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Bleachers

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3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  30,847 Ratings  ·  1,570 Reviews
High school all-American Neely Crenshaw was probably the best quarterback ever to play for the legendary Messina Spartans. Fifteen years have gone by since those glory days, and Neely has come home to Messina to bury Coach Eddie Rake, the man who molded the Spartans into an unbeatable football dynasty.
Now, as Coach Rake's "boys" sit in the bleachers waiting for the dimmin
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Audio CD, 5 pages
Published September 9th 2003 by Random House Audio Publishing Group (first published 2003)
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Theresa I think the author chose the setting because it is the story of Friday nights in just about every small town in the South.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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SumitRK
Feb 03, 2017 SumitRK rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A High school football star comes back to his hometown to bid farewell to his dying coach. The book is about group of friends reminiscing the glory days of playing together and their relationship with their coach.
Word of caution : The book is centered around American football and their recollections of their memorable games (incl a long play by play commentary of 1 particular game). So if you have no idea about the game, you will find it annoying after a point.
Sadly,the relationship betwe
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Jane Stewart
It was not fun. Guys who played high school football 15 yrs ago reminisce about the past. Melancholy and sadness.

STORY BRIEF:
Eddie Rake was a tough, mean, high school football coach with undefeated teams for many years. He now has cancer and is expected to die any day. Guys who used to play football for him have returned to town for the coming funeral. Neely was a star quarterback in high school. His career was cut short due to a knee injury in college. Neely talks with other guys about the past
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Kevin
Jun 18, 2008 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fifteen years after swearing he would never return, Neely Crenshaw finds himself back in Messina, Texas, awaiting final word that local legend and former football coach Eddie Rake has died. When he left, Neely had become a local legend as one of the best quarterbacks in Messina High's history, but a falling out between him and the coach left him bitter and kept him away until this moment. Now, he finds himself drudging up the specters of the past with his former teammates as well as other former ...more
Lynda
Jul 19, 2008 Lynda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't put it down. And it makes you think about how people influence you and how strong a bond is between coaches and players. This was excellent.
Brad Carl
I've had this book for a long time, probably since it was released in 2003. I knew it was about football and didn't expect it to be fast-paced or action-packed. It's not a John Grisham thriller, for sure. Overall, it's a nice story. Kind of dark, maybe a bit anticlimactic. But at the same time, it has a nice message that anybody who has ever played youth sports should be able to understand.
Eddie Owens
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lois
Jul 08, 2007 Lois rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Shelves: lobagsbooks
I do own Grisham books, but only because family members keep buying them for me on birthday's and xmas's. I smile politely and thank them, wishing they would include the receipt. I have read this, and i don't recommend it unless you are 10 years old and want to start reading adult fiction. Dull, dull, dull. How this man is a best-selling writer is reflection of today's society's IQ.
Amanda Patterson
Nov 16, 2010 Amanda Patterson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It must be boring to have to churn out a novel a year just because you’re a best-selling author. This ennui can be the only excuse for Grisham’s latest folly, Bleachers.

What a let-down when a crime novelist who once ruled a genre turns his hand to something more literary. “An unforgettable novel,” drools the inside of the book’s jacket, which was strange as I managed to forget it immediately. I had to drag the book off the shelf to remember the main character’s name.

Neely Crenshaw comes home for
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Charity
Oct 29, 2008 Charity rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Holy majoly! I was so glad this book was short! It was lame-o.

Imagine the movie Varsity Blues, then add about 15 years with the full cast of characters coming back to town because the death of the former coach is imminent. That is the plot summary in a nutshell.

