Wednesday, May 16, 2012

John Grisham's Calico Joe

I read John Grisham's Calico Joe on a whim, being in a baseball mood.

The narrator is a man whose father--a complete jerk--used to be a pitcher for the Mets, and in one fateful game in 1973 pitched to a young Cubs phenom named Joe Castle. Grisham mixes real players--as a boy the narrator even chats briefly with Willie Mays--with fictional, wrapping them together in a story about bad parents, adulation, pain and forgiveness. As always with Grisham, there are also bucolic, small town Southern scenes that make you want to sit out in the porch with a drink.

Corny? Well, yes. If you don't like baseball, you might gag.  Read the Amazon reviews and you'll see people who are really angry that this is not a legal thriller, or a thriller of any kind, or even unpredictable. I got the impression that Grisham really enjoyed writing this novel, with many references to baseball history, records, and especially unwritten rules of conduct--e.g. don't show up a pitcher when you hit a homer--that would never fit in The Firm or some such novel. I found it a quick and very enjoyable read.


csccat 9:14 AM  

Grisham fans should know already that, in addition to being an attorney, he is a Cards fan and and ardent supporter of Little League. This isn't Grisham's first foray into baseball writing.

Btw, aren't baseball novels supposed to be corny?

Greg Weeks 4:34 PM  

I agree, though apparently people didn't think so...

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