My fiance Matt is not a reader, as I think I've mentioned. He's also not a coffee drinker. These two things break my heart--but I always challenge these. I'm convinced I'll be able to convert him to "the dark side". I knew we'd be going on the trip to Wisconsin that we took last month, and saw it as an opportunity to convert him. He's a huge baseball fan. So I purchased Calico Joe by John Grisham. I love John Grisham, so I thought this would be the perfect compromise.
For those of you who haven't yet heard of this new release, here's a description, courtesy of Goodreads:
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.
This novel has quite an interesting start, as the narrator reveals his hatred for his own father. The reason, of course, isn't revealed until about three quarters of the way through. I will admit that much of the "baseball talk" portion of this novel was lost on me, but Matt understood it--and enjoyed it. For me, it wasn't very fast-paced, but was well-written. For Matt, it was fast-paced and exciting. Either way, by the end, I was crying happy tears and he was impressed with how the story touched him.
Bottom line? If you have a baseball lover at home, this would make the perfect gift.
My rating: 4/5