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 21-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.
©2012 Belfry Holdings, Inc (P)2012 Random House Audio
Love to listen!
Loved all of this. Buy it, listen. Even if you could care less about baseball, this is an amazing story with excellent narration.
Say something about yourself!
I would only recommend this book to another baseball fan. A good amount of the book details specific plays during many different baseball games during the 1973 season. While listening, I could picture what was happening on the field. That was very enjoyable.
The most interesting aspect of the story was the bond between Warren Tracey and Joe Castle. The least interesting aspect of the story was how generic and typical Warren Tracey's character was.
I think he did a decent job. The characters who live in the south obviously had southern accents to differentiate. But the rest of the characters sounded similar.
I could see it being made into a movie. There are a few scenes that would really translate well into film. If Charlie Sheen was a little younger, he would fit the role of Warren Tracey perfectly.
I thought the book was predictable, but I was still happy with the ending.
Living my life one chapter at a time!
I never got to read the print version but the audio edition was fantastic.
The best part of the story had to be when Warren & Joe got to sit down together and talk face to face.
My favorite character was Joe Castle.
The book had many moments that made me laugh and also gave a profound sadness. As a huge baseball fan, it was a touching and nostalgic tale. It made you feel for Joe, seeing the potential greatness be destroyed by one man who was hurtful to everyone from family to teammates.
The only negative I would say is, leading to that critical turning point in the story, the narration could've been a bit more dramatic. Maybe add some kind of audio for the pitch, even a sound of the ball hitting Joe and the noise reaction from the fans in the stadium.
I like BIG books and I cannot lie!
My second book I chose was Calico Joe. I’m a sports fan so it was a no brainer for me. The narrator has a fantastic way of making the characters come alive and intertwines the events with an artistic flair. This allowed me to effortlessly switch between the flashbacks of how the events unfolded when Paul was young and Paul’s journey to right them as a grown man. So I was able to picture different characters young and old in my head as I listened, which I think is important to a listener or reader that way you don’t mesh everything together and it becomes a lost cause of separating characters. I have a good knowledge of baseball, and for anyone who’s not a major follower of baseball, I will caution you that the first chapter may be difficult to listen to, but worth sticking it out. Plus if you never knew a thing about baseball maybe this will give you the drive to get into it, or maybe not, either way just get through the 1st chapter and the book really opens up. Once the relationship between Paul’s father and Joe is revealed, baseball knowledge is no longer necessary. I understand why Grisham layered the details of Joe’s first few games, and baseball geeks will love it, but Calico Joe is really a book about people, forgiveness and relationships. Therefore, it’s good for anyone, sports fan or not. This book wasn’t as good as Beat The Reaper, but it was a breath of fresh air after listening to that one, that’s for suuuuuuuuuuure!
I really liked the dual time periods in the book, the start of Calico Joe's red hot career, his down to earth attitude about what was happening to him, along with the hero worship of a little boy who really has an "in" with professional baseball, along with what is happening in the present dealing with those same characters.
Anything is Possible....
Lovers of Baseball
Joe Castle (known as "Calico Joe"), He is a character of extreme virtue, who donates his signing bonus to a variety of charities. The character just knows how to humbly approach any difficult situation and outcome
smooth, steady and sophisticated
I would say their were instances where I felt more powerful chills and emotions base on Erik Singer's performance. His voice is very smooth and sophisticated so in my opinion he doesn't speak in a manner that will make you laugh. But he will speak in a manner that will give you powerful emotions. A story I felt this emotion was when Joe Calico started his career off and hit 3 back to back to back home runs. His other stats to start the season off includee getting a hit in his first 15 at bats (that is just unheard of in baseball, and it vividly is displayed to us through Erik Singer's powerful manner)
If you are a long time fan of John Grisham and you enjoy baseball, then this book is the perfect match for you!
I think every one loves an underdog story and that is what we have here with Calico Joe.
His rise from the minor league to "the majors" i thought was awesome because of the circumstances that got him there.
When Joe homers his first three times at bat as a rookie has to be for me the most memorable because of how incredibly rare that happens.
smooth, befitting, savy
The real colossus of clout
A great book for all baseball lovers and those who enjoy an underdog story.
Baseball fans rejoice. This book is full of descriptive recaps of famous baseball games and domestic violence between a father and son. The story surrounds a young man growing up in a tough household where daddy didn't love him enough and he was pushed too hard to succeed. I'm in no way standing up for the actions of the father, nor am I saying that the author didn't have a hard life. What I am saying is the name of the book is "Calico Joe" and the only information the author knows about Calico Joe is from newspaper articles and what he's seen on tv. It would be the same as me writing a book about the president and leading readers to believe it is anything more than which your average American knows about him or her (depending on how future political events go this might be possible).
The only time the author gives any important first hand information, he is too far away to actually hear what's going on and it is assumed he makes up the dialog between them because he goes in depth on what is spoke during this conversation yet he several times he does not know what is said. With other important events the author makes a point to talk more about his personal reactions, inner turmoil or assumptions into what the other people are thinking that what is actually going on at the time.
So for someone who supposedly spends his whole life trying to avoid letting people know he is the son of a famous baseball player, the only reason anyone would read this book is because of it.
This book really made me think a lot of my late father, a huge baseball fan. It made me smile and touched on things that are close to my heart. The overall story is a good one, but if you are not a baseball person it could be a bit difficult to get into the beginning. I enjoyed it and it moved along quickly. Gotta love a good baseball story.
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