Calico Joe: A Novel

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Calico Joe: A Novel

by John Grisham

Random House Publishing Group | March 26, 2013 | Trade Paperback

Calico Joe: A Novel is rated 4.4 out of 5 by 5.
“Grisham knocks it out of the park.”—The Washington Post
 
It’s the summer of 1973, and Joe Castle is the boy wonder of baseball, the greatest rookie anyone has ever seen. The kid from Calico Rock, Arkansas, dazzles Chicago Cubs fans as he hits home run after home run, politely tipping his hat to the crowd as he shatters all rookie records. Calico Joe quickly becomes the idol of every baseball fan in America, including Paul Tracey, the young son of a hard-partying and hard-throwing New York Mets pitcher. On the day that Warren Tracey finally faces Calico Joe, Paul is in the stands, rooting for his idol but also for his dad. Then Warren throws a fastball that will change their lives forever.
 
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
“An enjoyable, heartwarming read that’s not just for baseball fans.”—USA Today
 
“Grisham has hit a home run. . . . Calico Joe is a great read, a lyrical ode to baseball, small-town America, youthful innocence and a young boy’s search for heroes.”—The Buffalo News
 
“[A] pleasure . . . Suffice to say [Grisham] knows his way around the ballpark as well as he does a courtroom.”—The Washington Times

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 240 pages, 7.98 × 5.26 × 0.64 in

Published: March 26, 2013

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0345536649

ISBN - 13: 9780345536648

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible Book If you are a baseball fan or just love reading John Grisham books this one is for you. The storyline itself is amazing love how all the characters keep you glued to each page. Certainly this book is a great read for all young and old who love baseball. It talks about how one man's goal to reunite two players that haven't spoken to one another in years. Two thumbs up would recommend this book for all to read.
Date published: 2013-07-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sweet little book by an amazing author Calico Joe by John Grisham was a sweet liitle book which I read in, what seemed like minutes. Grisham brings Calico Joe to life and makes you wish that he really exsited (while you kind of wished Warren Tracey did not!). The downhome feel of the entire book isnot something you expect from Grisham, but it delivers a quality story with a strong morale undertone which questions: can you really be forgiven when you've done something horrible in life? Great little book certainly worth a read for any casual reader who can enjoy a tragic life story with a little baseball mixed in.
Date published: 2013-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Code of Baseball, A Ruined Childhood & A Trip Down Memory Lane! Review Written by Bernie Weisz, Historian Pembroke Pines, Florida, U.S.A. September 30, 2012 Contact: BernWei1@aol.com Title of Review: The Code of Baseball, A Ruined Childhood & A Trip Down Memory Lane! Anyone that became a teenager in the early 1970's will immediately take to John Grisham's "Calico Joe." Especially one that grew up in New York and liked baseball. I know, I was one of them. Grisham's book revolves around a washed up, aging picture for the New York Mets named Paul Tracy and his mercurial, volatile relationship with his son Paul. Added in is a rookie phenom for the Cubs named Joe Castle. Castle, dubbed "Calico Joe," sets major league records in his 1973 rookie debut for consecutive games safely hit. Paul Castle fell in love with Calico Joe, even keeping a scrapbook of his accolades unbeknownst to his father. Grisham portrays Warren as a philanderer, a beanball artist, a drunkard and an abusive husband and father. Shades of the Tony Conigliaro incident are introduced when the Cubs come into town to play the Mets with the National League East pennant on the line. With Paul and his disgruntled mother in the stands at Shea Stadium, the two watch as Castle goes up against his father after successfully pounding Warren for a hit his first time up. The "code of baseball" is introduced, at least Warren's conception of it. If a batsman shows up the pitcher in any way the previous at bat, or is a cocky rookie, the next at bat will surely be a beanball. However, Warren was a cruel, mean "headhunter," and demanded Paul be like him in playing Little League. Without any remorse, the senior Tracy will throw at anyone's head as revenge, rarely missing. In Castle's second at bat, the lives of both the Castle and Tracy are forever changed. The ironies involved and the unpredictable twists of fate make this novel truly amazing. The names thrown out, e.g. Tom Seaver, Bobby Murcer, Ron Santo, Ferguson Jenkins, etc., bring back such vivid memories of a reader's lost youthhood that it is impossible to not love and embrace this fantastically written novel. Even more realistic are the memories Grisham introduces, such as his descriptions of the Long Island Railroad being ridden, Willets Point in Flushing and both old Shea and Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field, etc., with fitting descriptions of the temperaments of the fans of each. Grisham fast forwards forty years later and cleverly plays out a scenario involving Warren, dying of cancer, a caustic Paul and a forever enfeebled Joe Castle. The realism is strikingly apparent, regardless of Grisham's introduction of a fictional protagonist. In fact, the author cleverly let former Cub infielder Don Kessinger proof read and correct "Calico Joe" for realism. Kessinger's interjections make this story so absorbing, captivating and realistic that anyone reading this cannot but be spellbound by "Calico Joe." Memories flash of Carl Mays, Ray Chapman and Tony C. Mays was a right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball from 1915 to 1929. Despite impressive career statistics, he is primarily remembered for throwing a beanball on August 16, 1920, that struck and killed Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians, making Chapman the only Major League player to die as a direct result of an injury sustained on the field. Similarly, Tony Conigliaro nicknamed "Tony C" played for the Boston Red Sox during their "Impossible Dream" season of 1967. He was hit in the face by a pitch from Jack Fisher, causing a severe eye injury and derailing his career. Though he would make a dramatic comeback from the injury, his career was not the same afterwards. Whether you like baseball or not, "Calico Joe" has something for any reader, guaranteeing a satisfying read!
Date published: 2012-09-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Calico Joe In Calico Joe John Grisham tells a baseball story that you will have your opening your internet browser to learn more about the characters on which it is based. But the characters are not real—at least not the main characters. Joe Castle, a young phenom tearing up the major leagues in his rookie season, is fictional. Warren Tracey, an aging, desperate and just plain mean Mets pitcher, is fictional. But these fictional characters play their games with real members of the 1973 Chicago Cubs and New York Mets. Tom Seaver, Rusty Staub, Lou Brock and Willy Mays all make appearances. Paul Tracey, son of the aging, desperate, and just plain mean pitcher, tells the story in two past and present parts: his adult quest to set right a wrong, and his reflections on how it felt to witness that dramatic wrong as an eleven-year-old. The pre-teen Paul plays Little League baseball, worships his father′s Mets teammates, and idolizes Joe Castle. The adult Paul struggles to set aside disillusionment to pursue some form of resolution. Calico Joe is about the delicate balance of fortunes in professional sports. It's about forgiveness, even against long odds, and how forgiveness opens doors to new opportunities. It's about realizing that when forgiveness isn't possible, maybe acceptance is enough. John Grisham knows how to tell a story. What I like best about him is that you don't feel Grisham himself in his books; he doesn't try to insert himself or his own agendas. Grisham honours the story and lets it tell itself as it is best told. You want action thrillers with cliff hangers and perfectly timed plot twists? Grisham can do it. You want a gentle baseball story with compelling characters and plenty of room for reflection? He can do that to. I am an avid baseball fan, so I enjoyed the play-by-play accounts of action on the field. I can't separate out that part of myself enough to say whether this story would appeal to a general audience or not. I suspect not. An awed regard for the game of baseball would certainly help a person to appreciate this book. If you like to while away an afternoon at the park with a beer and a dog in hand, if you like to relax and let the action unfold as it will, if you like to observe the delicate balance of fortunes and to see which way they fall, then while away an afternoon with this book. The beer and the dog are optional.
Date published: 2012-09-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fathers, sons and the greatest game... John Grisham is one of the most recognizable names in fiction today. He is well known for his legal thrillers, but has also written a number of novels outside of that genre. His latest - Calico Joe - fall into that category. Paul Tracey gets a call one day - Warren, the father he hasn't seen in years, is dying. Paul's reaction? "After a few minutes, I admit the truth - life without Warren will be the same as life with him." But this call does stir up old hurts, memories and unfinished business. We're taken back to Paul's childhood for the beginning of the tale. Warren made it to the big leagues - he was a pitcher for the Mets in 1973. He was also a womanizer, a hard drinker, a man with a temper and a man with a family who was happy to not have him home. Paul loved baseball as well. He played himself and could cite the stats on any team. When a young phenom named Joe from Calico Rock, Arkansas is called up to play for the Cubs, he takes the country (and young Paul) by storm. Never before has there been such a player. And then the Mets and the Cubs face off... Yes, Calico Joe is a sports story, but it's much more than that. It's the story of a father and son and redemption. I played ball when I was younger, so the sports stats didn't throw me at all and won't detract from the story for non sports readers. They really set the scene for the emotional strings that Grisham deftly pulls as he carefully builds the story of Calico Joe, young Paul and his father. Calico Joe is listed as a novel, but I thought of it more as story telling. I could picture myself listening to this one over the radio in days gone by or sitting listening to a retired player sharing a tale from the old days. As one character in the book says "But it doesn't matter: he loves to talk and tell stories....I am delighted to be here and happy to listen." As was I. A one sitting read and another home run from Grisham.
Date published: 2012-04-13

