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Shoeless Joe Paperback – April 28, 1999
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Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
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Top Customer Reviews
First, let me state the obvious: most of the people who panned this book outright had to read it for school, and write a report on it. I can honestly say that, in my opinion, this book is not for your average high school student. The ideas and themes in this novel, not to mention the ideals and dreams, are very difficult to comprehend if you're still in high school. Some of the life experiences, that are are required to understand what Mr. Kinsella is saying, are still years away. It's a shame that these students are forced to read something that, in my opinion, they are not yet ready for. If they waited until they were older, they would understand. And they would love the book.
This is not Field of Dreams. That movie is the result of Hollywood taking this story, clipping here and editing there, and coming up with a screenplay that, while outstanding in its own way, is severely lacking in the substance of what this book is about.
It's about life. It's about dreams and realities. It's about injustice and redemption. But most of all, it's about love and family.
Ray Kinsella is an anomaly in today's society. He is a 1960s dreamer in a world full of pragmatic realists. He sees things that most people overlook. He remembers things that most people consider insignificant. But, most of all, he hears things that others cannot hear.
"If you build it, he will come." A raspy, baseball announcer's voice in the middle of an Iowa cornfield says those seven words, and Ray Kinsella knows exactly what they mean.Read more ›
When was the last time you tumbled onto cool, moist grass, looked up at the robin's-egg blue sky, and imagined that the clouds were forming shapes of various animals? Or the last time you felt total freedom while lifting yourself skyward on an old tree swing, back when summer never seemed to end?
These and many more childhood memories will come alive while reading Shoeless Joe. W.P. Kinsella's fictional accounting centers on baseball legend Joe Jackson, one of the Chicago "Black" Sox 8, who was permanently banned from baseball. Joe's magical appearance in an Iowa cornfield initiates a journey for main character Ray Kinsella, to not only fulfill his dreams, but those of many extraordinary characters, too.
At first glance, the book is about baseball and Ray's journey to fulfill the request of the voice, "If you build it, he will come." But as Ray ventures across the country the reader begins to sense that, as in The Wizard of Oz, anything is possible, simply by believing. As the plot develops, Ray's acceptance of the mystical, almost religious aspects of baseball, allows the reader to revisit dreams from his own past, too. Ray says, "Your secret dreams grow over the years like apple seeds sown in your belly...sprout through your skin, gentle and soft and wondrous, and they breathe and have a life on their own...."
Though most of the characters are as refreshing as a Popsicle or as rich as a Fudgsicle on a summer's day, Ray's wife, Annie is far too loving and weak. Female readers, in particular, may have difficulty connecting to Annie's life, with her lack of protest when her husband plans to plow under their crops to construct a ball-field.Read more ›
If you are the kind of person who has to watch "Field of Dreams" at least once a year, then you should jump back a step and read "Shoeless Joe." Better yet, you should make the trip to Dyersville, Iowa, where the field and the farmhouse still exist and look just as they did in the movie. If you can stand on that baseball field without any emotion or without a chill moving along your spine, then someone better check your pulse.
If you don't "get" baseball, this book may provide some insight.
Mr. Kinsella has written a highly original story, written so well some passages seem to sing, that addresses such human conditions as parental loss, unreserved trust, unquestioning love.
The line between reality and fiction is playfully drawn. The author and the protagonist have the same last name. J.D. Salinger and Shoeless Joe are real people.
The action such that it is centers around a magical ballfield created in the midst of a small Iowa farm.
The book is filled with so many wonderful moments that listing them would be insulting to the book.
If you're familiar with the film, "Field of Dreams", then you know the story...but the book is so much fuller. Richer. They actually complement each other well.
This is a perfect book to read during this time of year...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A lovely, lyrical book about life, love, dreams, and baseball.Published 19 days ago by Jocelyn R. Chabot
2.5 Stars - Original review @ 125Pages.com
I went into Shoeless Joe with such hope. I have not seen Field of Dreams, but love uplifting sports movies, so I thought I... Read more
I loved every moment of this book. It had a lot of suspense and just plain sad moments. That's why rate this amazing bookPublished 3 months ago by Cathie Stachurski
I have to reread this once a year. Such a timeless, heartfelt, creative story!!!!Published 4 months ago by jody clark
Definitely enjoyed the book, glad to add it to the collectionPublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I am sure I am not the first person to fall in love with Field of Dreams and how could you not? I have always thought that is was the perfect movie. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Geneva Hale