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Calico Joe [Audio CD] Unknown Binding – 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 2,382 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Random House Audio (2012)
  • ASIN: B0083WH33O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,382 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,311,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Wayne A. Smith VINE VOICE on March 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This was really 4 1/2 stars for me. I love baseball and John Grisham's books, so I was not surprised at my response to this book.

Often, young athletes take plenty of sideline coaching from their Dads, and it is not always positive. Paul Tracey had it harder than most as his dad was Warren Tracey, a major league pitcher. When Warren was playing for the Mets, one play involving a rookie will ruin their carreers with one pitch; and not just any rookie, but one that was breaking records from his first at bat in the major leagues, Joe Castle aka Calico Joe.

that one play ruined both careers and this is the story of what happened when the spotlight dimmed. 30 years later, Paul Tracey attempts to re-unite the two players. Will both parties agree to meet? Will the truth be told after all these years? Will forgiveness be withheld or given? Will a father and son finally come to terms with their relationship?

To find out you will have to read this memorable story filled with wonderfully developed characters and love, hate, forgiveness, and redeemation.

It is not just a baseball story.
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Format: Hardcover
"What if a pitcher intentionally hit a batter, a young star? What if both careers were ruined? And what if they met years later to try to come to grips with what happened in a split second?" These are some of the opening words of John Grisham to the reader explaining his rationale for writing this book.

I must say, I began this book very conflicted. First off, I am not a big baseball fan, AT ALL! The sport has always bored me and I have had no interest in it whatsoever. However, John Grisham is one of my absolute favorite authors. So here was the dilemma I was in: My favorite author writing on one of my least favorite topics. How would it go?

After finishing the book, I was not conflicted at all! I absolutely loved the book. While the book definitely centers around baseball as the skeleton for its storyline, it moves in the same rapid and gripping style that one would expect from a Grisham book. Your emotions are stirred to love Joe Castle and hate Warren Tracey, but just when you think you have it all figured out, you begin to have just a little bit of compassion for Tracey and are conflicted in your emotions.

I think that Grisham found the perfect harmony between length and in-depth details in this work. There is enough baseball jargon to engage the avid fan, but not enough to turn away someone like myself.

Go buy the book and enjoy this short, but excellently written piece of American fiction. Grisham has hit one out of the park in this one (pun intended).

In accordance with FTC regulations, I would like to thank Doubleday Publishing for providing me with a review copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I hadn't read a Grisham novel in a while and picked this one up on a whim. As others have noted, it is a very quick read - something I enjoyed about other Grisham books. It's also a good story. Is it an incredibly well-developed plot line with complex characters? As many reviewers have noted: no. But that doesn't make it a bad story or not worth reading.

Most people don't pick up John Grisham's books looking for a deep read that brings to light new insights into human character. They likely pick up his books looking instead for a captivating story that keeps them interested from page to page, chapter to chapter. For me, this book did just that.

The story was interesting and the way Grisham bounced between the 1973 season when Paul Tracey was an 11-year old kid and the present as he sought to bring some closure to what happened during that season was well done. I think it's a bit of a stretch to say that the characters, while rather simple, are one-dimensional. Some real emotions are dealt with: grief, bitterness, grudges, and forgiveness. In all, it's a story about family, relationships, growing up, and reconciliation. And it's a story that is worth the little bit of time it takes to read.
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