– More About This Product –

Calico Joe: A Novel

by John Grisham

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 240 pages, 7.98 × 5.26 × 0.64 in

Published: March 26, 2013

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0345536649

ISBN - 13: 9780345536648

From the Publisher

“Grisham knocks it out of the park.”—The Washington Post
 
It’s the summer of 1973, and Joe Castle is the boy wonder of baseball, the greatest rookie anyone has ever seen. The kid from Calico Rock, Arkansas, dazzles Chicago Cubs fans as he hits home run after home run, politely tipping his hat to the crowd as he shatters all rookie records. Calico Joe quickly becomes the idol of every baseball fan in America, including Paul Tracey, the young son of a hard-partying and hard-throwing New York Mets pitcher. On the day that Warren Tracey finally faces Calico Joe, Paul is in the stands, rooting for his idol but also for his dad. Then Warren throws a fastball that will change their lives forever.
 
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
“An enjoyable, heartwarming read that’s not just for baseball fans.”—USA Today
 
“Grisham has hit a home run. . . . Calico Joe is a great read, a lyrical ode to baseball, small-town America, youthful innocence and a young boy’s search for heroes.”—The Buffalo News
 
“[A] pleasure . . . Suffice to say [Grisham] knows his way around the ballpark as well as he does a courtroom.”—The Washington Times

About the Author

John Grisham is the author of twenty-five novels, including, most recently, The Racketeer; one work of nonfiction; a collection of stories; and a series for young readers. The recipient of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, he is also the chairman of the board of directors of the Mississippi Innocence Project at the University of Mississippi School of Law. He lives in Virginia and Mississippi.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Calico Joe
 
“Grisham knocks it out of the park.”—The Washington Post
 
“An enjoyable, heartwarming read that’s not just for baseball fans.”—USA Today
 
Praise for John Grisham
 
“Never let it be said this man doesn’t know how to spin a good yarn.”—Entertainment Weekly
 
“Grisham may well be the best American storyteller writing today.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer