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Calico Joe by [Grisham, John]
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Calico Joe Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 134 customer reviews

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Length: 225 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

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"

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"

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""

Review

Praise for CALICO JOE:

'There is much to admire here, from the flinty depiction of the father-son relationship to the vivid sporting action'

(John Dugdale, Sunday Times Culture )

'Calico Joe is a typical virtuoso display of Grisham's natural story-telling skills. A superbly written book'

(Sunday Express )

'An enjoyable, heartwarming read that's not just for baseball fans'

(USA Today )

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 687 KB
  • Print Length: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (10 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007CH7UPM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 134 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #25,337 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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By FictionFan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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By Amanda TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 13 April 2012
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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Format: Paperback
Of late Grisham seems to have wanted to experiment with different avenues from the legal tales which made him famous. I personally thought that the Theodore Boone novels were dire, even when judged against the young adult standards they were clearly pitched at. Playing for Pizza was, however, an interesting diversion although it certainly helped to have some understanding of American Football. This time round we have a full on baseball novel.

I can only think that the main reason for publishing it in the UK is rather cynically that the Grisham name will sell it to some unsuspecting punters. I would imagine that about a tenth of 1% of the people living here have sufficient understanding of the game to follow the detailed descriptions of what is going on, for example 'after eleven games Joe had forty at bats, twenty nine hits, twelve home runs and fourteen stolen bases.' I think I got the home runs bit but the rest had me struggling. However, if you are on board with all this you will probably enjoy this tale.

Arguably there are some interesting interpersonal relationship issues, particularly latterly between Paul and his dying father. However, that sort of writing, which verges on a good old fashioned weepie, is not really Grisham's strength. I really think he should stick to the knitting, or at least his publishers should appreciate that this sort of offering is not suitable for a British audience.
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