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(John Grisham)

I enjoy watching a football game on television, especially things like the Super Bowl, but I am not a football fan. I bought Bleachers because it was by John Grisham, not because it was about football. I?m glad I did.I have always been impressed by John Grisham?s talent as a raconteur but I wasn?t prepared to be (figuratively speaking) kept on the edge of my seat by a novel about football in which practically nothing happens. I kept thinking of Jean Racine?s play Bérénice based solely on the question : ?Will she leave him or not ??. Yet Bérénice contains some of the most beautiful and moving poetry ever written for the stage.In Bleachers we wait for a high-school football coach to die. He does, and is buried. That?s about it.?or it would be if some of his former players hadn?t gone back to the backwater town and the high-school where he used to work.The man was a tyrant, almost a sadist. Yet, all his former students mourn him. On the football field bleachers, they dissect his personality : the good and the bad. Little by little we discover how much the coach loved these young men whom he so ruthlessly trained ; and trained to victory, it must be said.The story is told from the point of view of the all-time star player from those bygone days. He could have turned pro but was stopped by a nasty knee injury. He could also have married Cameron, the girl he loved and who loved him, if he hadn?t been so young and irresponsible.In a wonderfully effective and sober style, Grisham makes the two former sweethearts meet and talk on the steps of a house. Will they get together again ? Well, my friends, this is no chick-lit. We, the readers, taste reality as if it was a mouthful of earth. Lives and dreams and made and destroyed. I was close to tears. So will you, if you read this wonderful novel.

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