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Calico Joe [Hardcover]

John Grisham
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 10 2012
A surprising and moving novel of fathers and sons, forgiveness and redemption, set in the world of Major League Baseball…
Whatever happened to Calico Joe?
     It began quietly enough with a pulled hamstring. The first baseman for the Cubs AAA affiliate in Wichita went down as he rounded third and headed for home. The next day, Jim Hickman, the first baseman for the Cubs, injured his back. The team suddenly needed someone to play first, so they reached down to their AA club in Midland, Texas, and called up a twenty-one-year-old named Joe Castle. He was the hottest player in AA and creating a buzz.
In the summer of 1973 Joe Castle was the boy wonder of baseball, the greatest rookie anyone had ever seen.  The kid from Calico Rock, Arkansas dazzled Cub fans as he hit home run after home run, politely tipping his hat to the crowd as he shattered all rookie records.
Calico Joe quickly became the idol of every baseball fan in America, including Paul Tracey, the young son of a hard-partying and hard-throwing Mets pitcher. On the day that Warren Tracey finally faced Calico Joe, Paul was in the stands, rooting for his idol but also for his Dad. Then Warren threw a fastball that would change their lives forever…
In John Grisham’s new novel the baseball is thrilling, but it’s what happens off the field that makes CALICO JOE a classic.

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Praise for Calico Joe
“Grisham knocks it out of the park.”—The Washington Post
“An enjoyable, heartwarming read that’s not just for baseball fans.”—USA Today
Praise for John Grisham
“Never let it be said this man doesn’t know how to spin a good yarn.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Grisham may well be the best American storyteller writing today.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer

About the Author

JOHN GRISHAM is the author of twenty-four novels, one work of nonfiction, a collection of stories, and two novels for young readers. He lives in Virginia and Mississippi.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fathers, sons and the greatest game April 13 2012
By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
John Grisham is one of the most recognizable names in fiction today. He is well known for his legal thrillers, but has also written a number of novels outside of that genre. His latest - Calico Joe - fall into that category.

Paul Tracey gets a call one day - Warren, the father he hasn't seen in years, is dying. Paul's reaction? "After a few minutes, I admit the truth - life without Warren will be the same as life with him."

But this call does stir up old hurts, memories and unfinished business. We're taken back to Paul's childhood for the beginning of the tale. Warren made it to the big leagues - he was a pitcher for the Mets in 1973. He was also a womanizer, a hard drinker, a man with a temper and a man with a family who was happy to not have him home. Paul loved baseball as well. He played himself and could cite the stats on any team. When a young phenom named Joe from Calico Rock, Arkansas is called up to play for the Cubs, he takes the country (and young Paul) by storm. Never before has there been such a player. And then the Mets and the Cubs face off...

Yes, Calico Joe is a sports story, but it's much more than that. It's the story of a father and son and redemption. I played ball when I was younger, so the sports stats didn't throw me at all and won't detract from the story for non sports readers. They really set the scene for the emotional strings that Grisham deftly pulls as he carefully builds the story of Calico Joe, young Paul and his father.

Calico Joe is listed as a novel, but I thought of it more as story telling. I could picture myself listening to this one over the radio in days gone by or sitting listening to a retired player sharing a tale from the old days. As one character in the book says "But it doesn't matter: he loves to talk and tell stories....I am delighted to be here and happy to listen."

As was I. A one sitting read and another home run from Grisham.
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4.0 out of 5 stars O.K. Feb. 11 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Was not one of my favorite John Grisham books, but still enjoyed it.
This kind of book is more for sports fans I would imagine. Still enjoyable though.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Weak for Grisham Aug. 4 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not one of his better books. Feels like a production novel to crank out another one. An easy light holiday read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars fun to read July 22 2013
By adrian
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was an enjoyable easy to read book.
Perhaps a bit to easy to read.
I am looking forward to my next Grisham book
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5.0 out of 5 stars I've been wanting this for so long June 23 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Ever since I was a kid growing up in a 5000 watt radio station I have wanted to learn to read. This book unlocked the literate in me. Before reading this book I could not read a word...and now I am typing! This book has curative powers as well. When I was done reading it my shingles were gone! Bless you David Baldacci!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good story told well June 17 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A book that will be enjoyed by baseball fans as well as readers that appreciate a well constructed narrative. The inclusion of real people and events mixed with the main fictional characters, gives the story a base in reality and made it more meaningful for me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed! Feb. 10 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My husband really enjoyed this book. It lives up to Grisham's wonderful standard and is on a subject that holds my husband's interest.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Calico Joe
Baseball, Karma, Family relationships it's all here. It moves at the pace of a ballgame, I could not put it down until it was done.
Published 16 months ago by The Only Blackpearl
5.0 out of 5 stars doxatoutheos
Any Grisham book is great but if your a baseball fan and a Grisham fan this is unbelievable! You will not be disappointed.
Published 21 months ago by doxatoutheos
4.0 out of 5 stars a journey to america's favorite pasttime...from 2012
I was looking forward to reading this novel...since i know mr grisham's work and know the sport of baseball like no other. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Anthony Marinelli
4.0 out of 5 stars Calico Joe
Although I found it quite
predictable, I did like the
ending. A great book for baseball
fans, so I gave it to my husband to
read!! Read more
Published 22 months ago by mother
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed
Quite frankly this book was a rip off for the money. Compared to other authors of Mr. Grisham's caliber (Yes there are a few), and previously being a big fan of Mr. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Colin Parker
3.0 out of 5 stars Of Forgiveness and Reconciliation
"Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Donald Mitchell
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Effort
Lets get this out of the way. There is not a shred of legal jargon in this book. So if you're looking for your John Grisham legal fix, you won't find it here. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Murph
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