Cheeeesy.
Belmin Zvekic
Mar 18, 2014 Belmin Zvekic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book “Bleachers was a wonderful book to show you the positive and negatives of life when high school football is the main point. It also has a wonderful picture of what happens when you let an accident control your life. The coach showed me that there are people that you will consistently think about even with a bad situation. Everyone in life needs a person to help them with pushing yourself to get better more than we would push ourselves. If you decide to check out this book, you'll find t ...more
Christina
Mar 30, 2008 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this on the flight to Austin two weeks ago. Totally up my alley since it is about an iconic high school football coach and the impact he had on multiple generations of players. The former players gather in the bleachers at the school awaiting the death of the old coach as he succumbs to cancer. They slowly open up to each other sharing stories of the coach, not always glowing ones and in the memories of these players, the character of a dying man comes to life. It's an easy read as Grisha ...more
Jared Kraemer
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Miria
This is my first John Grisham book and it was a wrong choice. This book is about a football player, not the one Rolando, Messi plays but the American football. Since I have no clue about the American football, I hated the book for the first half as the first half deals only with the recollection of football memories by the protagonist Neely Cranshaw. Neely comes to his hometown after he hears the news about his football coach being in his death bed. Neely hates his coach but still wants to be in ...more
Anbu
Jul 11, 2013 Anbu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: john-grisham, sports
I took this book to read as I liked Calico Joe a lot and Grisham did not disappoint me. Though the book is not as good as Calico Joe as a sports fan perspective, this is good in a different way. This book is more about the memories of few school mates about the football and their coach during their school time. The thing I liked the most about the book is that this has rekindled all those memories of my school time.
Shaun
Mar 21, 2016 Shaun rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was ok. Not one of Grisham's best works. I'd probably like it more if I were more in to high school football.
Courtney
Jun 06, 2017 Courtney rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-books
Not 100% sure why I liked this, maybe it is because I love football and can relate. Maybe it is because it was a lot like Friday Night Lights and I really miss that show. To be honest, Neely was kind of stuck in the past and it was sad. A lot of those guys were like that and it is sad to know that they lived in the past that much. Neely couldn't get over high school and his failed goals. It hampered him his whole life. He needed the death of his coach to get past that. Although heart warming, th ...more
Mark F
Jun 12, 2017 Mark F rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bleachers was a good read that I highly enjoyed. Bleachers was all about a small town football team and one of the main character Neely Crenshaw returns back to their old town Mensia while their former coach, Eddie Rake is dying. Bleachers uses flashbacks through out the whole story, mainly just showing what impact Eddie had on these men back in the day. I would highly recommand this book to those who enjoy sports and deep story lines.
Kathryn
Jul 16, 2017 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
This is not the type of book that I normally read, however I did enjoy it quite well. It's a story of reminiscing and not being to let go of the past. I do think the reader must have a love for the game of American football to truly enjoy this book.
Jeff Cyrus
Jan 26, 2009 Jeff Cyrus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bleachers, by John Grisham, is about high school football in the town of Messina and their legendary coach, Eddie Rake. The town worships the football program because of this coach, to the point where the football booster club has more money than the school itself. In his years as head coach, the team won 13 state titles and over 400 games, including a winning streak that lasted six years and 84 wins. Neely Crenshaw was one of the star quarterbacks under Rake, so good that his number was retire ...more
Sam Schoenick
Nov 20, 2015 Sam Schoenick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Personal Response: I really enjoyed Bleachers by John Grisham. It is my favorite book so far this year. I like how he described the relationships between characters. Character description was also very good and easy to visualize. Everything is very easy to follow along with.

Plot: This book is all about a small town and its connection to football. Messina lives and dies for Spartan football. The town would be nothing without football. Eddie Rake who is the coach is about to die from cancer.This i
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Jonathan
Jonathan Boyer

