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 John Grisham (P)2012 Random House Audio
There is lots of baseball memorabilia with play by play descriptions. Not recommended for those who are not interested in the sport.
Prescription Crime Defense Attorney; Author of Two Books; Married 38 Years; Two Grown Children - One in Peace Corps; Four Dogs; Twelve Cats
In order to be fair I will have to go back and rate many of Grisham's previous books as all five stars; but this one was terrible. It was shallow, predictable, grossly overpriced for a four hour book - and to a true baseball fan completely unbelievable.
Sure; he is a great writer who had a bad at bat.
Yes, it was slow and boring too.
Everything after the title. It had promise.
My son played John Grisham's son Ty in a baseball game in Jacksonville in the early 90s. He clearly loves the game, and has done a lot of good things with his money for kids in general and sports in particular.
He is a wonderful man, an excellent author. . .this book is beneath him.
I haven't read the print version, but the audio could hardly have been better.
I've never read a book quite like it
I can't put a finger on it. He just seemed perfect for the story. I have no idea how he would have done if he had to impersonate many characters.
A story of baseball and redemption (though the word redemption might give too much away)
A wonderful story in every way. Suitable for all ages and tastes.
A MUST READ for all baseball fans!!! Brings back memories from your own favorite teams---- Cincinnitti pitcher hitting Cardinal's Pujols on his broken wrist last year---remembrance for me. We all love our teams and players!! I happened to finish this book on Friday, April13, when the Cubs beat my Cardinals 8-5, when one of our great pitchers, Wainright, pitched on comeback from Tommy John's surgery. I so wanted him to do great! So, we all have our great memories!!
Hitting on the head-----terrible. Really enjoyed hearing ( I listened on Audible) this story of a great player I had not heard about, but so glad I have now. Once again, personal memories. The Cardinals new manager is the youngest rookie manager in the National League. And why is he still not playing the game---head concussions!!
BUT-- this book is also great as a father-son relationship book. Best one I've read since Pat Conroy's "The Great Santini"!! Children are not the only bullies that need to STOP BULLING!! Kids have dreams that often get destroyed by their parents bullying! This book shows the results of that in a wonderfully, emotionally, literary story! Thanks, John Grisham!
Wonderful blend of factual names, places in a fictional story. A great read for anyone who' played the game or just loves baseball.
This is a sweet story and the first two thirds of the book are a pleasant listen. I was invested in the characters, I was was interested in hearing how it ended. Then things slowed way down and came to a coughing, grinding halt at the end. In the past, I have appreciated Grisham's non-traditional endings, but this one seemed like he needed to put a little more effort into it.
This is a baseball story, but it is, mainly, a 'people' story. It brings together very different individuals, including the young, & impressionable, boy who idolizes Calico Joe, the young ball player just breaking into the big time. This boy is, also, the son of a Major League pitcher, who loves his son in his own way, but tries to instil his own values and beliefs into his son, through the use of force and strict discipline.
The boy's idol, Calico Joe, and the boy's father, are bound to cross paths, with their respective teams, during the Major League baseball season.
These three people are the main characters of the story, which takes place during one fateful summer, but actually unfolds over a period of years.
I found this a good listen, but be sure you are aware this is not the law-and-order Grisham writing.
Electrical Engineer, 51 years old father of 3.
Grisham has done it again, a non-legal novel that is really good. I do like John's legal work but have found his other books even more interesting. The ending is outstanding. There is good in all men.
But it was well done if you like this genre. Most of the book has me thinking about the terrible tragedy of a young baseball star Joe who was injured with permanent brain damage. This was done on purpose by a malicious pitcher who wanted to hurt Joe. The publisher’s summary mentions forgiveness and redemption, so I confirm that this happens. But it didn’t feel good to me. It felt too-little-too-late. There are many readers who will enjoy this, but it’s not for me. The author has done some great entertainment in the past, but this book is not entertaining. It’s introspective.
I’ve always loved Grisham for his character creation. And I liked seeing the creation of Warren the pitcher. Warren was a self-absorbed, philandering, wife-beating drunk. He was mean. He hurt his children. I liked reading about him because I’ve seen and known men like this. I liked the acknowledgment that they exist. Confirmation provides comfort somehow.
The narrator Erik Singer was excellent. This book is shorter than a typical novel - maybe a third the length.
Genre: tragedy and relationships fiction.
As I have listened to Skipping Christmas many times, I will listen to Calico Joe again. I loved it. It is a departure from lawyer books.
My favorite scene was between the two ball players
It is never to late to do the right thing
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