“I never liked Cleveland, the city, the fans, the team, and I hated the stadium.” Chapter 5
I bought this book because it is about a Cleveland Brown football player who moves to Italy and I thought that since Jason and I are traveling to Italy in a few weeks it might be a fun parallel. I was right! Rick is a football player driven out of Cleveland and the NFL because of a monumentally bad game. In Italy he finds a team in Parma who wants him as their quarterback and his induction into Italian culture is educational.
First, I think John Grisham must have had something very bad happen to him in Cleveland. There was quite a bit of Cleveland bashing and not just the usual stereotypical kind. I’ve been in Cleveland almost eight years and I’ve heard all the jokes, but often the city gets a bum rap.
Now after Rick moves to Italy to play NFL football in an Italian league he is in for a culture shock. We learn a lot about the history, the food, the people, the culture and the more mundane things, like how to order a cup of coffee. Rick must accept his fate on a team and in a league where the only person who gets paid is the quarterback; everyone else on the team has regular jobs.
The book is about Rick’s journey from the typical American dream to the reality of a quiet life with people he likes and a game he loves. Grisham must have fallen in love with Italy and really wanted to find a way to express his love for the country. The book is okay, nothing special, but if you are getting ready to go to Italy yourself (YEA:)) then it will get you excited and teach you a little too.