Doubleday; Hardcover-198 pages
Grisham should stick to what he does best: the legal thriller. Though I didn’t hate either of these books, neither of these books are what I have come to expect from Grisham.
I waited all summer for my electronic library copy of Calico Joe. I was excited when I finally loaded it on my NOOK ,and pretty much immediately, I was disappointed. Calico Joe is a rookie phenom whose career and life are shattered by an intentional bean ball thrown by the narrator’s mean and self-centered father who is now dying of cancer. The book seems about redemption, but there is no true atonement. The writing was stiff and boring. Did I feel pity for Calico Joe? I might have if Grisham had let me. I looked forward to Grisham’s references to White Plains, NY, my hometown, but not to much else.
Playing for Pizza, first published in 2007, was the better read. Rick Dockery, a less-than-average NFL quarterback blows a big game in Cleveland and ends up playing in Parma for the Panthers. You know the rest: he doesn’t speak the language, his team mates are passionate but hapless, he meets a girl. That it takes place in Italy and that the protagonist spends a fair amount of time sampling local culture–cuisine and vino– bolsters the formulaic plot.
I am back on the library waiting list, this time for the latest Grisham: The