Playing for Pizza
John Grisham, , read by Christopher Evan Welch. . Random House Audio, $29.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7393-5909-9
Christopher Evan Welch kicks and scores with his engaging narration of Grisham's charming tale of touchdowns and tortellini. Rick Dockery, a 28-year-old third-string NFL quarterback, is playing for the Cleveland Browns. In the final minutes of a decisive game, Rick is brought off the bench to disastrous results. The Browns lose the game and a chance at going to the Super Bowl. After he is unceremoniously dumped by the team, the quarterback agrees to play for a small but tenacious team called the Parma Panthers—whose playing field is in Parma, Italy. Welch perfectly captures the tone for this humorous and often touching fish-out-of-water story. Welch brings the listener along with Rick, as the young quarterback painfully adjusts to the strange new world he's thrust into. He brings to life Rick's discovery of Italy, with all its history and colorful characters. Especially delicious are the descriptions of the rich Italian foods that Rick and his teammates seem to constantly consume. By the end of the book, listeners will be seeking out the nearest Italian trattoria.
Reviewed on: 12/24/2007