I expected more from John Grisham. It was a typical Grisham page-turner, so I enjoyed it in that sense. However, it was definitely written with a political agenda in mind. I don't want to give away the book, but the agenda definitely drove the entire story, and the ending was a bit anti-climatic because of it. Since it was fiction, I would have written the ending to be a little bit more sensational, but that wouldn't have served the agenda well. In summary, the agenda was not so distracting that it wasn't a good book, but it was noticeable enough that I could tell that he started with wanting to make a point and built the story around it.
This book, by a writer I generally admire, is a document with agendas. It could have been a legal thriller with the same information if the author had chosen a different scenario, built suspense to near the end, climaxed with the execution scene, and followed by a short epilog. However, Grisham did not choose to do it this way. Instead, he wrote what seems more like a chronological documentary.
In this form, the execution scene occurs about three-quarters of the way through the book, with the remaining pages devoted to evaluating ramifications.
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The chief objective of said documentary was to illustrate, with incredible detail, the ugliness and cruelty of the death penalty. The state of Texas, which has executed more people than any other state, is taken as the scene. The state's reputation of cronyism largely deserved , gives Grisham a chance to show how politics and the "good ole' boy" system, can combine with strict laws to bring about unbelievable injustice, even the execution of an innocent man. The fact that the accused was black and the jury was all white provided another twist, highlighting the racial tension that still exists in some parts of Texas.
Having lived for ten years in East Texas close to the city where the executions are performed , I can guess that John Grisham will not have many friends in this region among those, if any, who read his book. He does show, however, that together with the corrupt, there are many good people everywhere.
I agree with his conclusions, and also think that the death penalty and residual racial prejudice are both subjects that need to be aired, even if the medium is a novel. This is a novel worth reading. First, I am a total Grisham fan so I've yet to dislike anything he's ever written, so I know my review is prejudiced towards him. What a like the most about Grisham's novels is that they show us the law, warts and all, and this is something I don't get anywhere else.
Playing for Pizza - John Grisham
For this book in particular, The Confession, we are given a view of the death penalty that most people have never had. When this ability to put another human being to death with a clear conscious is married to the Christian belief system, I find myself truly stunned. I had imagined that being a Christian meant doing what Jesus would do, and yet Christians find it easy do the complete opposite. It says in the Bible that Jesus had overseen a death penalty case, a woman being stoned. When asked his opinion, Jesus, who was obviously against it, said, 'let he who is without sin throw the first stone'.
Anyway, the Confession had me spellbound, and it was the first time I've cried reading a novel since The Bridges of Madison County. Grisham paints a picture of the family's pain that was so real that it cut like a knife. The death penalty was brought home in a stunning way, and for me, this is why we need novels. To show us things we might never encounter in our lives otherwise.
To give us insight and compassion into important issues, instead of the slogans and surface nonsense we get from our sound-bite society at large. I think this book should be on the reading lists of high school students across our nation. Grisham delivers a fine message in an entertaining way, not something that's easily done. And that's the sign of a true genius at work.
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Playing for Pizza
Published 9 days ago. Highly recommend this book. Published 12 days ago. Published 14 days ago. John Grisham has already tried his hand at legal thrillers, autobiographical Southern fiction, Christmas angst and serious nonfiction, so why not add something funny to the mix? In his latest novel, Playing for Pizza , the master of courtroom tension aims for laughs with the story of an American football player transplanted to a country where fourth down is definitely a foreign expression.
In a statement released by his publisher, Grisham says he got the idea for his new comic novel while in Bologna, Italy, doing research for a previous book, The Broker. I was pleasantly surprised to find real American football in Italy, and as I dug deeper a novel came together, Grisham says. The research was tough food, wine, opera, football, Italian culture but someone had to do it. The lead character in Playing for Pizza is Rick Dockery, a former college football star who ends up riding the bench in the NFL as the third-string quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. Desperate to continue playing football, he turns to his agent, Artie, who lands him a job as starting quarterback with the mighty Panthers of Parma, Italy.
The Parma Panthers do indeed exist, playing in Italy's American football league, where they've reached the Italian Super Bowl each of the last two years. 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.
To say that Italy holds a few surprises for Rick Dockery would be something of an understatement. From the Trade Paperback edition. John Grisham is the author of thirty novels, one work of nonfiction, a collection of stories, and six novels for young readers. Literary Fiction Audiobooks Category: Buy the Audiobook Download: Apple Audible downpour eMusic audiobooks.
Also by John Grisham. About John Grisham John Grisham is the author of thirty novels, one work of nonfiction, a collection of stories, and six novels for young readers.
Inspired by Your Browsing History. The Official John Grisham website.
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- John Grisham - Playing for Pizza - Book Review | BookPage!
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