By: John Grisham
The two Main characters in this novel are Neely Crenshaw and Coach Eddie Rake. Neely Crenshaw was the towns All American as they repeatedly say in the book. He was the great football hero of the town of Messina in the 1980's who then went on and played college football where he received a career ending injury. He hadn't returned to Messina for 15 years (until the start of this book ) because of his hatred for Coach Rake. Coach Eddie Rake is a legend in the town of Messina, even having the football field named after him. Coach Rake was the head coach for 34 years, had 418 wins, 62 losses, and 13 state titles. From the start of the book Eddie Rake had been dying from cancer.
The theme of this book would have to be Forgiveness. In the 1987 championship game Coach Rake had slapped Neely which caused Neely to strike Rake back and hate Rake. Neely has to learn to not only forgive Coach Rake in his final days but also forgive himself for his own bitterness and selfishness. Neely had a big weakness of being able to give up football and hadn't given up his glory days even after his career ending injury which caused Neely to also never return to his home town, Messina where the people still loved and missed him. Over the Course of the book Neely works on forgiving both himself and Rake.
The book is full of memories, regret, hatred, laughter, and bitterness. The Memories and laughter shared between former players about their glory days, and the hatred about former opposing teams. The Bitterness and regret through Neely Crenshaw. The regret having waiting so long to come back to Messina, and the bitterness of being hit by Coach Rake and of how he had to get a career ending injury. A lot of variety of mood was shared by John Grisham in this book.
Point of View
The point of view of Bleachers by John Grisham is told through the eyes and memories of Neely Crenshaw.