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Showing 1-10 of 1,715 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 2,492 reviews
on June 4, 2014
First of all I would like to say that I have delayed reading this book for a while, and I regret it now. I am not even sure why I had the delay.

Before I give my opinion, I feel like it should be known that baseball is my life. I am from small town America. I was born in raised in a small town under the lights of the Dixie Park in rural North Louisiana. I loved the game so much I graduated with a degree so I can coach high school baseball. I now coach at a small town high school where baseball is the king.

I can relate to the book both from a childhood sense and a adulthood. John Grisham did a perfect job of capturing the emotion and realism of small town baseball heroes.

I cannot say enough about this novel. I would recommend Calico Joe to anyone that enjoys playing catch in the backyard with their old man. I would recommend Calico Joe to anyone that loves their dad.

Calico Joe offers something no other book, in my opinion anyway, can do. The story gives any baseball person a passport to their childhood.

Thanks Mr. Grishham.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon August 30, 2014
I loved this novel, just as I've loved all of John Grisham's stories because his characters have such heart. I feel as though I know Paul Tracey now, I know what it's like to love baseball and to want a parent to be your hero, and have your admiration always shut down. I feel like I can watch baseball now and know enough to enjoy it because of Grisham's story, and that is exactly why I read. To be immersed in another world to the point where I feel as if I've actually visited that world.

Calico Joe is a story about a young boy, Paul and his love for both this father, and for baseball. Unfortunately for Paul, his father, who's a pitcher the New York Mets, is not worthy of his son's admiration. A narcissist bordering on sociopath, Warren Tracey is the kind of guy who shifts his responsibilities onto everyone else so his ego can stay falsely inflated. The story takes us from 1973 to 2003 in flashbacks centering on a moment in baseball history that changed Paul's life, his father's, and a promising rookie named Joe Castle.

John Grisham entertains us with an important life lesson, wrapping it in his love for baseball that gives the story its extra-special dimension. The lesson is about how we have to claim responsibility for what we do in order to be a good person, and while forgiveness is possible, it can't change the messes we make in our lives. Forgiving doesn't mean forgetting, it means moving forward and getting on with life the best we can under new circumstances. Joe displays grace in the face of horrific circumstances that could have been avoided, while Warren shows how blaming others can leave a trail of regrets.

This is a story that will stick with me for a long time. Sure the good guys and the bad guys were very black and white, but that's not to say that there aren't people out there that display such a contrast of light and dark. Grisham is a writer at the top of his game, and always a pleasure to read. He's one of my favorite writers of all time, and I hope he doesn't stop writing in my lifetime.
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on August 14, 2017
Pretty good baseball story. It has a heartwarming ending, too (not that I'm into those). The confrontation between Joe Castle and Warren Tracey could've been more drawn out. Castle's at-bat could've meant more when he stepped up to the plate, ninth inning or something. But I loved the big name drops--Willie Mays, Tom Seaver, Billy Williams, the Big Red Machine; that made it more "authentic." I also dug the POV from the antagonist's son, Paul Tracey. I would've liked to have seen a few more plot twists and maybe another 100 pages tacked on.
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on May 22, 2017
John Grisham is a very good writer whose work is often formulaic. However this book is a welcome departure. He takes on a different arena, and focuses on the good and bad of sports. He also provides a poignant narrative of small town life and aspirations. The focus is on the sports hero and the anti-hero. Within it is the story of anger, remorse and redemption. It is a universal theme, well-written and captivating. For those who value sports, and sports as metaphor, it is a must read.
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on July 24, 2012
The story is simple: a new kid is called up to the Cubs baseball team and becomes an instant star who then meets the big tough pitcher from the Mets. The kid homers off the pitcher and in the pitcher's mind insults him as he runs out the homer. Then the plot thickens. The book is seen through the eyes of the pitcher's son who has issues with his father that he must deal with. Now this book isn't just "issues" but a look back at what used to be the good ol' days. It makes you think as you read...when did I stop reading the box scores, when was the last baseball game I attended, why do I skip the sports pages now...? The book forces you to think about these things that used to be part of your life and why you stopped living that way. (In my case, one jungle war, one marriage, and one career at IBM...but is that reason enough?) Guess what, I now look at the box scores again. I actually page through the sports section. I read a sports article or two...and the world seems to slow down. And Timmy is starting to pitch like his Cy Young days, livin' is easy. So read this short little novella and enjoy life once again.
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on April 18, 2017
Grisham is an excellent writer and this somewhat formulaic tale is interesting and entertaining. It's not great literature, but made me keep turning the pages and hoping that the characters would resolve things. I'd buy it and read it again if I hadn't read it once, but it is not they type of book I would treasure and reread.
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on August 2, 2017
This was an older book of Grisham - Having said this, it was one of the best ones of his I have read, unlike most of his writing. It was really good and especially if you are a baseball fan. Many statistics in the book were not fiction but true baseball legend
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on August 12, 2017
It's light reading and a fairly quick read, but quite entertaining. And certainly a break from his usual crime fiction. I liked it enough and the detail provided seemed so precise that I researched it to see if was pure fiction or there was some fact to it.
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on June 28, 2016
Of course it's about baseball, Just didn't think that's all it's about. I'm not a big fan of baseball so that's why I didn't care for it. Looking for someone locally to give it to.
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on August 9, 2017
I am not a big baseball fan, but I am a big fan of John Grisham. This is absolutely one of my favorite of his books and it is a powerful story. Amazing characters, one of whom is markedly flawed and only partially redeemed by the end of the book.
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