John Grisham abandons the legal world for American football in Bleachers. What a shame, says Harry Ritchie. 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. On Friday nights, the entire town of Messina waited for the gate to open, then rushed to the bleachers where seats were claimed and nervous.

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It’s a world where prejudice has been dealt with, at least on the surface, and where race, class and bleacherx orientation mean nothing on the field, as long as you’re winning. Rake liked to hit, and no practice session was complete until he angrily threw down his clipboard and grabbed someone by the shoulder pads.

I’ve had this book for a long time, probably since it was released in The road to Rake Field ran beside the school, past the old band hall and the tennis courts, through a tunnel of two perfect rows of red and yellow maples planted and paid for by the boosters, then over a small hill to a lower area covered with enough asphalt for a thousand cars. I think about lbeachers they will be left with when it gets dull, or when the thing they love is removed, or they are no longer able to bleachets it in the same way.

Not one of Grisham’s best works.

We listen to the guys reminisce and remember events from the past. In blocking drills, when things were not going to suit him, he would crouch in a perfect three-point stance then fire off the ball and crash into a defensive tackle, one with forty more pounds and the full complement of pads and gear.

Jul 21, Tim Taylor rated it did not like it Shelves: Now, he finds himself drudging up the specters of the past with his former teammates as well as other former Fifteen years after swearing he would never return, Neely Crenshaw finds himself back in Messina, Texas, awaiting final word that local legend and former football coach Eddie Rake has died.

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Bleachers Excerpt – John Grisham

When the klieg lights are shut off, when the season is over for good, does the single-minded devotion to a goal really serve you in the real world? Books of the Week. Every Messina player had seen Rake, on a particularly bad day, throw his body at a running back and take him down with a vicious hit. The book says that he isn’t close to Paul, but he still phones him times per year.

I was sad for Neely at the losses in his life. Then I remember that I was like lbeachers too. View all 4 comments.

The coach is a young guy from Missouri. Paperbackpages. And on the sideline just a few feet away, he could see number 19 nervously warming up as the mob worshiped him. When Neely signed with Tech, there was a press conference and headlines. Like many second-string players in any sport, ‘Bleachers’ will not have the opportunity to grasp glory, but it is consistent and solid and there when you need it.

He nodded at them, climbed a few rows, then sat and gazed at the field, very still and very alone. Unabridged audiobook story length: But they piled in from the county, from out in the sticks where there was nothing else to do on Friday night.

Some memories were good and others were bad, but by the end of the night they would end up realizing what a great man and coach Eddie Rake was. The Mayor, unaccustomed to being cursed, set in motion an ill-fated effort to fire Rake, who shrugged it off.

A whole new ball game

No expense was spared, not for the Messina Spartans football team. Rake had us in uniforms when we were in the sixth grade. Although heart warming, that is also really sad.

Whatever Silo heard or saw stopped him on the sideline for a moment, then he climbed the steps with his hands stuck deep in the pockets of his jacket. Views Read Edit View history. As a sophomore, he is national player of the week when he throws for six touchdowns against Purdue University.


He stopped his car near the gate and stared at the field. What a pity that a fine suspense author had to put all of his fans through this horrible ordeal. Beyond the south end zone was a field house that any small college would envy. In so far as there is one, the hero of Bleachers is an ex-coach called Eddie Rake, a legend in the small town of Messina, whose football team he used to inspire to spectacular success. The story is summed up in these few words spoken by a former player: Miss Lila and the girls are there, along with the grandkids and neighbors.

But I do his banking, and secrets are hard to keep around here. Their feared yet beloved football coach Eddie Rake is on his death bed. Join the John Grisham Mailing List Sign up to get breaking news, exclusive content and thrilling offers. Paul shrugged and shook his head, and there was another gap in the conversation as they watched an old man struggle in a painful trot along the track.

Were any former players there? At best it was ok. Well, if I talked to someone long distance on the phone that often, I’d know an awful lot about the person. Then before long, back to typical prose, ie, Neely saw his old friend Paul and said, “Hello. Tuesday The road to Rake Field ran beside the school, past the old band hall and the tennis courts, through a tunnel of two perfect rows of red and yellow maples planted and paid for by the boosters, then over a small hill to a lower area covered with enough asphalt for a thousand cars.

It was incomprehensible that he was now a shriveled old man gasping for his last breath. After his successful foray into mainstream fiction with a coming-of-age tale, The Painted HouseJohn Grisham tries his hand at yet another subject with his winning new novel Bleachers.