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Calico Joe Hardcover By Grisham. John [Unknown Binding]

Grisham. John-(Author)
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Doubleday Books, (2012)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0082RYQ58
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 16.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi, law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby--writing his first novel.

Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn't have the right stuff for a pro career, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi State University. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. In 1983, he was elected to the state House of Representatives and served until 1990.

One day at the DeSoto County courthouse, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl's father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood Press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988.

That might have put an end to Grisham's hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career--and spark one of publishing's greatest success stories. The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on another novel, the story of a hotshot young attorney lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared. When he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures for $600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers, and book rights were bought by Doubleday. Spending 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991.

The successes of The Pelican Brief, which hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and The Client, which debuted at number one, confirmed Grisham's reputation as the master of the legal thriller. Grisham's success even renewed interest in A Time to Kill, which was republished in hardcover by Doubleday and then in paperback by Dell. This time around, it was a bestseller.

Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year (his other books are The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, The Partner, The Street Lawyer, The Testament, The Brethren, A Painted House, Skipping Christmas, The Summons, The King of Torts, Bleachers, The Last Juror, The Broker, Playing for Pizza, The Appeal, and The Associate) and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 250 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 29 languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas), as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man. The Innocent Man (October 2006) marked his first foray into non-fiction, and Ford County (November 2009) was his first short story collection.

Grisham lives with his wife Renee and their two children Ty and Shea. The family splits their time between their Victorian home on a farm in Mississippi and a plantation near Charlottesville, VA.

Grisham took time off from writing for several months in 1996 to return, after a five-year hiatus, to the courtroom. He was honoring a commitment made before he had retired from the law to become a full-time writer: representing the family of a railroad brakeman killed when he was pinned between two cars. Preparing his case with the same passion and dedication as his books' protagonists, Grisham successfully argued his clients' case, earning them a jury award of $683,500--the biggest verdict of his career.

When he's not writing, Grisham devotes time to charitable causes, including most recently his Rebuild The Coast Fund, which raised 8.8 million dollars for Gulf Coast relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He also keeps up with his greatest passion: baseball. The man who dreamed of being a professional baseball player now serves as the local Little League commissioner. The six ballfields he built on his property have played host to over 350 kids on 26 Little League teams.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
77 of 81 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly, John Grisham seems to have writer's block 12 April 2012
By Reggy A
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
First you need to know that I have read every book that John Grisham has written. Despite the fact that a few years ago he seemed to lose the plot and several of his books were not up to his usual standard, I can't help but buy the next John Grisham because I hope that it will be as brilliant as most of his novels. This book was described as a book about relationship and family breakdown, so I hoped it was a new branch of his writing that he'd nail. Sadly it isn't, and this is Grisham's worst book ever. I only kept reading because of my insane loyalty to him. If it had been any other author I doubt I would have read more than two chapters. This is definitely sport fiction, with a tiny bit of badly written 'family breakdown' added for padding. Imagine you are listening to a radio broadcast of a sport that you are really not at all interested in, and you have to listen to match after match after match. Bored yet? Now listen to fans talking about the matches. Transfer that to the page and that's what you're reading. The saving grace is that the book is so short! Sadly, I could not empathise with the main storyteller, the son who is travelling to meet with his dying father, because there is so little character portrayal. His story is sad, but the narrative is emotionless. Even the hero of the book, who I could have a little sympathy for, I couldn't empathise with because I had no grasp of him as a human being. Grisham describes baseball in a forward because his London publishers told him we wouldn't understand the book otherwise, but we didn't need 14 pages of description! Had the narrative been good, the rules would have been almost unnecessary. Read more ›
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'Baseball is a game of failure...' 12 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In a departure from his usual legal thrillers, Grisham here gives us a book about the world of baseball. The first person narrator is Paul Tracey, whose father, Warren, was a pitcher for the Mets in 1973 in the same season as Joe Castle, the Calico Joe of the title, was breaking all records as a rookie player with the Cubs. Warren is now dying and as Paul travels to see him, he tells us about his childhood, his hero-worship for Joe and why his relationship with Warren reached breaking point.

Normally I am a big fan of Grisham, but I was very disappointed by this book. Firstly it is very short and yet the plot, such as it is, is so slight as to barely maintain interest to the end. Instead the book is filled with extremely detailed descriptions of imaginary baseball games, so detailed that Grisham felt it necessary to give what he calls a summary of the basics of the game. This 'summary' runs to 13% of the entire Kindle book and was so dull that I gave up halfway through, deciding to trust that the book would make sense even if I didn't know what a drag bunt or a pick-off might be. By about the fourth chapter, I was so bored that I was speed-reading through the innings by innings match descriptions that fill easily half the book dropping back in whenever it looked like the plot might move along a little. However, the plot was so uninteresting and clichéd and the characterisation was so superficial that they did not make up for all the rest.

I would have given this book 2 stars but I recognise some people will be more interested in baseball and perhaps in interminable scoring statistics, even imaginary ones, than I and so have upped it by one star. Grisham says in his introduction 'Baseball is a game of failure'. Unfortunately I feel this self-indulgent book is an example of that. Here's hoping Grisham returns to form in his next novel.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars CALICO JOE 13 April 2012
By Amanda TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Warren Tracey was a baseball player for the New York Mets, a nasty, violent and agressive man who made life for his family a living hell. Now many years later he is close to death and his son Paul who has had very little contact over the years with his father decides to visit him with the intention of putting to rest one tragic incident which has haunted him, the day his father vindictively hurt the popular and talented Joe Castle on the field.
I believed before reading this novel that the very essence was about a family conflict between a father and son, however this quite short book really was more about the game of baseball. If you are a huge fan and knowledgeable about this sport then this would be of great interest. It was not by any means a bad read, it had a few touching moments and I did want to know what happened in the end, but there was far too much baseball and not enough of a story.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This book fits in with john grishams other none legal storys-eg painted house, skipping christmas and playing for pizza..
Ilike the sentiment that prevails throughout the story-a promising carear spoilt by a ball to the head thrown bysomeone less talented.
A duying man who gets the chance to say sorry..
Yep its all about baseball and certainly if you dont know the game or around the USA you may well get board..
If you like the range of Grishams writing then this will be fine-dont expect a classic thoe.
As a side note if you like legal style then read Mark Gimenez he has a tallent much like Grisham for the legal thriller-5 books so far and a new one on the way...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Can't get enough of this author - he never disappoints.
Published 12 days ago by Mel
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Item as described.
Published 28 days ago by Janie
4.0 out of 5 stars you don't nee call the baseball facts....
Don't read all the baseball 5000 words if your not into the sport!!! Quick easy read with a lovely but predictable ending.
Published 1 month ago by Vicky Winn
4.0 out of 5 stars a drag with a nice ending
It maybe because I'm British, but I found the beginning a bit of a drag. So too were the descriptions of some of the games. I kept wondering, "where's this going? Read more
Published 1 month ago by Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Saving it to read on holiday.
Published 1 month ago by Elaine
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Mr. John C. Stephens
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It works. Away from the legal thrillers into a lighter but purposeful short story. A pleasant read.
Published 2 months ago by Eliakim
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent piece of writing and a nice change from the ...
An excellent piece of writing and a nice change from the legal books - although I always enjoy them too.
Published 2 months ago by Ronald Wylie
5.0 out of 5 stars great read and baseball explained to the layman
Could not put this book down very interesting history of baseball, great book as all john Grisham novels are A+++++
Published 2 months ago by ian hogarth
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
satisfied thak you
Published 2 months ago by Charles Nolan
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