Read Calico Joe by John Grisham Online

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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,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 twenty-one-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....

Title : Calico Joe
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780385536073
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 198 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Calico Joe Reviews

  • Brina
    2018-11-17 02:22

    The blurb on the front of the book reads the great American storyteller meets our national pastime. I remember when Calico Joe came out. The Cubs were in the midst of another losing season and the radio announcers had John Grisham in their booth to discuss his new baseball book. I did not get around to reading it until now, and of course I finished in 3 hours, as it's the time of year where I binge on baseball books. Paul Tracey receives a phone call from his father's current wife that his father Warren is dying and might have three months to live tops. Warren, a mediocre journeyman pitcher, was an even worse father. Paul wavers back and forth if he should pay a visit to his father before he passes away, inevitably deciding to do so. The book is written half in present and half in flashback to the summer when Paul was 11 and Warren spiraled out of control, essentially ending Paul's childhood innocence.It is 1973. The Cubs having floundered in 1969 were back in the pennant race. After injuries to their starting first baseman, they call up 21 year old Joe Castle from double a. He is an instant success and America falls in love with him immediately. To top things off, he is from small town Calico Rock, Arkansas and easily identifiable to Americans pursuing the American Dream. He easily becomes Paul's idol as well, and Paul immediately checks the Mets schedule to see when the Cubs will be coming to town. All is going well for Castle and the Cubs until they meet the hated Mets in New York for a crucial four game series. Warren is scheduled to pitch for the Mets and Paul and his mother go to the game. The mood is electric. Joe hits a home run in his first at bat and Paul is ecstatic. And then the unthinkable happens. In his second at bat, Warren throws at Joe's head and knocks him unconscious. Paul and his mother leave the stadium and he does not watch another game for thirty years. Joe falls into a coma and never plays baseball again. Fast forward to the present when Paul learns that Warren is dying. He decides that once and for all Warren should apologize to Joe and sets off cross country to make that reconciliation possible. In order not to give much away, the rest of this quick read is about forgiveness and family with baseball as a backdrop. For a baseball fan like myself, I easily identified with baseball as motif for life. Even if you do not like baseball, this book is an enjoyable read. It is about a father and son making amends for what was and moving forward in life. I am glad I finally picked up Calico Joe and rediscovered John Grisham and am looking forward to reading and rereading more of his books.

  • Jay Connor
    2018-11-26 22:50

    The greatest triumph in today’s popular fiction could be the equal success John Grisham gets from his deepest hatred and his richest love. Most know that Grisham the author of a number of good and best-selling legal thrillers hates the law. Or more precisely hates the act of lawyering. Fewer probably know that Grisham loves baseball. He coaches his son’s teams and gives mightily to building fields of dreams in both Virginia and, his native, Mississippi.With “Calico Joe,” Grisham tells a wonderful story about baseball and redemption. Grisham has dipped into sports before with the winning "Playing for Pizza," about football. But here he has delivered a baseball allegory to rival the best ever – "The Natural" or "Field of Dreams." Cub’s fans will truly enjoy. No, the Cubs don’t miraculously make it to the World Series. (Even Grisham has to stay tethered to some degree of reality). But they are central to this story of a soaring career brought to an end way too early; to the redemption, not of the perpetrator but of the victim; and to all 10 year old boys’ need for heroes.Please read and enjoy.

  • Steve
    2018-11-20 00:34

    4.5 stars.John Grisham, obviously, is a very accomplished writer of tense legal thrillers, all of which are best sellers. Every once in a while, he strays from that genre and writes simply fantastic day-in-the-life type books of which I can't get enough. This is one of those books, and fits right along with "Playing for Pizza" and "A Painted House". Those two books weren't well received, but for some reason, I like those a whole lot more that the legal thrillers. There's something about how he captures emotions and passion of simple people, people with dreams and goals, people with problems, and how events often overcome both the dreams and the problems.This is a quick read about a young hot-shot ball player out of Calico Rock, Arkansas, his meteoric rise in the majors and the end of his career after just a few games in the summer of 1973. It is also the story of a young boy who idolized him, and the impact Calico Joe had on his life.Highly recommended for baseball fans, and fans of good, solid writing.

