Bleachers Review
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Bleachers really caught me off guard. Mainly because itís a good book that was written by John Grisham. Iím by no means a Grisham fan. Since the release of Pelican Brief, all of his books seem to be the same one with the names and places changed to make them seem different. I only picked it up because I was scheduled for a small outpatient procedure and needed something simple to read while I was off my feet for a day or so.

This book is completely different. Set almost entirely in the bleachers of a small southern townís football stadium, it examines the effect of one man on an entire community. The legendary head coach is on his deathbed and most of his players have made their way back to be near him. The coach has asked that only family come to the house, so his players hold a vigil at the field named for him. The All-American quarterback from the townís last state championship team narrates the story.

The book shows exactly how wrapped up in a football team a small town can get. Every facet of this town is connected to the team and the boys who are gods while they are on the team. It captures the mood of small football towns perfectly. What really makes this 168-page book good is that it proves that Grisham can still write.

After years of turning out made-for-screenplay-legal-novels, Bleachers packs the emotional punch of A Time to Kill. Each of the characters feels like a real person, and the dialog is pitch perfect. He keeps the narrative to a bare minimum so the readerís attention stays on the middle-aged men that both love and hate their coach. Grisham makes the coach more than just a driven taskmaster with a big heart. Instead we get a man who has much more depth than the stereotype we might expect. That depth is brought out in small glimpses.

This book feels personal and thatís what makes it such a good read. Itís nice to know that John Grisham still has this kind of story to tell.

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