When I want to just sit back and enjoy a story there are a handful of authors I go to. I don't want anything too deep that I have to think about, but I also want good story telling. Maybe I'll pick up an Agatha Christie murder novel. Or maybe I'll re-read The Hitchhiker's Gude to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. In this case, I picked up the latest John Grisham novel, Bleachers.
I have read every book this poor man has released. Granted, after "A Painted House" they started going downhill, but they're still fine for a rainy afternoon. "Bleachers" is shorter than most of his novels, with the exception of the parable-like "Skipping Christmas", which is more like a long short story. This one is more like a short novel.
At first glace of the book, you see green grass and on the horizon some bleachers. There is a white stripe though the grass, kind of faded and blurry. It's an atheletic field, and coupled with the suspect release date (just a few short weeks after the start of football season), you know this is going to be a football novel.
I am personally a 50-50 sports fan. I'm a diehard Phillies baseball fan. And I enjoy my Sunday afternoon/Monday night football games on tv. However, I don't specifically follow any team. I just judge the flow of the game and pick a team to root for. Other than the Eagles. I wanna see them lose. Regardless, I am not going to go out and read a novel about sports. Yawn. Of course, Grisham insists on writing one, so I must go out and read it.
The writing style is typical Grisham. It's got that easy to comprehend pop culture feel, however, Grisham's talent lies in adding heart and soul to his stories. You feel when reading this book that instead of trying to make an easy buck he's writing it because by gawd he wants to!
I find that there are three main characters to the book. There is Neely Crenshaw, who used to be an all American quarterback in highschool but early in college had a career ending injury. Then there is Eddie Rake, who was the famed coach who didn't take losing for an answer. And last, Messina, which is the town. Yes, that's right, the town is a main character.