  • Jennifer
    2018-12-04 00:38

    Fan of baseball? Not a fan of baseball? Doesnt' matter-this book is a must read! This is so much more than a book about baseball. It's about family, heartache, broken promises, disappointments, growing up...mostly forgiveness and resiliance. You ache for Paul Tracey, his sister and Mom. You are so so disappointed in his father, MLB pitcher, Warren Tracey. He is far from a role model; even farther from father of the year. How could this emotionally charged story have a positive ending-what's the saving grace? Grisham remarkably pulls it off-gets to the heart of the matter...making you root for, and get, that perfect, satisfying ending... but perhaps, not without a few tears!

  • Susan
    2018-11-15 03:41

    Calico JoeJohn GrishamCALICO JOE is not like any other John Grisham book I have ever read. It is a story about fathers and sons and forgiveness and letting go of events in the past. My husband is a life long Cubs fan and I pulled him right in with the story of Calico Joe. Paul Tracey gets a call from his father's current wife. His father Warren is dying. He was an okay pitcher for the New York Mets back when Calico Joe was playing for the Cubs. He was a horrible father and was very abusive to his wife as well as his children. The best days were when Warren was on the road traveling with the Mets. Paul wrestles with the idea that since his father is dying, maybe it would be the right time to find Joe Castle and get the two of them to meet once again. When Paul was eleven years old, his father did something to CALICO JOE that was horrible, unthinkable and changed Joe's life forever. The story goes back and forth to when Paul was a child and to now an adult. My heart broke over and over again for Paul and his mom and how disgusting his father treated them. Warren is a very mean man not only to his family but to other players as well. Then when he does that horrible act, it changes the lives of Joe, Paul, and Warren as well. I dare you to read CALICO JOE without getting emotionally invested in all of them. You won't be able to do it.Warren is a very jealous man, but especially of CALICO JOE. He can't stand the fact that his own son is just like the rest of America, worshipping Calico Joe. Warren will never be known as a role model and it doesn't seem to bother him at all. Your heart will break for Paul and Joe just like mine did so don't even try to fight it. John Grisham totally hits this heart tugging story out of the park! I hated Warren from the very first pages. How could he not feel any remorse at all for what he had done? You don't have to love baseball, or even sports to love this wonderful and emotional story. At times, I felt like I was right there at the game, smelling the hot dogs, and cheering every time I heard the crack of the bat!

  • Marla
    2018-11-23 01:33

    If you are a baseball fan, this is a great read. It's a small book so doesn't take very long.

  • thewanderingjew
    2018-12-07 04:20

    John Grisham has hit this one out of the park. It isn't masquerading as rocket science; it is simply a tender tale of baseball, told with all the glory, and even the horror, that sometimes may accompany the game.It is hard to know, at first, if this book is for adults or young adults, especially because of the cover which appears a bit juvenile, but perhaps it is for both, even though the subject matter may get dicey, with the inclusion of a dying parent who has also been physically abusive and sadistic, throughout much of his life. However, I thought Grisham handled those difficult concepts precisely, so they were not overwhelming, but were rather easy to deal with, leaving the reader with a lesson in humility, as the story dealt with feelings of remorse and hoped for redemption.Baseball lovers, everywhere, will have to love and identify with this brief, less than 200 page book, covering some real and some made up out of whole cloth, baseball lore. Although, I thought the book started out a little too simplistically, almost like a fairy tale, with all the parts falling into place perfectly as if a puppet handler was moving the characters around, the story, in the end, fell into place perfectly. It is packed with tender emotions: excitement, compassion, disappointment, joy, tragedy, and finally, comprehension and forgiveness. It takes the reader through all of these feelings with a gentle grace.It is 1973: it is the Cardinals vs the Cubs. Fate converges to bring Joe Castle to a magic day on the baseball field. He is brought up to the major leagues to play in the pennant race for the Cubs; he is a rookie with the chance of a lifetime, an up and coming star because two of the Cub's players have been injured. He breaks records left and right and becomes America’s hero. Paul Tracey, son of a mediocre Mets player, Warren Tracey, adores baseball and worships Joe, angering his jealous father. When a horrific, not so accidental injury during the pennant race takes Joe permanently out of his baseball career, the world mourns his loss and is in an uproar and aims its fury at Warren, the pitcher who injured him. For the next 30 years, Warren’s son Paul thinks about the accident, and he believes it was caused deliberately by his dad. He is driven by a need to try and make amends. His dad has never shown remorse and merely considers the injury a risk of the game. When Paul hears that the dad he has been estranged from, for years, is dying, he reaches out to him to help him make peace with Joe Castle, before his death. He is not a much loved parent; he abandoned his family, has been distant, neglectful, and abusive, not inspiring any attachment or even sadness for his suffering, from those he left behind. How he decides to conclude his life is an important theme of the book. How Paul arranges for his father and Joe to meet and make peace, is the lesson of the book.Baseball lovers everywhere will have to love Joe and identify with his hero quality, his quiet humility, and his amazing success, especially today because we are in the era of the great football player Tebow and the basketball whiz kid, Jeremy Lin. The fantasy Grisham creates, coupled with some real historic events, make this little charmer a page turner.

