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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
  • 5 Stars
    528
  • 4 Stars
    370
  • 3 Stars
    149
  • 2 Stars
    33
  • 1 Stars
    27

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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    544
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    324
  • 3 Stars
    88
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    7

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    497
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    284
  • 3 Stars
    137
  • 2 Stars
    27
  • 1 Stars
    23
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

well written

loved it! loved the storyline off a young boy becoming a man and the effects of a poor excuse for a father. how he makes the move to reach out near the end and he'll his f dad heal a wound... for himself, his dad, his hero, and possibly the a slew I'd sorts fans.

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  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent Read

This is certainly one if Grisham's best books. Extraordinarily well done in the plot, the characters and the subject matter. It is meaningful and highly entertaining,

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not Engaging

What would have made Calico Joe better?

The characters were very simplistic and not believable. More depth to the plot and characters could have made the book better.

What was most disappointing about John Grisham’s story?

Simplistic characters and plot.I like other Grisham books, but really did not like this one.

Would you be willing to try another one of Erik Singer’s performances?

yes

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

not in my opinion.

Any additional comments?

none

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Janet
  • Midlothian, VA, USA
  • 09-21-15

A little sappy but still enjoyable

Not a baseball book per se. The second half was a little ploddy, sappy and rather predictable. Best when baseball fans were talking about the game. Researched well enough that you sometimes forget it's fiction.

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Baseball lore for non baseball fans

I am not a baseball fan. But I am from Arkansas and have been to Calico Rock. John Grisham is truly a great story teller, teaching me baseball in a way that I can appreciate the cryptic lore of statistics and sliders and curve balls. He salts his story with just enough hints in the beginning of the story and then with flashbacks and twists in the tale he leads me on another fun journey. Loved it.

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Not For Me

I found the story boring. Not much character development except Warren Tracy a character no one could like. I am a Grisham fan so I finished listening in hopes for some Drama but this is a story about life with no surprises.

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  • Story

The best

A book that every listener should have their male offspring read. Explains the true meaning of life and how to live it. A great short novel.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Incredible Story, Awesome Narration

Loved all of this. Buy it, listen. Even if you could care less about baseball, this is an amazing story with excellent narration.

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  • Performance
  • Story

A solid read for baseball fans

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

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.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

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.

Did Erik Singer do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

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.

Could you see Calico Joe being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

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.

Any additional comments?

I thought the book was predictable, but I was still happy with the ending.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fallouts, Baseball, & Redemption

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

I never got to read the print version but the audio edition was fantastic.

What did you like best about this story?

The best part of the story had to be when Warren & Joe got to sit down together and talk face to face.

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

My favorite character was Joe Castle.

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

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.

Any additional comments?

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.