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Shoeless Joe [Paperback]

W.P. Kinsella
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 29 1996
"Wild...Romantic...Unconventional...A triumph of hope."

THE BOSTON GLOBE

The voice of a baseball announcer tells the Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella: "If you build it, he will come." "He" is Shoeless Joe Jackson, Ray's hero. "It" is a baseball stadium which Ray carves out of his cornfield. Like the movie FIELD OF DREAMS that was made from this novel, SHOELESS JOE is about baseball. But it's also about love and the power of dreams to make people come alive....


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From Amazon

W. P. Kinsella plays with both myth and fantasy in his lyrical novel, which was adapted into the enormously popular movie, Field of Dreams. It begins with the magic of a godlike voice in a cornfield, and ends with the magic of a son playing catch with the ghost of his father. In Kinsella's hands, it's all about as simple, and complex, as the object of baseball itself: coming home. Like Ring Lardner and Bernard Malamud before him, Kinsella spins baseball as backdrop and metaphor, and, like his predecessors, uses the game to tell us a little something more about who we are and what we need.

Review

"W. P. Kinsella plays with both myth and fantasy in his lyrical novel, which was adapted into the enormously popular movie, 'Field of Dreams.' It begins with the magic of a godlike voice in a cornfield, and ends with the magic of a son playing catch with the ghost of his father. In Kinsella's hands, it's all about as simple, and complex, as the object of baseball itself: coming home. Like Ring Lardner and Bernard Malamud before him, Kinsella spins baseball as backdrop and metaphor, and, like his predecessors, uses the game to tell us a little something more about who we are and what we need." Amazon.com --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crazy about Baseball in Iowa April 28 2002
Format:Paperback
Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella is an inspiring story of Ray Kinsella, a not-so-typical farmer from Iowa who just loves baseball. One day while he's out in his cornfield, he hears the voice of a baseball announcer say, "If you build it, he will come." Like a vision from a crystal ball, he realises and sees that "he" is Shoeless Joe Jackson, and "it" is a baseball field. Although he's called crazy by the rest of the town, his daughter and wife stand beside him. The voice, and Shoeless Joe keep him motivated as they lead him on a journey all across USA to fufill his dreams.
Shoeless Joe is a beautifully written story about going for your dreams, the American way, and remembering true values of life. It's a great book, and it's truly inspiring. I recommend you to BUY BUY BUY!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Shoeless Joe April 16 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
1982: Sometimes determination and an imagination can make a person's dreams reality. This notion was powerfully expressed throughout W. P. Kinsella's moving novel, Shoeless Joe. Driven by a mysterious voice that said, "If you build it, he will come", Ray Kinsella sets his ambitions on building a baseball diamond in his corn field in honor of his hero, Shoeless Joe Jackson. Ray Kinsella, a normal farmer from Iowa, ultimately achieved his dreams and ambitions with his baseball field, while seeing the mysterious Chicago Black Soxs play. Ray Kinsella, a baseball fanatic, wandered to New Hampshire to find the novelist, J.D. Salinger, the man the mysterious voice had instructed him to find. Salinger, a retired novelist, did not trust Kinsella, a strange farmer from Iowa who was going to take him to a Red Sox game. Kinsella had got orders from the mysterious voice to take Salinger to the game where they would get their next instructions. Throughout their travels, Salinger and Kinsella try to solve the riddles of the mysterious voice and go to Kinsella's baseball field. W. P. Kinsella induces a world of mystery and tensions between Ray Kinsella and J. D. Salinger as Salinger tells Kinsella, "I work alone. I have my own assignment to complete. I'm the only one who knows how to do it." The mysteries of their assignments are not discussed openly between themselves. Although Kinsella and Salinger are secretive, their loyalty and commitment is most admirable. W. P. Kinsella's writing style is intriguing, expressive, and passionate. While a fictitious novel, it portrays a man's passion for the game, going to all extremes to attain his dreams. This novel deals with the problems one encounters when trying to attain a goal so lofty that only the most determined and lucky people can achieve. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dreams Fade To Reality April 15 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Daydreams, visions, and hopes all come together in the magical novel Shoeless Joe, written by WP Kinsella. In Kinsella's compelling novel, Ray Kinsella, an Iowa insurance agent turned farmer, is changed from a dreamer into a creator. At first, he is a dreamer, hoping to keep his farm while not making enough money off of it to pay off the mortgage. His brothers-in-law constantly attempt to buy his farm from him in order to complete a scheme to make them a load of money. Regardless, he keeps his farm and hopes for a way to pay for it. There, he enjoys life with his wife Annie and his daughter Karina. Annie and Karina support Ray throughout the book, giving him good advice and lifting his spirits when he needs it most. His love of baseball, dreaminess, and determination send him on a journey to both past and present to search for the greatest baseball game that he will ever see. It starts when, one summer evening, Ray hears an incorporeal voice say, "If you build it, he will come." Ray immediately knows that 'he' is Shoeless Joe Jackson, a man banned from baseball for life as a result of the infamous Black Sox scandal of 1919. The 'it' is a baseball field, to be constructed in Ray's cornfield. With care and diligence, Ray builds a stadium, with left field (Shoeless Joe's position) a veritable heaven. He waits for Shoeless Joe to appear, and in time he does and plays ball there every night. Then Ray perfects the rest of the field, and the other members of the Black Sox come to play for him. The fantasy appeared perfect, but it didn't last. Then, "Ease his pain." Ray hears those words from the immaterial voice after his completion of the stadium. Instinctively, he knows that the 'pain' is that of JD Salinger, the famous yet hermit-like author of Catcher in the Rye. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational & Enchanting! A Wonderful Story! March 6 2001
Format:Paperback
Shoeless Joe is by far Kinsella's best work as an author. I enjoyed this book from beginning to end. Inspiring the famous and popular movie 'Field of Dreams', Kinsella spins a magical adventure that permeates throughout the American spirit. Baseball becomes the enchanting weave of nostalgia that is carefully woven to express all that is good in life and can be again. Magnificent dialogue between wonderful characters bring this story to life and hits a home run right into the heart of Americana. There are more characters in the book than those that appear in the movie, and makes for wonderful mix personalities. You will love how Kinsella involves well known author J.D. Salinger in this story, and the light touch of humor surrounding difficult situations. This story is about believing and following your heart, and achieving your dreams. It is about all that is good in life and imploring you to take a look at it. It lifts the reader above the day to day problems that face us all, and carries you off into a world of imagination. Shoeless Joe the talented Left Fielder who had his career ended because of the Black Sox scandal leading to permanent ejection from the game by former baseball commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis is allowed to return at Ray Kinsella's newly crafted Iowa baseball field surrounded by a corn field. Ray had heard a voice that instructed him to build the field, and he followed it. The magical story unfolds from there, and grows to become a masterful blend of inspirational characters who join together to travel a journey of hope and faith in themselves and their dreams. A simply magnificent combination of past, present and future that only Kinsella could spin. This will certainly become a favorite of any baseball fan. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great condition
I was concerned about the condition of this book since it was an old first edition, but it was as described and arrived well packaged and on time.
Published on Aug. 2 2011 by Dano
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Much Not the Movie
I saw "Field of Dreams" the year it came out, and read "Shoeless Joe" several months later. I was in high school at the time, deep into my obsession with baseball books (the Mets... Read more
Published on June 15 2003 by Jason A. Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
The book itself is good overall and is a story that all baseball fans should read. This book is a reading level that 12 years of age and older could read, and when you do, you... Read more
Published on June 5 2002 by Mike
4.0 out of 5 stars An adventure through a pastime
"If you build it he will come", an unfamiliar voice softly whispers in through the cornfield. These few words change Iowa farmer, Ray Kinsella's life. Read more
Published on Dec 4 2001 by Tyler Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Shoeless Joe
The book Shoeless Joe is the base for Field of Dreams. Shoeless Joe is a great book from him watching his father hood hero to him playing catch wiht his dad.
Published on Oct. 8 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and evocative
The prose may be over the top at times, but what a preposterously brilliant, creative book: can one even conceive there would be a book where two of the principal characters were... Read more
Published on Aug. 28 2001 by "pspa"
5.0 out of 5 stars ORDER IT--IT WILL COME
As an author with my debut novel in its initial release, I sincerely admire SHOELESS JOE by W.P. Kinsella. Read more
Published on Aug. 15 2001 by Kent Braithwaite
5.0 out of 5 stars ORDER IT--IT WILL COME
As an author with my debut novel in its initial release, I sincerely admire SHOELESS JOE by W.P. Kinsella. Read more
Published on Aug. 15 2001 by Kent Braithwaite
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but over the top
A must read if you liked Field of Dreams, the novel Shoeless Joe is actually a bit more complex and has additional characters. Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2001 by "pspa"
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