  • Darcy
    2018-11-20 05:47

    I feel like I should preface this review by saying that I don't like baseball, in fact I think I would rather watch paint dry, it is just as exciting. So it was with great trepidation that I picked up this book and how very surprised by how much I loved this book by the end. The book isn't really about baseball, it just happens to be the catalyst for many of the actions in the book.I really liked the dual time periods in the book, the start of Calico Joe's red hot career, his down to earth attitude about what was happening to him, along with the hero worship of a little boy who really has an "in" with professional baseball, along with what is happening in the present dealing with those same characters.In both the past and the present I loved Joe, thought he was a class act in either time period, his actions telling to his character. Paul was another character that I loved right away. My heart broke for him in the past, his knowledge of what was going to happen, and then having to live with it. As an adult Paul was just as sweet as that little boy and just as brave. I like how he dealt with Warren, matter of fact and not caring about him, because really he doesn't deserve it. Warren, on the other hand, is a piece of crap in either time period. I almost hate to say it, but Warren's present is just what he deserved.The ending was great, because really the people that needed the connection to happen were Joe and Paul. I loved the surprise that Joe had for Paul, love that it was important to him, and love that Paul got it back. I wish that we would be able to see what Paul writes at the end, because I think that he could finally give Joe the recognition he deserved.

  • Gary
    2018-12-04 05:42

    I enjoyed this story and would have marked it higher if only there was less details on baseball. Maybe it would have worked better for me if it was based around a sport I am more familiar with. On the positive side there were some excellent characters and the plot was solid but a little simple. Another John Grisham novel that is a change from the court room classics he is more known for.

  • Blair
    2018-12-12 03:42

    Calico Joe is a pleasant parable on the vicissitudes of life in professional sport, where one decision made in the heat of the moment can destroy a promising career, and also on the holding of life-long grudges, forgiveness and redemption. I've long been a fan of Grisham's courtroom and legal novels, and although this is a stark departure from that genre, I enjoyed the book very much.The author handles Calico Joe with compassion and a distinct lack of hyperbole. Centered around a baseball player who had it all before him but for whom it all came crashing down, this story should appeal to sports and literature lovers alike.

  • Ronna
    2018-11-17 05:29

    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!

  • Malcolm
    2018-12-05 04:31

    The place where this book failed was at the beginning.Grisham, a gifted writer of course, made a choice to write in the point of view of a boy whose father is a baseball player, and has since grown up. Much of the book is this man looking back about events and decisions that happened around his father -- especially one event inside baseball.The problem with choosing this point of view is that everything the boy saw and remembered later was from the outside -- from the stands, from far away. I already know what professional baseball looks like from far away, I wanted to see it up close.This is not a spoiler, the son's relationship with his father is highly estranged (outlined on page 1). Since it is so distant, all of the feelings and motivations of his father are also removed from our view. The one professional baseball player close enough to touch is distant and cold -- not really what I was hoping to find in a Grisham novel about baseball.My hopes had been to go with Grisham and stand on second base, to hear the jokes in the dugout, to sweat over the 3-2 count while gripping the ball behind my back as I prepared for my next pitch. I wanted to see that a player's relationship with his wife had affected his swing because I'm inside his head ... instead, I get pages and pages of fake statistics and artificial results of games that didn't happen ... all tracked from the viewpoint of a boy who would have liked to idolize his dad, but couldn't.Finally, I think Grisham gave up. Often his characters would break with their original descriptions. Some players would be defined as highly protective, and then turn around with open arms to the seeming threat, other characters would be written as surly and unreachable, but they would arbitrarily change their minds and "do the right thing" with no further explanation necessary.It could have been a great game on the field with Grisham, but instead it was a tired conversation, sitting in the stands, years after the game was over.

  • Noah
    2018-12-14 06:36

    This was a pleasant read; I like baseball, so that made it easy. It wasn't a page-turner in classic Grisham sense, but I read through it pretty quickly anyway. I wasn't on the edge of my seat, which is why the word "pleasant" came to mind - just pleasurable reading. Despite the potential for sentimentalism there really wasn't anyway; it was almost as if the son was disinterested in the whole thing, not as in, not interested, but removed from being concerned about the consequences. Just thought that getting the two old men together was the right thing to do, and did it, not having stake in how it would turn out. Which is how it reads too - the story didn't pull me in, in a way that I particularly cared about the characters, but I still wanted to keep reading. I liked the image, towards the end, of Warren, old & exhausted, falling asleep on the drive to the airport with his Mets hat on; the way that the son was now taking care of the father.There were a few little baseball-ish things that reminded me of the sometimes almost holy place the sport has held for me in times past; like the son as a boy, talking about how he would spend hours in his room at night keeping track of several games (getting stations from Philly, Boston, Montreal, & Baltimore), or how the only televised games outside of the World Series and the All Star Game were the "games of the week," where you know people across the nation would be watching.

  • Kelley
    2018-12-01 04:49

    Book read for Book Discussion groupI loved this story! This is, at heart, a story of fathers and sons. Although the father in this story was a pitcher for the Mets, he wasn't the made for TV professional player; he made terrible decisions at home and on the field. His son, Paul, discovers that his father is dying of cancer. He doesn't want to try to mend fences between them, it's far too late for that, but he would like his father to apologize to Calico Joe. His father intentionally threw a pitch at Joe during the 1973 season that ended Joe's career and very nearly killed him.

  • Jessie Frederick
    2018-12-05 03:49

    I like to assign the tag "24 hour read" to books that only take me a day to get through. Calico Joe falls into that bunch, but in reality it only took me about 18 hours with a night of sleep thrown into the mix. You do the math. A quick book that, overall, kept me interested and engaged.I guess I'll start with the reasons this book earned 4 stars. I like the story. I like looking into the father/son relationship, especially when it's rocky and tumultuous. Unfortunately, I can very much relate, so I felt a personal connection to the story and characters. The ending was great, too. That's what really got me. Without spoiling it, I will say that had I not finished the book at work, I probably would have teared up through the last five or six chapters. The chapters themselves were also pretty short, which is always a positive in my book. Most were about five or six pages with a couple reaching the nine to ten page mark. I also thought Grisham did a great job at making the story seem believable. I shamefully have to admit that I had to google if this was actually fiction or if the characters and story line were based off true people and events. The only reason I didn't give Calico Joe 5 stars is because it's definitely a "boy book" and heavily geared toward baseball fans. I think I can safely say that if you don't like baseball or know anything about the sport, you're not going to like this book. There's a lot of info about stats and the rules of the game, and if you don't know or aren't interested, you'll be setting this book aside by chapter six. Now, I like baseball. I'm a big Braves fan. (And yeah, Grisham, I saw all the shade you were throwing to Atlanta early on. You're lucky you redeemed yourself at the end.) So I understood everything. But even still, I feel like too much emphasis was put on the game and every detail of Joe Castle's and Warren Tracey's careers, especially at the beginning. A few chapters in I started wondering what the whole point of this story was and why I was getting all this background detail. By the end, I felt it all necessary to really set the tone and play into the build up in the last few chapters, but I don't know... I feel like it all could have been presented a little more concisely.A small criticism in the big scheme of things, and for me personally, it didn't really detract from me enjoying the book. A good, easy read and something I'd recommend to baseball fans.

  • Jane Stewart
    2018-12-12 04:40

    It’s not my kind of book because it was sad and depressing. But it was well done if you like this genre.Most of the book has me thinking about the terrible tragedy (view spoiler)[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. (hide spoiler)] But it didn't feel good to me. It felt too-little-too-late. There is also a story about the pitcher's son who is on a journey which was interesting. But his recollections of life with his father were sad. 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.DATA:Unabridged audiobook reading time: 4 hrs and 35 mins. Swearing language: moderate. Sexual content: none. Setting: 1973 and 2003 various locations in the U.S. Copyright: 2012. Genre: tragedy and relationships fiction.

