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Friday, July 8, 2011

Bleachers (audiobook) by John Grisham

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 players as he builds them into his mold and makes them successful teams year after year after year. His teams have won 13 Texas state championships.

John Grisham
The coach is dying of cancer now and his players are returning home to honor him and await his funeral. They meet several times on the bleachers of the field they played on and discuss their memories of school, football and of course the coach. Thus, the title.

We see the reunion of players through the eyes of Neeley, a former All-American quarterback who suffered a career-ending injury in college and never reached his full potential as a player. Although Neeley is our window to this world, he is not the true focus of the book - it is the coach and the love/hate relationship his players and the town have with him.

An interesting book. This Indiana University graduate couldn't help but wonder if the alumni of Bobby Knight's basketball program have similar discussions about him.

I rate this audiobook 4 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Bleachers by John Grisham.

Reviewed on October 7, 2008.

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