Calico Joe

Calico Joe

Book - 2012
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"Grisham knocks it out of the park."-- The Washington Post

It's the summer of 1973, and Joe Castle is the boy wonder of baseball, the greatest rookie anyone has ever seen. The kid from Calico Rock, Arkansas, dazzles Chicago Cubs fans as he hits home run after home run, politely tipping his hat to the crowd as he shatters all rookie records. Calico Joe quickly becomes the idol of every baseball fan in America, including Paul Tracey, the young son of a hard-partying and hard-throwing New York Mets pitcher. On the day that Warren Tracey finally faces Calico Joe, Paul is in the stands, rooting for his idol but also for his dad. Then Warren throws a fastball that will change their lives forever.


"An enjoyable, heartwarming read that's not just for baseball fans."-- USA Today

"Grisham has hit a home run. . . . Calico Joe is a great read, a lyrical ode to baseball, small-town America, youthful innocence and a young boy's search for heroes." --The Buffalo News

"[A] pleasure . . . Suffice to say [Grisham] knows his way around the ballpark as well as he does a courtroom." --The Washington Times
ISBN: 9780345536648
Characteristics: 198 pages ;,22 cm.


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Apr 26, 2017

Grisham's esteem in my mind soars with this terrific little tale, and I like baseball as much as I enjoy watching the guy suck out my septic tank--it is equally as boring to watch as golf, but Grisham tells a heartrending story with flawless aplomb.

Jul 26, 2015

best book by far that I have read by John Grisham. sensitive portrayal of a real-life situation, well constructed and not over-done

A patron review from the Adult Summer Game: "This book was suggested to me by my wife, knowing my love of baseball. This is a fast-paced tale of a startlingly good rookie ballplayer, coming up against a less than great rival. The resulting conflict is heartbreaking, and the denouement speaks to the power of forgiveness."

A patron review from the Adult Summer Game: "The title of this novel refers to Joe Castle of Calico Rock, Arkansas. In 1973, he is thirty years old and a rising phenom in baseball. He plays for the Chicago Cubs and is loved and admired by many. The narrator of the story is Paul Tracey. He is the son of Warren Tracey, pitcher for the New York Mets and the man responsible for intentionally hurting Joe Castle during a game and ending his career. Warren is described as an abusive husband and unloving, disinterested father and recollections of the past and present events support his damaged character. Thirty years later, Warren has terminal pancreatic cancer and Pual is determined for his father to make a personal apology to Joe. At first Pual tries to achieve this through blackmail, but ultimately Warren agrees and a meeting is facilitated through Clarence Rook (the owner and sports editor of the Calico Rock Record.) This book has a great deal of baseball drama and includes game action, statistics, and baseball terminology. The story is told by alternating the past with the present and is narrated entirely through Paul Tracey. I enjoyed the book and enthusiastically recommend it."

Jun 18, 2014

I LOVE baseball and this book was a great baseball read. It might be fiction but it seemed like I was reading non-fiction!

May 24, 2014


Mar 08, 2013

Once I got passed the baseball play-by-play, the story actually picked up. Now his usual kind of story, but good nonetheless.

Jan 15, 2013

Good "up-lifting" story in a very short read.

Dec 23, 2012

Tried three times. Couldn't get past the first chapter. Perhaps a love of baseball is a requirement.

Warjones Sep 14, 2012

Started but not finished.

Sep 03, 2012

A short fictional story about a baseball hitter's brilliant career for the Chicago Cubs was cut short by one mediocre pitcher of the Mets. Not a big baseball nut, I find the story shallow and pointless.

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