  • Suzy
    2018-12-05 01:29

    This short book (only 4 1/2 hours of listening) packs a punch on many levels. It alternates between the summer of 1973 and present time and is a story about baseball fans and players, fathers and sons, redemption and forgiveness. Paul Tracy, the son of a Mets pitcher, tells the story from the vantage point of his 12-year-old self and from his 40-ish married father-of-two self. Calico Joe Castle, a phenom of the 1973 Cubs team, is called up from the minors and starts his career with 12 hits in 12 at bats, 5 of which were home runs. He just got better from there and captured the awe of baseball fans everywhere regardless of team affiliation. For anyone who loves baseball, the passages about that summer describing the games, the fanatical fans and the thrill of seeing someone so phenomenal are, well, thrilling themselves.Paul also tells the present-day story of his estranged relationship with his very difficult father, who is portrayed as a nasty pitcher and a nasty father/husband who leaves the family not too long after that summer of 1973. His father is diagnosed with cancer and is dying. Paul wants to have one last chance for his father to make amends. The passages about what led to wanting to make amends and what transpires in the process are heart-rending and touching.I listened to this book over Father's Day weekend and thought that was just about perfect. The narrator was outstanding! I loved Grisham's other book about sports, Playing for Pizza so I had high hopes for this one. While they are very different books, I was not disappointed.

  • Suzanne
    2018-11-13 01:48

    For years, superstar author John Grisham has wanted to write a novel about baseball. Unfortunately, the story just never came to him. Then, a couple of years ago, Grisham read a story about Ray Chapman, a baseball player who was killed by getting hit with a fast pitch. There was much speculation about whether the player was “beaned” intentionally. Grisham thought this would make an excellent basis for a story, and so we have his latest novel, Calico Joe.I was sent an advance review copy by the publisher. I think it will have fairly broad appeal. The story is really about three people: Joe Castle (the player that got beaned), Warren Tracey (the player that hit him), and Paul Tracey (Warren’s son). It’s a nice story about fathers and sons, baseball, and forgiveness. The release date of April 10th should make this book a must have for father’s day shoppers everywhere.While I thought the story was good, it doesn’t have the depth of emotion that the backstory could have brought forward. Maybe it’s a guy thing. Men don’t like to go too deep. It’s also an easy read. I finished the book in less than 24 hours. Another recommendation: someone should make this book into a movie. There is so much visual information relating to the games, that I think it would come across better on screen.

  • David Walsh
    2018-12-02 00:43

    If your write 24 novels and have a number of them made into movies, your reputation is already set. You don’t have to beg publishers to read your latest work, to take a chance and publish it, to fund your book tour.So John Grisham gets a pass for a thin book like Calico Joe. The story has been written many times: rookie rises to the major leagues as part of a losing team, goes on a tear at the plate, breaks a few records, the team lands in first place, crowds come to see him at home and away. Naturally, the phoenix falls at the hands of a grizzled veteran who resents the new guy and throws a pitch at his head. Years later, redemption is the inevitable plot device.I’m a baseball fanatic, so I could not pass up this book. The cover picture is Wrigley Field before a Giants-Cubs game; a baseball is disappearing off the upper right corner, afterjets trailing. I finished it in a couple of sittings. The writing style is, in the words of a friend, ‘airplane reading’; there are no surprises.Soon to be a Hallmark TV movie.

  • Nurse Lisa In Ohio (PRN Book Reviews)
    2018-11-19 05:42

    Yes, I am a big baseball fan (GO REDS!)...However, even if one knows ZERO about ANY sport, this is a really good story. I finished it in just a few hours but will think about it for a long time.I like when Mr. Grisham veers off his typical (very enjoyable) legal thriller path and gives us something different (i.e. "playing for pizza"-I think).Bottom line: I wish we could give half stars as I feel this novel would be a solid 4.5. I am very frugal with my "fives" and am again in this instance as I felt it was a bit brief, especially considering the cost of new books these days (I read via my NOOK Color). I recommend this book to probably any age group actually and for sure to Grisham fans like myself. Baseball fans: HANDS DOWN! this is a MUST READ!!Enjoy fellow reader! Thank you for reading my brief "review". :-)"Rounding third and headed home" … {as the late, great "Left Hander" Joe Nuxall would say}NurseLisainOhio*( via twitter.com & instagram for iphone users [& now droid phones] I use this same username and am always looking for current and new friends!)*

