Sunday, September 9, 2007

John Grisham, The Broker

I just finished reading Grisham's The Broker. I had found out by chance that he has a new book out for release this month called Playing for pizza (so much for stereotypes) to be set in Italy, involving a football player who goes there to play with a local team in the otherwise soccer-crazed country. This ground was actually already covered in the small but enjoyable 2002 movie by the Ciota brothers from Boston, called Ciao America, in which a young Italian-American goes to lovely Ferrara (one of my favorites) to coach their sagging football team. Worth seeing. Cute, especially if you understand football well, unlike the Eggplant.

Well. In speaking of the upcoming book, the reviewer mentioned the previous book set in Italy. So I procured it. Now Grisham is a good writer, and this is quite the page turner. Ole John has been bitten by the Italian bug, and as we know love is blind. One more book written by an English-speaker with a starry-eyed view of the country. Astounding how someone who through many years, many books and movies, and many, many bucks has propounded the idea of an evil, treacherous, even murderous world, and has now managed to find an Eden, in Italy of all places. Oh John, read Sciascia, per favore. Hell, read Shakespeare. It is the Italian Romeo who refers to "this loathsome world." There are no Edens. Especially not in Italy.

So John ha il prosciutto sugli occhi (he has ham over his eyes, he has blinders on). Apparently he also has ham over his ears. A large, probably too large part of the book is about the protagonist's efforts to learn the lingo in order to pass, because (like almost everyone in a Grisham novel) he is on the run. Even though the phrases are short and simple, he still manages to make plenty of mistakes. Pshaw!

But I enjoyed it anyway. And Grisham has beautiful blue eyes. Which we could see better without the ham.