Jon Grisham did a great job writing the book Bleachers. He is very descriptive when he writes about the setting and characters. He was able to create very descriptive scenes in this book also. Jon Grisham makes you feel like you are in the locker room when Coach Rake is yelling at his players at halftime.
This book takes place in the small town of Messina. The town of Messina is a very small town that only has eight thousand people in it. Grisham explains the football stadium Rake Field more than any other part of the town which is where the Messina Spartans the local high school plays. Rake Field holds ten thousand people and sells out every Friday night. Grisham says that the reason that Rake Field holds ten thousand people because people from all over the country come to watch the team because they are one of the best in the country.
The main character in this book is Neely Crenshaw who was one of the greatest football players in Messina history. Neely was an all American quarterback. Neely had led the team to many undefeated seasons and state championships. Neely then went on to play football at Texas Tech. where his football career ended due to a injury to his knee. He then returns to Messina many years later due to the fact that his old head coach Eddie Rake is on his death bed.
The other main character of this novel is former head coach Eddie Rake. He was the head coach for many years. He led the Messina Spartans to a ton of undefeated seasons and many state championships. Grisham then has one of the other characters tell a story about how rake had been mad at one of his many teams in the 90’s and forced them to skip church to run bleachers. He ran them so hard that one of the kids had a heat stroke and died. When Rake died he was buried right next to the boy that had died at practice. His Funeral was held at Rake Field where his Family asked Neely who Rake never got along with to be the main speaker at the funeral.
Through out the book Grisham takes you back to the “Glory Days” when Neely and his friends were the players on the football team, and arguably the best team in the history of Messina football. He tell us how when it was Neely’s senior year he and coach rake had gotten into a huge argument at half of the state championships. After the argument Neely and Coach Rake could not stand each other and they ended up losing the state championship game that year. That is why Neely was so surprised when he found out that coach Rake wanted Neely to be the main speaker at the funeral. Grisham goes on to say that Neely was one of Coach rakes favorite players ever.
Grisham was very good at creating very serious themes. The man theme of this story is that you can’t live in the past and hold grudges on someone for so long that you never get to say how much you appreciate them. He gets that theme across through the relationship between Rake and Neely. Rake always wanted to see Neely become a very successful college quarter back and the hopefully a NFL quarter back. Unfortunately neely never realized that Rake wanted him to succeed until after he died and Rake tells his family to have Neely be the main speaker.
I give this book a five out of five stars because Jon Grisham was able to create a very great storyline and theme. This book is a very deep book and really makes you think about life. It is also a great book for people who love football. This is the best book that I have ever read. Jon Grisham created a very good book when he wrote “Bleachers”.