Customer Review

189 of 205 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short But Satisfying, March 23, 2012
This review is from: Calico Joe (Hardcover)
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Calico Joe had every kid's baseball fantasy - lightening start in his big league debut, the lifting of a sad-sack team (the Cubs) to contender status, broken records, the adulation of his teammates and fans - and then he didn't. John Grisham has written a very good and captivating story - more than a baseball story, though America's game is the canvass upon which this tragedy is painted.

Warren Tracey was also a big leaguer - a pitcher - with the kind of stats that define most careers in the bigs: occasionally good, usually mediocre and sometimes awful. He was destined to never be remembered except by trivia hounds once his career reached its uncelebrated end - until his involvement in a baseball drama that ensured his name would be written in baseball lore, though not in any manner he would have desired.

The story is told through the eyes of Warren's eleven year old boy Paul and alternates between 1973, the year Calico Joe and Warren were in the game together, and thirty years later when all three characters are still living lives vastly influenced by the events of that year. Warren not only contributed to one of the game's great "what ifs," but also through his wretched performance as a father and husband, ensured that his family would bear the influence of being of and with Warren Tracey.

I won't go into more because detail would give away the drama to this slim book. Although not nearly as long as most Grisham novels, this story is worth the read. It is perfect for a single-evening immersion, so if you are the type of reader who likes to occasionally fully immerse yourself for a couple of hours with a good story and see it through to the end, this is your book. It reminded me somewhat of Grisham's book "The Testament" in that it touches on some of the same themes. It also is in the vein of "Bleachers" and "Painted House."

A good, though short, story that is engaging with a satisfying conclusion.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 30, 2012 5:53:13 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Nov 4, 2012 11:18:49 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 30, 2012 8:24:50 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 30, 2012 8:27:09 PM PDT
I think if you reread the review you will find that it states everything you say in your summary. No claim that this is a "baseball story," in fact it is clearly stated that this is "more than a baseball story." It is absolutely true that baseball provides the framework for the human interest story and is integral to the plot as well as the characters.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2014 1:24:30 PM PDT
Jeremy says:
If you want a good baseball story try the Mickey Tussler books from Frank Nappi. It's a series set in 1940 that features a pitching phenom with Aspergers. Great baseball action as well as regular drama. The Legend of Mickey Tussler: A Novel
Sophomore Campaign: A Mickey Tussler Novel
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