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am 10. Juni 2017
Uninteressant!
Von Grisham erwarte ich einen intelligenten Krimi mit Nutzung seiner grossen Erfahrung als Jurist.
Zuviel Baseball für meinen Geschmack.
Man sollte den Käzfer vorher warnen, dass es kein typische Grisham ist.
KQ
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am 6. Mai 2012
"Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." -- Luke 6:37 (NKJV)

Much baseball fiction is all wrapped up in the kind of juvenile fantasies that grown men continue to indulge. I admire John Grisham for going against the grain and looking at baseball through the lens of what can be wrong about baseball: self-centered players, abuse, sexual infidelity, cruelty, envy, and lying. Rather than just portraying that dark side, Mr. Grisham also exposes the possibility of receiving forgiveness, being reconciled to those who have been harmed, and finding peace. It's a nice ethical journey carried out amid some pretty exciting baseball writing that is soundly based.

Despite my admiration for Mr. Grisham's conception, I didn't feel that he carried it off nearly as well as he needed to. The rise of Calico Joe in the book's beginning is so far beyond possibility that reading those sections makes you feel that Mr. Grisham was just entertaining himself rather than trying to build the best possible story. A less over-the-top biography for Calico Joe would have worked a lot better, in my opinion. The fable-like quality led me to feel outside the story, rather than inside it with the characters.

The dark side of the story also seemed overdrawn. It's as though only absolute perfect white and the blackest black would satisfy readers. That's not giving readers enough credit. What about writing about real human beings of the kind we've all met? That would bring the message home much more than having such an extreme contrast.

I also found that the book lacked suspense. I didn't feel the tension build very much because what came next was kept quite predictable. That's not a good recipe for a fully entertaining novel.

I think part of the reason that Mr. Grisham is such a fine writer about lawyers is that his writing builds on a sound foundation of our skepticism about them . . . but not lots of knowledge. When Mr. Grisham tells us what it's like from the inside (with an ironic sense of humor), it's a great trip.

Those qualities just don't work so well when it comes to writing about sports.
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am 19. April 2012
In my opinion, John Grisham's best book on sports. Bleachers and Playing for Pizza are not bad, but Calico Joe is much better by far. Being interested in baseball helps to understand the story. If not, it does not matter that much as a troubled father-sun relationship is in the focus of this book. Some unfinished business between two aging baseball pros lets the story move along very smoothly. I have enjoyed every page. A must have for every Grisham fan.
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am 13. Januar 2015
John Grisham (JG) has tens of thousands of fans in Europe reading his creations in English or in translation. But this book will confuse and disturb many, esp. female readers, whilst French, German, etc. translations are unlikely to appear (unlike possible Spanish, Korean or Japanese versions). Why? Because it deals with baseball and baseball is no big deal in Europe. Only Italy and the Netherlands have a baseball tradition with promotion/relegation leagues and a small fan base.
So it is useful to understand the game, its rules and rich vocabulary, before buying this riveting tale about the lives of (fictional) veteran pitcher Warren Tracey (34; NY Mets) and (fictional) upstart batter Joe Castle (21; Chicago Cubs) and their fateful encounter in late August of 1973. The story is told by Warren’s son Paul more than thirty years after the event. Also, thirty years since he played or watched a game of baseball himself. He was 11 when it happened and a great fan of Joe Castle, a newcomer (‘rookie’) making an instant impression, breaking record after record. He also describes his feelings about his awful, philandering, hard-drinking and indifferent father, who adheres to old codes about pitchers’ honor.
Watching with his mother in Shea stadium the duel between his dad and his hero Calico Joe, little Paul is the only fan to see it coming, knowing his dad too well… The rest is for readers to enjoy and devour, because this is a superbly plotted- and written tale of lifelong shame for father and son. This reader expects much debate by fans about how Grisham concluded the tale. But he thought up a story and told it well.
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am 18. März 2013
"Calico Joe" (dt.Titel "Home run") ist eine fiktive Geschichte über die kurze Karriere eines Baseball-Ausnahme-Talentes.
Hierbei springt die Geschichte immer zwischen 2 Zeitschienen hin und her (70er Jahre - Ich-Erzähler ist Kind und Anfang der 2000 - Ich-Erzähler als Familien-Vater).

Die Story ist durchweg gut geschrieben, in typischer Grisham-Manier, auch die Zeitsprünge finde ich gelungen und passen gut in die Geschichte.

Das Thema um das es in der Story geht, Baseball, ist für nicht Amerikaner bzw. Leute die nicht im Detail im Sport selbst stecken und deren Stellenwert in der amerikanischen Gesellschaft kennen vermutlich harter Tobak.
Ich selbst habe immer wieder mit einigen Fachbegriffen gekämpft, gerade als nicht native-speaker war's manchmal hart. Aber mit ein paar Mal nachschlagen gewöhnt man sich durchaus schnell dran.
Die Atmosphäre, die rezitierten Statistiken etc. sind aber bestimmt nicht jedermanns Sache. Hierzulande kennt man sich mit anderen Breitensporten halt besser aus.

Wenn einem das aber nichts ausmacht bzw. man ohnehin Fan vom amerikanischen Sport ist bekommt man mit Calico Joe eine meiner Meinung nach herrliche Geschichte, von der ich jede Seite genossen habe.
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If you are into Baseball and like a good - if short - read focused around it then this might be for you. Characterization is a bit of a shortcoming - the game is in focus here.

About it being a typical Grisham I could not say - it was my first read from this author.

For non-English readers (as myself): If you are familiar with Baseball you will find it an easy read. If, however, you are a newbie to this sport I urge you to read it in your mother language.

I had a good time reading it.
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am 11. Januar 2016
Wenn man nicht baseballinteressiert ist tut man sich die ersten Seiten schwer die ganzen "Spieltricks" zu verstehen und langweilt sich. Interessant wurde es als der Protagonist eine Beziehung angefangen hat.
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am 21. August 2013
Gute Geschichte über Baseball und Idole fürs Leben. Man muss jedoch schon ein wenig dieses amerikanische Spiel kennen, ansonsten es teilweise langweilige Passagen beinhaltet. Ende ist stark voraussehbar...
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am 15. August 2014
Diese Buch gibt viel Einsicht in das Leben eines professionellen Ballspielers, ob es Fussball, Basketball, Baseball, usw, und beschreibt eine rührende Geschichte von Vergebung.
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am 31. Juli 2013
Not a very exciting book, but lovely written and it was extremely easy to feel like one of the characters
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