"" Writer's Wanderings: Books for the Road - Calico Joe

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Books for the Road - Calico Joe

Once in a while I go off on a reading tangent. The last one was to read as many of the Pulitzer Prize winning novels as I could. It didn't last too long. My latest tangent started with the list of the New York Times Bestsellers I found one week in the Sunday Plain Dealer. For some strange reason, it didn't include the Shades of Gray series--which was good; I don't intend to read those. Just as I was curious about what makes a Pulitzer, I began to wonder what makes a NYT bestseller? The answer probably has more to do with good marketing than anything but I started in reserving as many of them as I could from the library. (They were bestsellers so there was mostly a waiting list for each one.)

I ended up with Calico Joe as the first available read and thought it appropriate for the season, the baseball season. Calico Joe by John Grisham is another departure from his usual legal thrillers. I do like his style though and as in his book, Playing For Pizza, another book out of the usual genre, I found drawn into the story quickly.

If I had to pick a theme for the story though, I would say its forgiveness. The story is told from the point of view of a grown man who was, as a child, a fervid baseball fan whose father happened to be a pitcher for the New York Mets. Unfortunately his father ruined his love for the game by his abusive nature and one very bad decision to bean another player, Calico Joe. There are issues underlying the story line that Grisham reveals layer by layer taking the reader to the climactic meeting of the two baseball players, now nearing the end of their lives.

While it's not a hold-your-breath-page-turner, Calico Joe is a good read and would be a great book for the road.

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