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Extended Audio Sample Playing for Pizza: A Novel Audiobook, by John Grisham Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.0000951022349 out of 53.0000951022349 out of 53.0000951022349 out of 53.0000951022349 out of 53.0000951022349 out of 5 3.00 (21,030 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Grisham Narrator: Christopher Evan Welch Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2007 ISBN: 9780739359105
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Rick Dockery was the third-string quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. In the AFC Championship game against Denver, to the surprise and dismay of virtually everyone, Rick actually got into the game. With a 17-point lead and just minutes to go, Rick provided what was arguably the worst single performance in the history of the NFL. Overnight, he became a national laughingstock and, of course, was immediately cut by the Browns and shunned by all other teams.

But all Rick knows is football, and he insists that his agent, Arnie, find a team that needs him. Against enormous odds Arnie finally locates just such a team and informs Rick that, miraculously, he can in fact now be a starting quarterback–for the mighty Panthers of Parma, Italy.

Yes, Italians do play American football, to one degree or another, and the Parma Panthers desperately want a former NFL player–any former NFL player–at their helm. So Rick reluctantly agrees to play for the Panthers–at least until a better offer comes along–and heads off to Italy. He knows nothing about Parma, has never been to Europe, and doesn’t speak or understand a word of Italian. To say that Italy holds a few surprises for Rick Dockery would be something of an understatement.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Fans of John Grisham live for his legal thrillers, but now and then he serves up something unexpected. That’s exactly what he does, with great success, in Playing for Pizza. USA Today
  • Enthralling. People
  • Score another one for Grisham...This is a fish-out-of-water tale that perfectly suits his strengths as a storyteller. USA Today
  • A light-hearted story of football, food and love. Richmond Times-Dispatch
  • Football in Italy? Who knew? Grisham means to have a sweet time with this story of a fallen NFL quarterback. And he does. Daily News (New York)
  • Delightfully comic...a deeply satisfying story. The Boston Globe
  • Charming...the author's love letter to Italy. Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jesse broughton | 5/26/2016

    " I liked the book. It showed that everybody has a place in this world and you don't have to be a million dollar player to be happy. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Audrey | 2/20/2014

    " I think Grisham should stick to his law books. This one was not nearly as good as his others in my opinion "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Darlene Emanuel | 2/19/2014

    " Enjoyed this story love football and love love :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeri Collins | 2/16/2014

    " I really enjoyed this story. Loved the tiny peak into pro football. DEFINITELY makes me want to visit Italy. As if I really need another reason to want to travel. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beth | 2/15/2014

    " This is not typical Grisham. Kind of pointless, really. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dawnette Rhoades | 2/1/2014

    " Picked this book up while at my mom's home. Quick read & not your typical Grisham & not my favorite "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tina | 1/31/2014

    " it helped get me to sleep at night. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori | 1/28/2014

    " Fast, easy read, nice departure from Grisham's courtroom thrillers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 1/27/2014

    " Really like Grishams regular crime/law fiction and took a chance on this and was happy I did. Very good book and funny. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gloria | 1/18/2014

    " I really liked this book. Not a typical John Grisham book, but if you enjoy football this is a great coming of age story about a quarterback. Like a typical male, the maturity process is slower than a female's, I think he's close to 30 :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patricia Zawacki | 1/16/2014

    " Fun book, with lots of yummy food descriptions! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kerry Ford | 1/9/2014

    " Another Grisham but with a twist.....No Lawyers (as main characters), a very fluffy light read - and enough of a story to hold my attention.....even though I am NOT a football fan. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lee Ann | 1/2/2014

    " A smaller light read, not the typical Grisham novel but about Italy and football "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenna Lacovara | 12/21/2013

    " I understand the book wasn't that good. But I still loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jamie Conte | 12/9/2013

    " A quick read left me wanting to travel to italy. Not the best book written by Grisham but not a waste of time either. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Elswick | 11/28/2013

