Monday, February 28, 2011

Bleachers by John Grisham

John Grisham is noted as the best selling author of many legal thrillers. His early books took the publishing world by storm with their strong plots and exciting action even if the writing was uneven. Over the years, Grisham's prose has caught up with his plotting and he is without a doubt one of our top living writers. The fact that he is a Mississippi native and did his first book signings in public libraries across the state (including ours) is just icing.
Bleachers is a complex character study. Grisham's carefully observed characters are absolutely true to life. This is a book that will appeal to literary readers and small town sports fans as well as Grisham's millions of fans.
Neely Crinshaw was the star of his high school football team. when he left Messina, he was determined never to return. As Bleachers begins, he does return to await the death of fabled coach Eddie Rake with the fraternity of Rake's former players.
Neely and the other characters are beautifully described. Grisham has created a complex and believable world well worth reading.
The audio version of the book is read by Grisham himself. While many authors are not particularly good readers, Grisham grew up in the Southern storytelling tradition and gives a great, understated reading.
If you thought Grisham could only write thrillers, give Bleachers a try. You may be surprised by the subtleties.

1 comment:

  1. This story takes place over the course of four days as the Spartans from different eras return to stand vigil over their dying coach. The players sit in the bleachers, share stories and memories. They relive old rivalries and victories. Most of all, they remember the times, both good and bad, that they had with their coach. They also, remember the miracle 1987 game, and in the process, let out a secret that had been kept for a decade. While this short story is out of Mr. Grisham's usual genre, it still has the elements of a down home, wholesome story with a twist.