Calico Joe Hardcover – Apr 10 2012
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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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Top Customer Reviews
In the summer of 1973 Joe Castle was the boy wonder and the greatest rookie anyone had ever seen and quickly became the idol of every baseball fan in America, including Paul Tracey. One day when Warren Tracey finally faced Calico Joe. Paul was in the stands, rooting for both his idol and his dad. Then the fatal pitch came and their life changed for ever.
In vintage Grisham fashion the story picks up pace as the story unfolds and jumps ahead almost four decades. Joe Castle is barely a functional groundskeeper at a school back in Calico and Warren Tracey is dying of cancer at home in Florida. Paul who had abandoned baseball a long time ago decided to track down Castle for reconciliation between him and his dad.
This novel is worthy of our valuable time whether you are a baseball fan or not. It is a total contrast to Mr. Grisham typical novels that are full of twists and turns and tension, “Calico Joe” is simply a sweet and simple story with a moral and of a relationship between a father and son. The beginning of the book is a detailed account on how the game is played with all the rules and jargon. This is rather a sad plot with very moving elements of forgiveness and redemption and the main drive that kept me turning the pages. The narrative and setting are solid and shifts back and forth between 1973 and 2003, keeping track of the changing periods was challenging at times. Although the data is not accurate according to the author’s notes the recreation is nevertheless fun and does capture enough of the excitement for anyone, fan or not to enjoy.
Much baseball fiction is all wrapped up in the kind of juvenile fantasies that grown men continue to indulge. I admire John Grisham for going against the grain and looking at baseball through the lens of what can be wrong about baseball: self-centered players, abuse, sexual infidelity, cruelty, envy, and lying. Rather than just portraying that dark side, Mr. Grisham also exposes the possibility of receiving forgiveness, being reconciled to those who have been harmed, and finding peace. It's a nice ethical journey carried out amid some pretty exciting baseball writing that is soundly based.
Despite my admiration for Mr. Grisham's conception, I didn't feel that he carried it off nearly as well as he needed to. The rise of Calico Joe in the book's beginning is so far beyond possibility that reading those sections makes you feel that Mr. Grisham was just entertaining himself rather than trying to build the best possible story. A less over-the-top biography for Calico Joe would have worked a lot better, in my opinion. The fable-like quality led me to feel outside the story, rather than inside it with the characters.
The dark side of the story also seemed overdrawn. It's as though only absolute perfect white and the blackest black would satisfy readers. That's not giving readers enough credit. What about writing about real human beings of the kind we've all met? That would bring the message home much more than having such an extreme contrast.
I also found that the book lacked suspense. I didn't feel the tension build very much because what came next was kept quite predictable.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Surprisingly well written for a fella better known for legal thrillersPublished 4 days ago by Tianna Fung
A well-written novel depicting the consequences that come as a result of both good and bad decisions.Published 3 months ago by Arlin S.
I'm not one for legal thrillers so I eagerly picked up this novel as I've always wanted to read a Grisham. The book was short; it had a plain, yet somewhat heart-warming message. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Jeff Younggren
A good read that was difficult to put down until finished.Published 16 months ago by Donald G. McKay