Mrs. Baltz

Pre AP English 10

12 December 2008

Bleachers by John Grisham

If you gave ever watched a high school football game, then you will know how they are filled with intense moments and not so intense ones. For coach Eddie Rake his life has been dedicated to high school football and some what reflects some of the high intensity moments and the not so intense moments. Author John Grisham gives you a look at a small southern town in a crisis as there most favored coach lies on his de
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Ethan
Aug 18, 2015 Ethan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Justin
Sep 23, 2015 Justin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bleachers by John Grisham was about an all-American high school quarterback named Neely Crenshaw. He had played football at Messina high school and had gone on to play college football. After getting a hit to the knee, he was injured and couldn't play another game. After being hurt he swore never to come back to his home town, where he had been a legend. Fifteen years had past and learning that his high school football coach, Eddie Rake, was critically ill and would be gone soon, he had to brea ...more
Ryan Pomerenke
Nov 22, 2013 Ryan Pomerenke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Bleachers” is a compelling novel that focuses on the lasting impact a football coach had on his players over time. Eddie Rake was the Messina Spartans’ illustrious head football coach from 1958 until he was fired in 1993. This book primarily highlights the story of Neely Crenshaw, Messina’s star quarterback from 1984 to 1987, and his teammates. Many years have gone by since Neely was last in Messina. He has established a life apart from his football days. A specific event later reunites him, hi ...more
Dale
May 22, 2012 Dale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Change of pace for Grisham

Read by John Grisham
4 hours, 22 minutes


I, for one, am not especially enamored of Grisham's legal thrillers but I did enjoy Grisham's foray into non-legal fiction.

Bleachers was read by the author. Grisham's southern accent and good ol' boy style are sometimes helpful but his occasional odd emphasis and flat read can be distracting.

The book features a Bobby Knight/Woody Hayes type of small-town high school football coach. He is cruel, petty and completely breaks his playe
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Juliana Graham
For some reason this book was on my bookcase! I don't remember buying it and I don't think anyone gave it me as a gift but there it was... So, I thought I'd give it a go, mainly because I thought it would be interesting to compare to the Art of Fielding, another sports centred book by an American author.

The advantage of this book over the Art of Fielding is that it is a lot shorter. This is even more fortunate as to be honest very little happens so if the book was longer it might get boring. The
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Jaime
The title of my book is Bleachers. With this novel author John Grisham showed us he could write something other than a boring legal drama. I had read some of his other works such as The Firm, The Pelican Brief, A time to Kill, and The Runaway Jury and Bleachers was unlike any of them. The story tells about a high school football dynasty in Mississippi through the eyes of former all-state quarterback Neely Crenshaw. It talks about the people of the town and how life revolved around football. For ...more
Chad Sayban
There is no doubt that Bleachers is not your typical John Grisham book. There is no legal intrigue. There are no courtroom heroics. Nobody is murdered. However, there is a good story here. At 163 pages, this book is closer to a novella than to a novel in length. I read the entire story in one day (I know, pretty lame) and it was a fun read. The story revolves around the return of football star Neely Crenshaw to his home town because of the impending death of his football coach Eddie Rake. Coach ...more
Dlora
Jun 11, 2009 Dlora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
I have read Bleachers before but I had a yen to read it again. I appreciated it even more the second time around. I was intrigued with how Grisham handled his narrative. Unlike his legal thrillers or his more recent soapbox-message novels, this story is about a legendary football coach in the small live-for-football town of Messina. Coach Rake is dying and all his football players from his long years of coaching are gathering for the funeral, including All-American Neely Crenshaw, one of Coach R ...more
Steven Moretto
Sep 02, 2013 Steven Moretto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Historical Fiction:

Eddie Rake: 418 wins, sixty-two losses, thirteen state titles and an eighty-four game winning streak that began in 1964 and came to a halt in 1970. Every accolade that was achieved by Eddie Rake was with him at the helm of one of the greatest high school football programs ever: the Messina Spartans. Having this type of a pedigree, you would have to be considered "great". But, achieving that status of being great does not come easy to anyone. Eddie Rake, being the great head co
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"Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel.

Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of
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“You count the years until you get a varsity jersey, then you're a hero, an idol, a cocky bastard because in this town you can do no wrong. You win and win and you're the king of your own little world, then poof, it's gone. You play your last game and everybody cries. You can't believe it's over. Then another team comes right behind you and you're forgotten.” 7 likes
“I'm here to tell you, separate was never equal.” 6 likes
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