Large Print - 2003
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High school all-American Neely Crenshaw was probably the best quarterback ever to play for the legendary Messina Spartans. Fifteen years have gone by since those glory days, and Neely has come home to Messina to bury Coach Eddie Rake, the man who molded the Spartans into an unbeatable football dynasty. Now, as Coach Rake's "boys" sit in the bleachers waiting for the dimming field lights to signal his passing, they replay the old games, relive the old glories, and try to decide once and for all whether they love Eddie Rake -- or hate him. For Neely Crenshaw, a man who must finally forgive his coach ---- and himself -- before he can get on with his life, the stakes are especially high.
Publisher: New York : Random House Large Print, c2003
Edition: 1st large print ed
ISBN: 9780375433306
Branch Call Number: LT GRI
Characteristics: 276 p. ;,22 cm


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Dec 20, 2020

You need to be a football fan to really like this book.
It was ok

Jul 30, 2019

In a way, this is probably John Grisham at his best. He is a great storyteller, and this is they kind of story in which he excels. It is a very short novel, devoid of unnecessary character backgrounds. I would call it Friday Night lites. Grisham does have an uneven track record, but I would put this in his 'best' column.

Jan 04, 2019

Not a typical John Grisham novel but a good one worth reading. You do not have to be an american football fan as the topic of football is not the real theme of the story. Grisham could have used any sport such as UK Football, hockey, swimming, Rugby, etc. The true story of the book was about the individual lives of each of the players which is unraveled with their discussion with each other. These players were giants back in high school in which everyone looked up to them but that was shortly lived for most of the players after high school. Not all the players lives were blessed after high school so some of the players had to deal with conflicts of how their expectations did not quit work out for them. However, the players at least had been blessed for having been part of something great when they were in high school which the majority of people will never get a chance to taste. The story itself is about life in general and about the different things that can either hold us back from reaching our goals or actually can boost ourselves into reaching our goals. If you just concentrate on a story about football you will miss what the story was really about and probably will not enjoy it. Look beyond the football and to actually the characters themselves and you will enjoy the book as you will most likely be able to relate to part of what Grisham wrote about.

Aug 15, 2018

This is a great book. It is different from most Grisham books but it was a page turner.

unless you are fascinated by American football, give this a miss

Aug 06, 2015

not one of his best. I didn't care for any of the characters or the plot. the only positive is that the book is short

A patron review from the Adult Summer Game: "This was a very quick read as it is only 163 pages and can be completed in single, dedicated sitting. In this story, former high school football players return to their hometown of Messina due to their former coach's imminent death and funeral. While they sit in vigil, they reminisce about their glory years together under the intense leadership of their former coach, Eddie Rake. He is a "win at all costs", "never lose", "love him or hate him", type of character and had a great influence over his players and on the town of Messina in general due to their legendary success as a football team under his direction. This book focuses mostly on the recollection of events and their impact in the life of Neely Crenshaw, a former admired, successful star quarterback for the Messina Spartans. His very strong feelings about the coach and the necessary resolution he requires drives the book. This book would probably be most enjoyed by former athletes as they may share some of the emotions/experiences written about in Bleachers."

Jul 09, 2014

Totally loved this book. I don't like football and don't understand it ~ but that didn't put me off. If you go beyond that, it is a great little book with interesting characters.

jeanner222 Nov 09, 2012

Another detour for the almighty Grisham—this one isn’t so great. Bleachers is a slim volume with very little plot or character development.

Coach Eddie Rake is dying, and his former players have returned to Messina to say goodbye to the toughest football coach that ever lived. Rake’s Spartans have a love/hate relationship with Coach, and Neely Crenshaw, our protagonist, is no exception. But the All-American quarterback seems to be quite a bit bitterer about his relationship with Rake.

As Neely and his fellow Spartans reminisce, the truth about Coach Rake is revealed—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

This is a disappointment after reading Playing for Pizza. Grisham needs to stick to his legal thrillers.

May 26, 2012

I thoroughly enjoyed this book - yes I'm a football fan and yes, I'm a Grisham fan. This was a quick light read.

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FavouriteFiction Oct 31, 2009

High School all-American Neely Crenshaw returns to his home town to say farewell to his former coach Eddie Rake. He reconnects with other former players to discuss old times, their late Coach and whether they can forgive him.

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