Syd's Reviews > Bleachers

Bleachers by John Grisham
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's review
Jan 14, 2009

it was amazing
Read in December, 2008

Bleachers is simple book about playing high school football and the memories and friendships shared. Bleachers was set in a small town called Messina, where high school football was everything. On Friday nights the whole town gathered in those bleachers to watch their Spartans continue their dynasty.
Many old Spartan players have come back to Messina to bury there legendary coach Eddie Rake. He is on his death bed and it’s only a matter of time until he is gone. Neely Crenshaw is the main character and one of the best players to play for coach Rake. Neely returns to Messina after 15 years and comes right back to the famous Spartan field. Slowly more cars roll in and park near Neely, one of them being Paul Curry. Paul and Neely were good friends in high school and seemed to go right back to the high school days when they sat down on those bleachers. They reminisce of their playing days more than 15 years ago, and the championship football game. More players gather from all different years, all talking about the same man, coach Rake. All of them basically deciding their feelings on coach Rake, he was a very tough coach and demanded perfection. The players await the death of their coach and wait for the field lights to dim when Eddie Rake passes.
As I read this book it made me think of what it’s going to be like when I get older. If I will return to my hometown and the fields I played on. And what it will feel like when I think about my soccer state championship and the people on that team. I don’t want my life to be like Neely’s in the sense that his best days were high school. He was the star quarterback for the Spartans and when he wrecked his knee playing college football he was finished. Now he really is just going downhill for, nothing has been better than those football days.
My favorite part of this book was probably when the old Spartan players are talking about the Spartan marathon. It was the start to every season, a 12 lap minimum run in the August noon heat. The players tried to prove themselves and run as many laps as they could before they dropped. Even if you did an outstanding job like Jaeger, running 83 laps and still being told he could do more. This reminds me of pre-season for soccer dreading the running and workouts in the ninety degree heat. It just makes me smile because I can relate so much to this book.
I believe this book would be enjoyed by all, especially if you played serious high school sports and had a coach that you will always remember. Overall I enjoyed this book and it wasn’t a strain to get through it.
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