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Bleachers is John Grisham s most recent non-lawyer novel. I say non-lawyer because he has a new novel coming out in February and it is back to the courtroom for Grisham. Typically, I have not really enjoyed Grisham s novels when he strayed from the world of lawyers and courtrooms. A Painted House was okay, but I thought Skipping Christmas was just awful. But, since Grisham has been entertaining me for so many years now, I am willing to give a chance to any book he writes. I didn t have any expectations going into Bleachers , and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

The town of Messina is a southern football town. It is a town where high school football is king, and the players are all royalty. The townsfolk remember every every win, every loss, and perhaps every play. The star players are celebrities in Messina, and the former coach, Eddie Rake, is just short of being a god. Eddie Rake is a legend in Messina. He came in as a 28 year old coach, and in one year he turned the football program around and created a legacy and tradition of winning state titles. Now he is dying and his former football players return to Messina.

The protagonist of this book is Neely Crenshaw, a former star Quarterback who hasn t been back to Messina since they retired his old number the year after he graduated. He is filled with resentment towards Rake, but he cannot stay away for the funeral. A group of former players gather in the stands a couple of nights before Rake actually dies and they talk about their lives, football, Coach Rake, and as the story goes on Grisham is examining the characters of these men, and how football and Coach Rake has affected their lives. It is a simple story, but unlike Grisham s other non-legal stories, this one was fascinating and I wanted to keep reading. It is a short book, but it is a good one. I doubt this novel will win any awards, but it was a fun, entertaining read.

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I'm happy to read a good review of this book. I'm still on the wait list at my library for it! The reviews I've read say it's rather sentimental, but I'll give it try anyway...because I'm a fan of all of his books. :)
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very good book.

Reminded me of the movie Varsity Blues.

I read the book I think in one day in the hospital sitting with Abby. It is a real quick read.
Anyone who understand high school football will like this book.
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