Shoeless Joe

Narrated by: Grover Gardner
Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4 out of 5 stars (283 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Shoeless Joe, the soul-stirring novel on which the movie Field of Dreams is based, is more than just another baseball story. Kinsella captures the spiritual dimension that baseball represents for its most determined devotees in this tale of love and the power of dreams to make people come alive.

“Shoeless Joe” is the great Joe Jackson, one of the eight members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox who were banned from baseball for throwing the World Series. One day, while out in his corn field, Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella hears the voice of a baseball announcer saying, “If you build it, he will come.” “He,” of course, is Ray's hero, Joe Jackson. “It” is a baseball stadium, which Ray carves out of his corn field.

©1982 W. P. Kinsella (P)1991 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Wild...romantic...unconventional....A triumph of hope.” ( Boston Globe)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story, won't be disapointed!

If you love the movie, you will love the book. Book offers more insight on who the characters are and you can see why they were cut from the movie. It is like watching the expanded directors cut of the movie. Who doesn't want Field of Dreams to last another hour with good content?

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A thoroughly American novel

The book is less streamlined than Field of Dreams - there's at least 1.5 times as much story here - and a lot of the stuff that didn't make the script is cut from the same cloth. It's thoroughly American, spiritual and unapologetically sentimental. Kinsella came up with all of the scenes you love if you love the movie. It's all his story. The only things I'd criticize is that it reads like he made it up as he went along, and that's especially apparent when it contradicts itself in one very important element of its mythology (what lies beyond the cornfield). It also wants the reader to respect baseball as a religion while showing an ugly contempt for other people's beliefs.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Baseball Magic

If you grew up with a love for the game, or a love of the movie, or love pure, u ironic magical realism, than you will love this story. The writer gets a little carried away with his characters' monologues at times, but I think it's charming. A tale from just long enough ago to feel nostalgic and timeless in a really good way. It isn't for everyone. I imagine that if you didn't really love baseball, than it would come across as charming, but odd. But is baseball is in your blood, than it is absolutely delicious.

2 people found this helpful

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Field of Dreams story

I got this book after realizing it was the backstory to the Field of Dreams movie. I loved that movie as I am a physician who trained in Iowa City. I've also been to the field in Dyersville three times. The story was interesting. I liked the changes made in the movie as they improved the eloquence. The book was a bit too wordy but still very enjoyable.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very good

This is, of course, the book that the movie FIELD OF DREAMS was based on. And although the book came before the movie, I'm afraid this is one of the rare times when the movie is better. All the elements are here, but there is a lot of things that the movie rightfully cut; such as the carnival barker twin brother, the dreamer elderly farm owner, and the stops at every ballpark in the road trip. Also, another major change is Terence Mann is actually J.D. Salinger, author of The Catcher In The Rye. From what I've researched, the change was made after the REAL Salinger threatened litigation. Overall, however, the book is well worth reading (listening to). The author has a great wit and natural talent.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Don't let this book ruin the movie for you

My two favorite genres of books and movies are Sci-fi and Baseball, albeit not together but that might be interesting as well. Field of Dreams has always been a favorite movie of mine and didn't know that it was based on a book until I re-watched the movie recently and saw that it was based on a book of a different title. This one really touches on that '1, 2 combination punch' described above, but not too fantastical.

It wasn't with hesitation that I picked this book up, but is so with my recommendation for it. The only reason I gave this book 4 stars was because the story is amazing. Yes you get that from the movie, and yes it's much better in film. However I always like the original and seeing where Hollywood departs from the writer.

Again, the movie really is so much better, but there is a sweet little gem in the book that is a departure from the film that I became enchanted with and have learned additional information separately about 'JDS' and his WWII Veteran status. This alone makes the book worth the time.

Also, I didn't enjoy the narrator and continuously longed to here Kevin Costner's voice.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Build it and they will come

I first read this in the early 80’s and loved it. Re-reading it, I still think the book has great qualities- especially Kinsella’s writing - near poetry!
In my old age, I am a little less tolerant of “magic realism” - but I still love the book. I am less enchanted by baseball than I was, but Kinsella almost restores my earlier enthusiasm.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, bad sound recording

I loved the book, the actor did a good job of reading it but the recording was of poor quality. it did improve when listened to with my wireless speaker but I was disappointed with the quality of the recording.

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Wow! Wow! Wow! My Fav Audible Book Ever!

Loved this book! He has such an imagination, wonderful dialogue, outstanding lyrical writing style, love of similes, and beautiful descriptions. Baseball was my first love, and I love it to this day. This book illustrates why. What a wonderful and engaging novel!!! Field of Dreams was a great movie, and this is even so much better than that!!!

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Good story, mediocre narration

I liked the story, very magical and nostalgic. The narration wasn’t great but it got the job done.