Football, Italy, and lack of a plotline - this can't be a John Grisham novel. "Playing for Pizza" is a disappointing departure from his usual well-written legal dramas. There were many personal relationships and sub-plots that could have been developed in this story, but weren't.
The book might be interesting to people who enjoy the blow-by-blow details of a football game, but did not hold my attention. I found myself skipping pages at a time, as he described football plays in excruciating detail. I'm very disappointed.
What I liked about this book is that I've never read anything like it. Although the characterization doesn't go much deeper than cliched stereotypes, the story of a humiliated underdog finding his place in the world is a fun read.
Not your normal Grishman novel but good none the less. Difficult to describe to someone else but I found myself seeing the world through the main characters eyes. How he had a life all planned out and it didn't quite work the way he expected, so he took a detour and found a whole new life. A nice Sunday afternoon read.
I guess even successful authors like John Grisham like to take a break from the genre that they're known for and try a different direction. In this case, I think the excursion was a great success.
I really enjoyed this tale of a football player who rediscovers himself when he leaves the US to continue playing the game he loves.
If you liked "A Painted House" and "Bleachers" (and I did), you will like this too. Laid back, easy reading, Grisham manages to give his main character depth without too much detail. Great reading for a plane flight; just long enough to kill a few hours.