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Amazon.com Review *Playing for Pizza: * A Q&A with John Grisham Q: American football in Italy seems like an unlikely subject for a John Grisham novel. What was the inspiration for Playing for Pizza? A: Three years ago when I was in Bologna researching "The Broker", I discovered American football. One of my guides in the area played football for the Bologna Warriors for 10 years. I couldn't believe that American football actually existed there, but the more I heard about it the more intrigued I became. Q: There is some great football writing in this novel. What kind of research was involved in capturing how this American institution is played in small town Italy? A: The only way to research the book was to go to Parma and watch a game. The coach is an American who played at Illinois State, and he proved to be extremely valuable. I met many of the Italian players and the story simply unfolded. Q: Speaking of research, you write lovingly of Italian food and wine in this book. What's your idea of the perfect Italian meal? A: First course: prosicutto and melon; second course: stuffed tortellini; third course: roasted stuffed capon, all served with a great Barolo wine. Q: Without giving away too much of the plot, your protagonist falls in love by the novel's end. Did you know when you started writing that Rick would get the girl? A: Of course. Q: You have a new legal thriller coming in January 2008. Can you give us any hints about what to expect? A: I really don't like to talk about a book until it's finished. Sorry. But it will not be another work of non-fiction, nor will it be about football. Lots of lawyers in the next one. From Publishers Weekly Christopher Evan Welch kicks and scores with his engaging narration of Grisham's charming tale of touchdowns and tortellini. Rick Dockery, a 28-year-old third-string NFL quarterback, is playing for the Cleveland Browns. In the final minutes of a decisive game, Rick is brought off the bench to disastrous results. The Browns lose the game and a chance at going to the Super Bowl. After he is unceremoniously dumped by the team, the quarterback agrees to play for a small but tenacious team called the Parma Panthers—whose playing field is in Parma, Italy. Welch perfectly captures the tone for this humorous and often touching fish-out-of-water story. Welch brings the listener along with Rick, as the young quarterback painfully adjusts to the strange new world he's thrust into. He brings to life Rick's discovery of Italy, with all its history and colorful characters. Especially delicious are the descriptions of the rich Italian foods that Rick and his teammates seem to constantly consume. By the end of the book, listeners will be seeking out the nearest Italian trattoria. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.