  • Wanda Hartzenberg
    2018-11-29 04:35

    What a truly amazing book. I listened to this on Audio and I know already I will listen to it again. And again. Now. You need to understand something. I am about as interested in sports as I am in watching my grass grow. But a few years back I read a book by an author who convinced me that I should not close down this genre as a matter of course. And thus I gave this book a try and I am totally delighted that I did. Like most books in this genre in my limited experience sport is a subplot. This is all about how to Not be a man, a sportsman, a father a husband. This is all about how to be a son. A father, a fan, a brother a man. A husband. This is all about relationships and heart. The good hearts of some and the hope that lives for those not so good hearts. I loved, adored, am blown away by this books simplicity and genius. I recommend this book to all. Young, old, men, women. I don't care read this book.

  • Matt
    2018-11-27 22:44

    A great Grisham tale that takes us outside the law firms and onto the fields of America's pasttime. Grisham delivers an excellent branch off and great read for this short novella, as he examines the game of baseball and the issues that plague one family surrounding it.Dealing in two timelines; 1973 when a rookie amazes the baseball world, and the present day when the son of a former great (and fan back in 1973) is dealing with events back in 1973, the book seeks to bring as closure that has been lingering for close to 40 years. A pitcher who went rogue on a rookie who was amazing the League, and the way families deal with end of life events. Grisham tugs at the heart strings as he simultaneously has you following the amazing rookie that is burning up the record books.I quite liked this break from the usual Grisham masterful books. WELL DONE!

  • James Adams
    2018-11-20 05:31

    Just finished Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella, was still in a baseball mood, saw this and picked it up.This is a strong baseball novel, folksy and filled with love of the game. The prose is solid, the story sentimental without becoming treacly, and the characters believable. I loved the baseball-centric flashbacks, but only liked the more bitter modern sections. Still, a darn good read, highly recommended to fans of the game.

  • Carol
    2018-11-13 23:29

    As a serious Baseball fan, I really enjoyed this book. Great summer "fast" read!

  • Tim Chavel
    2018-11-26 03:34

    My wife knows how much I enjoy reading Grisham so when she saw this book on sale at Target she bought it. It is a very easy read but an excellent read. Calico Joe is a rookie playing for the Chicago Cubs. He is setting all kinds of records and is on pace to be the all time rookie ever until his career is cut short when a pitcher throws and hits him in the head. The son of the pitcher years later when his father is dying sets off to meet Joe and try to sit up a meeting between the two. Grisham weaves both fact and fiction into the story. Many former Cubs players are mentioned in the book. It reads like a true story. It is so close to reading like a true story it makes one want to do research to find more information about the fictional Calico Joe. If you enjoy a good fiction story or enjoy baseball you will love this book.

  • Thom
    2018-11-26 22:26

    The author is a pretty big baseball fan and it shows in this story, part coming of age and part reconciliation. Told in two eras, this is the story of a rookie hitter and a veteran pitcher in 1973 coupled with the story of an aging, distant and difficult father and his son.I found the baseball credible (though the rookie accomplishments cross the line to in-credible) and the story believable. Both the characters and small town America are well fleshed out. This is the first John Grisham novel I have read, though it won't be the last.

  • Micah
    2018-11-19 03:40

    I've been meaning to read this for a long time. I haven't picked up anything by John Grisham in a long time, but this was a winner. A lot of baseball and some really thought-provoking situations and conversations. I really enjoyed it and only wish it was a little longer.

