Title: Shoeless Joe
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Publication Date: 1982
Book Condition: Very Good In Dustjacket
Boston. 1982. Houghton Mifflin. 1st Printing. Very Good In Dustjacket. 265 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Wendell Minor. Inscribed by The Author. 039532047x. keywords: Literature Canada Baseball. inventory # 5060. FROM THE PUBLISHER - SHOELESS JOE, winner of the Houghton Muffin Literary Fellowship Award, is a warm-hearted, hilarious, outrageous novel about the power of dreams to move people, to make them come alive again. The narrator and protagonist, Ray Kinsella, an Iowa insurance agent turned farmer, is a charming combination of dreamer, clown, and hero. His love of baseball is symbolic of people’s love for any ritual that enchants them, gives their lives a sense of wonder and delight. One summer evening, while sitting on his porch, Ray hears the disembodied voice of a baseball announcer saying, ‘If you build it, he will come.’ ‘He,’ Ray somehow knows, is Shoeless Joe Jackson, his hero, who was thrown out of professional baseball as a result of the 1919 ‘Black Sox’ scandal. ‘It’ is a baseball stadium, to be built in Ray’s cornfield. He builds the stadium and anxiously awaits Shoeless Joe’s appearance. But Ray’s adventures have just begun. Next, the voice tells him to ‘ease his pain,’ and he knows the pain is that of J. D. Salinger, the famous reclusive author. Ray discovers that Salinger is a baseball fan and realizes that his mission is to kidnap Salinger and take him to a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston. Ray heads east and, after a series of outlandish encounters, he returns to his cornfield stadium with a motley crew of fellow-dreamers. There, under the glow of the lights, each of them works out his redemption through the magic of love and baseball. Bookseller Inventory # 5060
Synopsis: "Wild...Romantic...Unconventional...A triumph of hope."
THE BOSTON GLOBE
The voice of a baseball announcer tells the Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella: "If you build it, he will come." "He" is Shoeless Joe Jackson, Ray's hero. "It" is a baseball stadium which Ray carves out of his cornfield. Like the movie FIELD OF DREAMS that was made from this novel, SHOELESS JOE is about baseball. But it's also about love and the power of dreams to make people come alive....
From the Paperback edition.
Review: W. P. Kinsella plays with both myth and fantasy in his lyrical novel, which was adapted into the enormously popular movie, Field of Dreams. It begins with the magic of a godlike voice in a cornfield, and ends with the magic of a son playing catch with the ghost of his father. In Kinsella's hands, it's all about as simple, and complex, as the object of baseball itself: coming home. Like Ring Lardner and Bernard Malamud before him, Kinsella spins baseball as backdrop and metaphor, and, like his predecessors, uses the game to tell us a little something more about who we are and what we need.
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