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3.48  ·  Rating details ·  35,618 ratings  ·  1,940 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.

As Coach Rake's 'boys' sit in the bleachers waiting for the dimming fiel
Hardcover, 163 pages
Published September 9th 2003 by Doubleday Books (first published May 7th 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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Average rating 3.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  35,618 ratings  ·  1,940 reviews

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Diane Wallace
Sporty read! enjoyable,heartwarming,well developed characters with good storytelling..recommend (paperback!)
J.K. Grice
Oct 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
As an ex-football player myself, I could really identify with the characters in this book. The audio edition was excellent.
Jane Stewart
It was not fun. Guys who played high school football 15 yrs ago reminisce about the past. Melancholy and sadness.

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
Sumit RK
Feb 03, 2017 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 bet
Nov 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grisham
I doubt if American football is a sport I'd like to watch live.To me,it is a bunch of guys falling in a heap and breaking each other's bones.I was,therefore,surprised how much I enjoyed this book.This is good storytelling by Grisham.A high school football coach is about to die,and the players he trained,reminisce about him,and the old days.The coach hadn't made it easy for them,he had made their lives pretty miserable.Mercifully for a Grisham book,this is a quick read.
I liked it.It was almost as
Natalie Vellacott
"When you're famous at eighteen, you spend the rest of your life fading away. You dream of the glory days, but you know they're gone forever."

This makes for an interesting change of pace and style for Grisham. It proves that he can write outside his usual genre and just about get away with it.

Bleachers is a nostalgic tale of dreams lost and memories swirling. The town of Messina is in mourning. Their feared yet beloved football coach Eddie Rake is on his death bed. As his condition deteriora
Jun 18, 2008 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
Jul 19, 2008 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.
Jul 08, 2007 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.
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.
Oct 29, 2008 rated it it was ok
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.

Eddie Owens
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amanda Patterson
Nov 16, 2010 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 f
Mar 30, 2008 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
Belmin Zvekic
Mar 18, 2014 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
Veronica F
Nov 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: random
Let me start by saying I judge books by their covers. I don't spend the time to read the summary, I look at them and say yes or no. I said yes to Bleachers. I gave it a 3 star...

The writing is good, it flowed and kept me engaged enough to finish. I did not realize it was a book about football. I hate football, I don't understand it and I don't care about it or its players. I normally would have just moved on, but I liked the writing. I finished it, but did skim a few paragraphs here and there.
Dele Haynes
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bleachers By John Grisham (Fiction - Novella)
Former high school football players return to their home town to wait for the death of their former football coach, Eddie Rake. Rake was hard on his players, bordering on sadist, but he shaped his teams into state champions who established records that still stand in their state of Mississippi.

Neeley Crenshaw was one of those boys who came to reminisce. There are days that he hates the coach and days where he loves and respects Coach Rake. There's a l
Jay Schutt
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A nice, quick-reading story of a star quarterback and some of his teammates who return home, after several years, to honor the death of their legendary coach. Most have a love/hate relationship to deal with. A departure from the usual Grisham legal novels.
Jul 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-a-copy
Disclaimer- I am not a sports fan. I barely understand football. I didn’t play any sports growing up so I don’t get the pull of the coach and the team. It’s probably my biggest handicap in life.

This book also reminds me a bit of Coach John Wooden, basketball and no violence, but similar adulation etc.

The book is well written and stirs a lot of feeling, probably for a variety of reasons. I’m going to keep mine to myself I think, but they’re not very positive. I hate a lot of societal aspects th
Tim Taylor
Jul 21, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical-copy
Somewhere out there is someone who heard that John Grisham was a great author, chose this as their first book of Grisham's to read, and remains confused about the hype.

This book has all the mental complexity of "See Spot Run." If anyone else submitted this for publication, it would have been turned down by any reputable publisher. a) The story lacks a plot of any sort. b) When the writer turned lazy, he turns a conversation between players almost into bullet points. ie, Neely: Hello. Paul: What
Jared Kraemer
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 06, 2017 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
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
Quick easy read (had to pick something for entering the Valentine's Day 'win a box of chocolates' contest, hey I'll do most things for chocolate).

The gay guy (and cafe bookshop owner)and the journey and transformation of the hero coach (man Yanks are so obsessed with high school football, Friday Night Lights?) at the end was pretty good.

The unrequited love interest was a lil bit of a tear jerker too but aren't they all? Unrequited love is the worst.

Moral of story: if you're in a small town, g
Jul 11, 2013 rated it liked it
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.
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nice 100 page read. If you've played high school football for a coach that you thought was "tough", but you still respected (and loved?) the guy, this read is for you. There is something special about high school football when it's done right ... and there's nothing special about it when it's done wrong. This book makes you think about this just a little bit.
Mar 21, 2016 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.
The Face of Your Father
'Bleachers' may not be the all-star starting Quarterback of John Grisham's career, but it is a very talented back-up performer. Like many second-string players in any sport, 'Bleachers' will not have the opportunity to grasp glory, but it is consistent and solid and there when you need it.

This short novel serves as a time-capsule for American sports, bringing readers and sports fans back to a time when football was celebrated for its brutality. Overall, this is a tale about closure and burying
Ben Zschokke
This was a good book I enjoyed the theme of sports and commodore throughout the town. This is a very serious football town and throughout the book many past histories of this town's football the field, the coaches and the players. The book turns into an emotional novel about a legendary coach in the town who brought them to many championships. I enjoyed this book because of the football setting in the town the players and coaches are celebrities in the town and everyone from the town even if the ...more
Mark F
Jun 12, 2017 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.
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Goodreads Librari...: Corrections 1 9 Dec 24, 2018 01:59PM  

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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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