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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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    87
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    8
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Arthur
  • CA, CA, United States
  • 05-07-12

Good Story

What did you love best about Calico Joe?

A bit predictable however I still enjoyed the story. Very interesting relationship between the son and his father.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Calico Joe?

The Baseball games where Joe did his magic.

Which character – as performed by Erik Singer – was your favorite?

The son

If you could take any character from Calico Joe out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Joe, he was an old school baseball player who played the game hard and aggressive, it would be interesting to listen to his experiences.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good read -- even for a non-baseball fan!

Would you consider the audio edition of Calico Joe to be better than the print version?

I have not read the print version, but, as a non-baseball-addict, I would not have enjoyed wading through all of the baseball facts had I tried to read it. I would have done it, but would not have been able to deal with it as gracefully as Erik Singer, the reader, did!

Who was your favorite character and why?

I liked the main character most. In general I like Grisham's main characters. Grisham makes them likeable and realistic.

What does Erik Singer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I have listened to Erik Singer many times and he does a superb job. He uses color and inflection for the different characters without over-doing the dramatization. His performance enhances the the book.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened to it in about 2 days so I didn't miss by much! I was definitely hooked once I got started!

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  • Story
  • A.Raymond
  • Albany, Oregon, United States
  • 05-07-12

Good Story from a great storyteller!

Would you consider the audio edition of Calico Joe to be better than the print version?

Did not read the print version.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Calico Joe?

Meeting of Joe and Warren

What does Erik Singer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Did not read the book so cannot compare

If you could take any character from Calico Joe out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Newspaper Editor

Any additional comments?

No

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good Read

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

It is a good read for baseball types. However, there are some areas in the story that have to be "filled in" by the casual baseball observer.

What did you like best about this story?

Good character development.

What three words best describe Erik Singer’s performance?

No value added.

If you could take any character from Calico Joe out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Yogi Berra

Any additional comments?

none

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Baseball Lover's will enjoy this book.

What did you like best about this story?

The love of the game and the pain of the game.

Which character – as performed by Erik Singer – was your favorite?

Paul Tracey

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me nostalgic. There were very painful parts and redeeming parts.

Any additional comments?

A well written baseball story with a somewhat predictable ending, but with a surprise twist. Not your standard Grisham churn out.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Slow starting, excellent end!

Would you listen to Calico Joe again? Why?

Loved the book, it was just slow at the beginning for me with all the ball games, but that is what the book is about so it is necessary.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Grisham at his best

If you could sum up Calico Joe in three words, what would they be?

John Grisham has always done a superb job at defining the personalities and uniqueness of his characters and in this book his characters are so real it's hard to bear in mind that the story is fiction. Joe is talented but tragic!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Calico Joe - he seems so real and in view of the story's circumstances, his life seems so tragic..... even though he's not real!

What does Erik Singer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Does a great job of distinguishing among the characters with his voice and emphasis -- makes their personalities more unique

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No extreme reaction -- ending was sad but still humorous -- kind of justice after all.

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  • Story
  • Bill
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 05-07-12

Strong Feelings

Where does Calico Joe rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Sweet story of redemption in the context of baseball

What did you like best about this story?

The ending and the stories of baseball

  • Overall
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  • Story
  • Sue
  • Lafayette, IN, United States
  • 05-07-12

A good read for baseball and redemption fans

Where does Calico Joe rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Calico Joe ranks in lower average of the audiobooks I've listened to so far.

What about Erik Singer’s performance did you like?

I liked the quality of Erik Singer's voice and his involvement in the story. His performance was the reason I continued listening to the story.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Grisham hits one out of the park!

John Grisham writes a great story about character and values. Life throws many curve balls and this book nails down the fact that although bad things happen to good people, you must persevere through the tough times. Calico Joe is a refreshing story that points out how the hurt and pain of another doesn't have to destroy who you are and how you live your life. It also opens readers eyes to the redemptive value of what just saying 'you're sorry' can do for the soul - no matter your age. This is a book you will remember.