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Summary

Winner of the British Book Awards, Lifetime Achievement Award, 2007.

Neely Crenshaw was once star quarterback for Messina High School's football team. His playing days ended with a sickening injury. Afterwards his life went nowhere: his marriage foundered and his real estate business drifted. For fifteen years he's been trying to forget his glorious past as sporting hero but hasn't been able to move on. But now the man who moulded him, Coach Eddie Rake, is dying and Neely returns to Messina. Rake has acted as football coach for 34 years at Messina High; his teams have won 13 state championships and been on an 84 game unbeaten streak.

The town idolizes him. Players old and young have returned to pay their respects. Neely congregates with them on the bleachers as they wait for Rake to finally pass away. It is in the many conversations and revelations that follow that Neely can confront what his explosive relationship with Rake really meant to him and, in the moment of loss, find redemption.

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©2003 Belfry Holdings, Inc. (P)2003 Random House Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"I defy even the hardest jock not to shed a tear." ( Daily Mirror [London])

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Aileen
  • Ruislip, Middlesex, United Kingdom
  • 05-12-09

What an annoying voice

I really should listen to the previews before purchasing the books. This book is read by the author. I think he should stick to writing!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Julie
  • radcliffe, manchester, United Kingdom
  • 23-04-07

the bleachers

i have read this a bit per day i thought it was good but i did not understand it as much untill i listen to it in all at once because reading it is using my thoughts not the authors! but listening is the author's thoughts and experiences.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Beth
  • 22-03-08

Slow

This story of an over the hill football player returning home for his coaches funeral just goes on and on. Pretty boring stuff - especially if you don't understand American football - particularly during the interludes of football announcing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jonathan
  • 17-06-10

Small and human

Grisham has two books families i know.
the epic movies material about legal staff, which i really like, and the small, shorter "Human" staff which i LOVE.
add Bleachers to skipping Christmas, playing for Pizza and admire his look into the human soul.
when author is the narrator add extra level to my admiration, it takes the book to next level most times. on this one, it sure does.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful