This book is a departure from Grisham's usual genre. It follows the experience of Rick Dockery, an NFL quarterback whose slow spiral of a career has b...moreThis book is a departure from Grisham's usual genre. It follows the experience of Rick Dockery, an NFL quarterback whose slow spiral of a career has been punctuated with perhaps the worst game imaginable. In desperation he accepts a one year contract with the Parma Panthers, a team in Italy's "Football Americano" league. I came into this book having only read The Litigators before, so I was expecting decent writing. I was also intrigued by the premise of the book. I was fairly pleased with what I got.
Grisham does a fairly good job with creating a fairly likable, well rounded character in Rick. He is a fairly every day sort of person, but with a powerful throwing arm and one-time dreams of NFL greatness. The other characters are also created with an honest appraisal. The faults are not hidden, but the humanity and warmth readily shine through. If I were to lay one criticism is that Grisham could still go into more detail on the feelings of the characters being focused on. While it seems to suit Rick most of the time, sometimes I found myself struggling to get a feel for who he really is. There is some romance in here and for the life of me I couldn't tell what Rick was feeling about the women (other than lust) at any particular time. Arguably, he himself hadn't given it much thought. But still I felt left out.
For those interest in such things, the description of the food is often mouth watering. It is not a book to read on an empty stomach. However, the attention paid to this tapers over the course of the novel. Even though the book was about Rick and his adventures playing football in Parma, I wouldn't have minded more detail and discussion of the food as the season progressed.
As far as the plot itself, I won't give away any spoilers, but there are no really great surprises here. The greatest praise I can give is that things progress realistically. There is no "happily ever after" here, just people struggling and sometimes succeeding to find their niche in life. Overall good writing and an extra star for the novelty and beauty of the setting.(less)
Not much to say. Read it years ago and hardly remember a thing (Perhaps that says enough?). I dimly recall seeing parallels in plot and prose between...moreNot much to say. Read it years ago and hardly remember a thing (Perhaps that says enough?). I dimly recall seeing parallels in plot and prose between both Elfstones of Shannara and The Stand, more towards the latter. (less)
Sookie's relationship with the vampire community increases in complexity as she is hired out to solve a mystery in Dallas and as she is targeted by an...moreSookie's relationship with the vampire community increases in complexity as she is hired out to solve a mystery in Dallas and as she is targeted by another supernatural being due to her involvement w. the local vampires.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and think I will the series. But the prose is a bit stilted in some areas. She seems to come back and explain things ad hoc at times. Like a person telling a story who hasn't gotten it down yet going back to fill in details. Tweaks to her abilities seem to be added at the last minute in places to move things along as well.
Without giving too much away, the scene at the airport was a bit awkward. Two explanation were given to explain not using the pepper spray and they weren't very believable.
One last criticism, at times Sookie feels the need to explain her knowing words like lobotomy and libido. As if we wouldn't believe her humble origins otherwise. Yet at the same time she has evidenced knowledge of yakuza tattoo history and Greek monsters. It's an odd dissonance.
Still, a fun little book worth reading if this is the sort of genre you are into.(less)