Review Calico Joe by John Grisham

Calico Joe by John Grisham
Published by Doubleday
Publication Date: April 10, 2012
ISBN-10: 0385536070
ISBN-13: 978-0385536073
At the request of Doubleday, an ARC TPB was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest opinion.

Synopsis (from Amazon): A surprising and moving novel of fathers and sons, forgiveness and redemption, set in the world of Major League Baseball…

Whatever happened to Calico Joe?

It began quietly enough with a pulled hamstring. The first baseman for the Cubs AAA affiliate in Wichita went down as he rounded third and headed for home. The next day, Jim Hickman, the first baseman for the Cubs, injured his back. The team suddenly needed someone to play first, so they reached down to their AA club in Midland, Texas, and called up a twenty-one-year-old named Joe Castle. He was the hottest player in AA and creating a buzz.

In the summer of 1973 Joe Castle was the boy wonder of baseball, the greatest rookie anyone had ever seen. The kid from Calico Rock, Arkansas dazzled Cub fans as he hit home run after home run, politely tipping his hat to the crowd as he shattered all rookie records.

Calico Joe quickly became the idol of every baseball fan in America, including Paul Tracey, the young son of a hard-partying and hard-throwing Mets pitcher. On the day that Warren Tracey finally faced Calico Joe, Paul was in the stands, rooting for his idol but also for his Dad. Then Warren threw a fastball that would change their lives forever…

In John Grisham’s new novel the baseball is thrilling, but it’s what happens off the field that makes CALICO JOE a classic.

My Thoughts and Opinion: I feel that I need to start with a caveat.   I am not a sports fan!!   However, my husband and sons are and I have hosted many of sports related parties and witnessed many of, at times somewhat loud, discussions at the dinner table.   I live in New England and my guys are die hard fans, of all sports, but of different teams.   My husband and youngest son are Red Sox fans and my oldest is a true NY Yankee fan, even naming his dog Bronx.

That’s as much as I know about sports.   So I was leery of reading a “sports related” novel.   But the first page pulled me right into the story.   There was some “baseball lingo and statistics” but it was the premise that hooked me.   Masterful writing, as always, with a John Grisham novel but also had a lighter and emotional prose that I enjoyed.   I connected to the characters, even those that were not likable, but in true sports fashion, I was rooting for the under dog.   The emotional slant of the book was gripping and tugged on the heart strings.   Even though it had a predictable plot and was a very quick read, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.   It was much more than a “sports related” book, it was about making amends, truth and coming to terms with a relationship between father and son.   I recommend this book, not only for sports’ fans, but for anyone who enjoys seeing the truth and winner prevail.   Very good read!!

I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me,
in exchange for my honest review.
No items that I receive
are ever sold…they are kept by me,
or given to family and/or friends.
(2012 Challenges: ARC, Off The Shelf, FreeReads, Where Are You, A-Z, 52 in 52, Outdo Yourself, 100+)

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20 thoughts on “Review Calico Joe by John Grisham

  1. I can’t wait till this one is out, My husband has all of your books and this one should truly be one of his favorites as he was either a manager or coach for both of his sons when they were growing up and now our son’s are doing the same thing.

  2. As a long time high school coach who grew up in Starkville and has read every book (usually within the first week) I can’t wait for this one.

  3. I can’t wait until this one is out either. I am a true John Grisham fan. I love his books and am looking forward to this one especially. My son’s a baseball player, Ryan. Named specifically for baseball players Ryne Sanberg and Nolan Ryan, in hopes of him being a player as he grew up. He’s been playing on teams since the age of 4, this summer will be 16. I also think Ryan will enjoy this book as well I do but me first. Thanks for the review.

  4. My favorite author is John Grisham….can’t wait to get this latest book, “Calico Joe”….. once you start reading a Grisham book you can’t put it down. His style is so “reader-friendly” and I recommend his books to all my friends and family.

  5. My husband and I enjoy a good book together in the car when we travel I can’t wait to get this one. He loves any sports and this will keep his interest as well as mine, because i love any book by John Grisham.

  6. Yes, I am a DIE HARD baseball fan ! My two favorite teams

  7. Thank you! I haven’t read a John Grisham book for a long time. It seems appropriate to “re-connect” with his books starting with this one. It sounds like something I’d like !

  8. Just starting to read “The Litigators”. I have read all of John Grisham’s books. Now I have another in “Calico Jow”.

  9. I love everry book that John Grisham has written. I can’t wait to read this one. He never disappoints.

  10. Two of my favorite things come together, a John Grisham novel and baseball. I love crime drama’s that is what originally drew me to him in high school. I’m an avid sports fan, especially Philadelphia sports, my two favorite books by John are Bleachers and Playing for Pizza, so I can’t wait to get my hands on this one!!!

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