished in hardcover by Doubleday and then in paperback by Dell. This time around, it was a bestseller.

Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year (his other books are The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, The Partner, The Street Lawyer, The Testament, The Brethren, A Painted House, Skipping Christmas, The Summons, The King of Torts, Bleachers, The Last Juror, The Broker, Playing for Pizza, The Appeal, and The Associate) and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 250 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 29 languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas), as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man. The Innocent Man (October 2006) marked his first foray into non-fiction, and Ford County (November 2009) was his first short story collection.

Grisham lives with his wife Renee and their two children Ty and Shea. The family splits their time between their Victorian home on a farm in Mississippi and a plantation near Charlottesville, VA.

Grisham took time off from writing for several months in 1996 to return, after a five-year hiatus, to the courtroom. He was honoring a commitment made before he had retired from the law to become a full-time writer: representing the family of a railroad brakeman killed when he was pinned between two cars. Preparing his case with the same passion and dedication as his books' protagonists, Grisham successfully argued his clients' case, earning them a jury award of $683,500--the biggest verdict of his career.

When he's not writing, Grisham devotes time to charitable causes, including most recently his Rebuild The Coast Fund, which raised 8.8 million dollars for Gulf Coast relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He also keeps up with his greatest passion: baseball. The man who dreamed of being a professional baseball player now serves as the local Little League commissioner. The six ballfields he built on his property have played host to over 350 kids on 26 Little League teams.

Product Description


Grisham comes into his own. The man knows how to crank up the tension, we are soon on the edge of our seats. Read this book, enjoy it. -- Daily Express

Playing for Pizza is a lyrical page-turner and a gasp-inducing reminder of the scope of this man's genius with the written word. Grisham is something of a Da Vinci with words. He can blow your brains out with the power of truth or paint pictures that magically reveal the reality beneath. This is a smooth, satisfying and delightful read.
-- Sunday Express

Book Description

The new novel from John Grisham, author of eighteen bestselling novels

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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By SilentSinger TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Nov 2007
Format: Hardcover
Grisham steps away from the legal world to write about the tribulations of American Football player Rick Dockery and his enforced move to Palma, Italy to play for local team `The Panthers'. Although it takes a while for him to adjust, Rick soon falls in love with the locals and shares their lust for food, architecture and most of all, football.

Although this book doesn't make a huge amount of sense if you don't understand the intricacies of the Superbowl, the intricate descriptions of the gastronomic delights and architecture will warm even the frostiest of readers. There's also quite a nice love story woven into the book, which juxtaposes nicely with the match play.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Lord Nelson on 18 Dec 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
Don't buy this book if you're looking for a legal thriller as you may well be disappointed. I'm a keen Grisham fan and bought the book anyway and really enjoyed the book for what it is: a feel good story about an American moving to Italy and discovering another way of life. Take the book for what it is and enjoy.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By C. Dee on 11 Mar 2008
Format: Hardcover
As with the other reviews this isn't your typical John Grisham book. Yet, I thoroughly enjoyed it. So much I was disappointed when I had finished reading it! The idea of this book is based upon a washed up American footballer,giving his career a go in Italy. However, this doesn't mean you have to be interested in American Football to like it. Grisham, sets the scenes brilliantly, and makes you think you are actually in Parma, and want to be Italian. It really gives you a feel for what living in another culture is like,, the American Football is there because it's something that is an unusual and unexpected thing in this part of the world! Great stuff, a good change from the court room battles of previous novels.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Merovingius on 4 July 2008
Format: Paperback
I've enjoyed a number of Mr Grisham's books. This, however, is not one of them. It's a serviceable little thing - solid plot, some local colour and a saccharine ambience --- but Oh how thin compared to earlier titles! There is just no meat. My guess is that this might have made a little novella or a screen-play (perhaps it was)....but the brain is never tested or, worse still, stimulated. The trouble with a brand like Mr G's is that he has to pump a new title out every few weeks just to keep the machine moving....he might remember that good brands takes years to build and seconds to lose. His is, on the basis of this title, teetering on the brink.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. M. Edwards on 30 Jun 2009
Format: Paperback
I was very surprised that this book has so many negative reviews. I found it very enjoyable and amusing, and I don't even like American football. The book did a good job of capturing the Italian culture and mentality, like their obsession with Italian food and sport. It gently poked fun at both American and Italian stereotypes and the differences between the two nations. Even the football game chapters were easy to read (and I know nothing about the rules of the game).

I agree, it is NOT the subject you's associate John Grisham with. If you were looking for an intense Grisham courtroom drama then you would be disappointed. But then, surely the title alone is a give-away that this story isn't based in a courtroom? It's just a shame that this book is getting so many negative reviews for not being 'mainsteam Grisham', when it never aimed to be that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Oct 2007
Format: Audio CD
Those of you who are looking for a murder, a kidnapping, or a Mafia plot will be disappointed: Playing for Pizza isn't that kind of book. The book comes closer to Bleachers than to any other book that Mr. Grisham has written. But of his nonlawyer books, Playing for Pizza is definitely one of the more successful.

Young people often get caught up in what others want them to do . . . or what they simply do well. It often takes a while before it occurs to most people to choose a life they like. John Grisham explores this subject in a thoughtful and interesting way as he describes the lives of Rick Dockery, scapegoat of all NFL backup quarterbacks, and Livvy Galloway, frustrated college-student daughter of two warring parents in the middle of a divorce.

For those who love football, there's lots of action involving a semipro league in Italy where Rick grabs a last chance at glory. For those who love opera, arts, and architecture, there are lots of visits to cultural destinations that will give you ideas for your next trip to Italy. Those who love food will find their mouths watering at the delicious descriptions of Italian food in Parma and Florence. For those who enjoy a good laugh, there are merciless satires of sports agents, sports writers, sports groupies, team owners, and Americans in Europe.

The story moves along smoothly and in unexpected ways that will keep you interested. In many ways, you'll feel like you are Rick learning how to be at home in a new culture where he doesn't know how to speak the language, has trouble parking a car, and isn't sure how to meet women. After all, his Italian team doesn't have any cheerleaders.

As the book opens, Rick is in pain and in a hospital bed. But he can't remember how he got there.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Molly Peters on 25 Sep 2007
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book it is not the typical Grisham thriller Which really do not interest me any more. This the story of Pro quarterback Rick Dockery who has become the laughing stock of the NFL. The team his agent can find him is an Italian team that plays in a European league. This is a fish out of water story, Rick Has never been to Europe and knows nothing about Italy and all he knows about Italians is from watching American gangster movies. This of course makes from some cute and funny situations. While not a thriller the book does have some surprising twists. Good entertaining, feel good read! For aother fish out of water story I highly recommend "Across the High Lonesome!" it will have you laughing and crying!
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