    " Loved this book, being from Cleveland, Ohio...thoroughly enjoyed, thanks SO MUCH Mr. Grisham!!!!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff Crosby | 7/31/2013

    " Pleasant little vanity book that I liked. This story is less serious, and more humorous, than Bleachers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jloanmom | 5/30/2013

    " Easy read. Need to plan a trip to Italy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jan | 4/29/2013

    " I enjoyed this - which surprised me as I'm not much of a football fan. But I enjoyed the relationships, and the great descriptions of the food! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tara | 3/23/2013

    " Easy read, not typical Gresham. My eyes glazed over during the football games, which he wrote play-for-play. But I loved the descriptions of food and the small travelogues. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judith Evans | 3/4/2013

    " an enjoyable read even if you don't know much about football "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barb | 12/25/2012

    " I'm a John Grisham fan, although I'm not much of a football fan. I enjoyed the book. It was a quick, easy read. However, when it ended, I was left with the "That was it?" feeling. It just ended, that's all. No wind up, no ends tied up--it just ended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill M. | 12/24/2012

    " How do you not love a book that takes place in Italy! My second John Grisham ever and I loved it. I look forward to reading more from him! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ginger | 11/23/2012

    " usually like Grisham books better then this one. I kept waiting for the plot. It never really happens, kind of became one of those 'life just happens to you when you are busy making other plans' kind of book "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea Hoffman | 9/23/2012

    " Good story, but a little benign. The ending leaves you wanting more ... count on a sequel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Yunisa KD | 5/5/2012

    " My first JG. There are few paragraphs that remind me of DS's impersonal style. But overall I like JG better than DS. And the food described is tantalizing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jsbiddle | 3/6/2012

    " Not typically John Grisham, but a good read nonetheless. A second, second chance book. Loved his NFL record, especially with the Browns. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Toni | 11/1/2011

    " Not quite a 4 star but almost, so I rounded it up. As I was reading this book, the movie Mr. Baseball with Tom Selleck had been on. There are some similarities between this book and that movie but I still enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Harry | 5/22/2011

    " Only Grisham novel I've read and I really enjoyed it. Fun read combining American football and Italy, not a courtroom in sight. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason | 5/10/2011

    " I loved this book. It's a different side of Grisham and found it an enjoyable light read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lecy | 5/8/2011

    " I couldn't finish this book. I have yet to find a Grisham book that I disliked, until this one. Not typical Grisham, boring, dragged on and unbearable. I'll stick with his thrillers from now on. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben | 5/6/2011

    " Love this book. Fun, easy, short read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gabi | 4/28/2011

    " Two of my favourite things. Pizza and football. It's been a while, maybe 2 or 3 years since I've read it but I found it heartwarming and great. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katie | 4/28/2011

    " A quick read. It would probably be more interesting if you like football. I loved hearing about Italy, and now I need to go out for some really great Italian food! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gail | 4/26/2011

    " It was a cute book but not having any knowledge of football plays etc a lot was boring the boy girl aspect of it was nice and you were left not knowing if Rick stayed in Italy but my guess would be that he did with Livvy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Collin | 4/25/2011

    " Nice feel-good story, uncomplicated, with very detailed descriptions of Italy, food and some great football plays. We actually listened to the audio book on the way to ATL and then back home and made for a good discussion while at our destination. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Abby | 4/20/2011

    " There are a lot of good books out there waiting to be read.
    This isn't one of them. "

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About the Author
Author John Grisham

John Grisham, whose name has become synonymous with the modern legal thriller, used to work sixty to seventy 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. When finally published, A Time to Kill met with little success, but when he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers. Spending forty-seven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991. The successes of The Pelican Brief, which hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and The Client, which debuted at number one, confirmed Grisham’s reputation as the master of the legal thriller. His success even renewed interest in A Time to Kill, which was then republished. This time around, it was a bestseller. Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year, and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 275 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into forty languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films, as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man. He lives in Virginia and Mississippi.