  • Samina
    2018-12-13 02:34

    Warren Tracey plays baseball for MetsUsing his old and arrogant methodsJoe Castle is the rising star of Cubs Baseball teamBecoming like him becomes Paul Tracey's dreamPaul is brought up breathing BaseballBut something makes him leave it once and for allAt Read John Grisham after an yearNice read with a message so clearWhatever bad happens in the pastRemembering it, will make it forever lastUnless the Forgiver and Forgiven forgetTheir families would always be upset early age of 12 or soHe knows that this is a result of his father's ego30 Years later Warren's cancer takes Paul to CalicoWhen he plans to bring his father, Warren to meet JoeThe book has lots of Baseball jargonIf you are not a fan, do not get disheartenedAuthor has explained Baseball at the start of the bookCouldnt read it but the story kept me hookedI love the way this book is written in flashbackWith statements like "This would be the last time he is playing the game"Instantly making you realize that it happened 30 years backIts refreshing but minus 1.5 starCoz of too much of baseball and Warren's too sudden change of HeartRead John Grisham after an yearNice read with a message so clearWhatever bad happens in the pastRemembering it, will make it forever lastUnless the Forgiver and Forgiven forgetTheir families would always be upset

  • Skyring
    2018-11-22 03:28

    In many ways, baseball is the perfect game. Unlike the open-ended contest between bowler and batsman in cricket, baseball limits the interactions and the tension mounts. Pitcher and batter are playing a game of wits and strategy, something like tic-tac-toe in the simplicity of the formula but with the element of chance and skill. A tiny angle on the bat can mean the difference between a grand slam home run and a foul ball. A keen eye can pick up a weakness in the opponent - or in the fielders.John Grisham, turning from courtroom dramas to sports, reveals a hidden talent, a blinding and unexpected one, as if you open the oaken door of the courtroom, the stadium lights glare onto the packed bleachers and a ball whizzes past your ear. Here he pits the opposing teams against each other every bit as deftly as prosecution and defence. More than that, he brings the reader into the history, the culture, the tactics of the game, and perhaps best of all, opens up the characters and their motivations.It's not all cut and dried. A quarrel with a parent, an awkward word, a foolish pride or a kindly gesture steers the course of the story every bit as much as the rules of evidence - or baseball.Grisham tells this story with the skill of a master. He holds back on some details in this dual childhood/adult tale as the parallel worlds of 1973 and 2011 race along. Just what did happen in the backyard and why is it so crucial? The adult narrator knows, but he's not going to tell us, even after the appropriate place in the childhood retelling has passed. We know it's there, we know that both boy and man are aware of it, but Grisham holds back until the best place in his story.And then it all slots into place and the jigsaw is complete apart from a few missing pieces which we fill in without drama.Perhaps what I like best is not the calculated pacing of the plot, the keen characterisation or even the details of baseball. It is the unconscious presentation of America. It just flows out of the page, and we Australians (or Irish or French or Argentinians) are there, immersed in Americana. It's like a holiday in the States, with the smell of hotdogs and mustard lingering over the grandstand, the big ugly cars, the plastic sincerity of preachers and the crack of the bat against ball. Hear the crowd roar!

  • Toni Osborne
    2018-11-18 02:24

    "Calico Joe" is a breezy little novel coming just under 200 pages , it is the first-person account of a fictionalized beaning of a Chicago Cubs prodigy by the name of Joe Castle, from Calico Rock , Ark. The story is narrated by Paul Tracey, son of Warren, the head-hunting power pitcher for the New York Mets who aimed a fast ball at the head Joe Calico and took him out of the game and ended his career.In the summer of 1973 Joe Castle was the boy wonder and the greatest rookie anyone had ever seen and quickly became the idol of every baseball fan in America, including Paul Tracey. One day when Warren Tracey finally faced Calico Joe. Paul was in the stands, rooting for both his idol and his dad. Then the fatal pitch came and their life changed for ever.In vintage Grisham fashion the story picks up pace as the story unfolds and jumps ahead almost four decades. Joe Castle is barely a functional groundskeeper at a school back in Calico and Warren Tracey is dying of cancer at home in Florida. Paul who had abandoned baseball a long time ago decided to track down Castle for reconciliation between him and his dad.This novel is worthy of our valuable time whether you are a baseball fan or not. It is a total contrast to Mr. Grisham typical novels that are full of twists and turns and tension, “Calico Joe” is simply a sweet and simple story with a moral and of a relationship between a father and son. The beginning of the book is a detailed account on how the game is played with all the rules and jargon. This is rather a sad plot with very moving elements of forgiveness and redemption and the main drive that kept me turning the pages. The narrative and setting are solid and shifts back and forth between 1973 and 2003, keeping track of the changing periods was challenging at times. Although the data is not accurate according to the author’s notes the recreation is nevertheless fun and does capture enough of the excitement for anyone, fan or not to enjoy.