Shoeless Joe

( 65 )

Overview

More than the inspiration for the beloved film Field of Dreams, Shoeless Joe is a mythical novel about “dreams, magic, life, and what is quintessentially American” (Philadelphia Inquirer).

“If you build it, he will come.” These mysterious words, spoken by an Iowa baseball announcer, inspire Ray Kinsella to carve a baseball diamond in his cornfield in honor of his hero, the baseball legend Shoeless Joe Jackson. What follows is both a rich, nostalgic look at one of our most cherished national pastimes and a ...

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Shoeless Joe

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Overview

More than the inspiration for the beloved film Field of Dreams, Shoeless Joe is a mythical novel about “dreams, magic, life, and what is quintessentially American” (Philadelphia Inquirer).

“If you build it, he will come.” These mysterious words, spoken by an Iowa baseball announcer, inspire Ray Kinsella to carve a baseball diamond in his cornfield in honor of his hero, the baseball legend Shoeless Joe Jackson. What follows is both a rich, nostalgic look at one of our most cherished national pastimes and a remarkable story about fathers and sons, love and family, and the inimitable joy of finding your way home.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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." Amazon.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395957738
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 63,399
  • Lexile: 1020L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

W. P. Kinsella is the author of numerous works of fiction, including the best-selling Shoeless Joe, for which he won the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship, as well as eleven highly acclaimed short story collections. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.

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Table of Contents

I. Shoeless Joe Jackson Comes to Iowa 1
II. They Tore Down the Polo Grounds in 1964 21
III. The Life and Times of Moonlight Graham 103
IV. The Oldest Living Chicago Cub 155
V. The Rapture of J. D. Salinger 257
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 65 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(32)

4 Star

(20)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 65 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2005

    On the Field with Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe, by W. P. Kinsella, is a very well written novel. It is very easy to read, and people of many different ages will enjoy it. It is a story about baseball, which is America`s pastime, so many people should like it. Shoeless Joe discussed a lot of history about baseball, but it also talks about a man fulfilling his dream, and how hard he has to work to do so. It also has a lot of suspense and makes for an exciting read. The story line of the book is heavily influenced on baseball and it would be easier to read with some knowledge of the game. However, many different kinds of people can enjoy this book. Ray Kinsella is a baseball fan who really likes the history of the game. Readers who are also baseball fans, especially those that like reading about some of the history of the game, like the 1919 Chicago White Sox scandal, will like Shoeless Joe. Another reason it is a great book is because the story is about a man fulfilling his dreams. Ray Kinsella has dreams about building a baseball field and having Shoeless Joe Jackson play on it. He must go through a lot of difficult tasks if he is going to achieve them. One difficult thing he had to do was to go find an author in Vermont that he had never met. Ray Kinsella never gives up trying to accomplish his goals, no matter how difficult the task is. That adds to the excitement of the book. Readers who like books that are about people who have goals and dreams and want to follow them will love Shoeless Joe. The author¿s style also adds to the excitement of the book. The voices that Ray Kinsella hears tell him that he must do several things after he has built his baseball field, including finding a doctor. These things don¿t make a lot of sense to Ray, or to the reader. This causes good suspense in the book, and the author does a nice job of showing how all these things come together to achieve an important event in the book. Readers who like a well-written book with suspense should try Shoeless Joe. Shoeless Joe is a book that has a lot of emotion, humor and drama. That is why it deserves five stars out of five. It is a good story about baseball, and discusses an important event in the history of the game . It is a good story about fulfilling one¿s dreams, and is very well written. It is definitely an exceptional book, and is highly recommended. A reader who wants an excellent book to read, should consider reading Shoeless Joe .

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2003

    One of the greatest baseball books ever!

    W.P. Kinsella makes a remarkable story come to life in Shoeless Joe. He takes the extremely terrible happenings of baseball and makes them right. This is a great book for people of all ages and especially for the baseball fan.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2000

    Perhaps you are all right.

    This book may not be a great, fluid piece of fiction, but it spoke to me on many levels. There are sections within the pages that reflect eloquently on baseball and what it means to most young men in America - words that I've read and re-read because they succinctly express my feelings for the game. As most of the other reviewers have mentioned, this book is more likely to touch those who have spent their youthful summers between the lines; however, I believe it also has value as a tool for those seeking to understand why baseball has been given such importance in the United States as the national pastime. Unlike most of the other reviewers, I highly recommend this book. (By the way, although Costner DID do the book justice in 'Field of Dreams', there are still details and additional depth to the characters that I feel are only found within the pages of the book.)

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    Now I want to see "Field of Dreams" again

    This was an excellent book. The author really knew his baseball history. The only thing I didn't like was the negative way that he portrayed Christians; not all of us are prudes like the characters he uses in the novel. I now want to see "Field of Dreams" again. It's been years since I saw the movie, and I'd like to compare the book to the movie. I do remember that the movie had to use a fictional author and not J.D. Salinger as one of the characters because the real Salinger (who just passed away last year, by the way) threatened to sue if his likeness was used in the movie.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    When baseball MEANT something.

    This is a wonderfully evocative book of a time now past, a time when baseball was a game, not a business, and something to be treasured for everything it contained, to paraphrase a character in the book who says, "baseball is all that is good and can be again." A great mid summer read as you listen to the crack of the bat on a warm evening on your radio. Some passages will bring a tear to your eye.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2004

    Shoeless Joe: A Book of Dreams

    Shoeless Joe is one of the best, if not the best, baseball book ever written. The author, W. P. Kinsella, uses many plot twists and will always keep you guessing as to what will happen next. Kinsella¿s way of writing is also very descriptive. W. P. Kinsella is a very descriptive writer and chooses his words wisely. One example of this is when Ray Kinsella, the main character, sees Shoeless Joe for the first time in his baseball field. W.P. Kinsella writes, ¿His [Shoeless Joe¿s] feet spread wide, body bent forward from the waist, hands on hips, he waits.¿ (13). Another scene is when W. P. Kinsella is describing Annie: ¿One night I watch Annie looking out the window. She is soft as a butterfly, Annie is, with an evil grin and a tongue that travels at the speed of light. Her jeans are painted to her body, and¿¿ (11) Shoeless Joe is also a creative story because of all the twists in the book. W. P. Kinsella has a different theme in each one of his chapters. Each theme is introduced by a mysterious ballpark announcer, who speaks to Ray. In the first chapter, after the ballpark announcer says ¿If you build it, he will come¿ (3), Ray builds a baseball field in his cornfield for Shoeless Joe and all of the other players that have gotten thrown out of baseball after being accused of throwing the 1919 World Series. The announcer talked to Ray again and he told him to ¿Ease his pain.¿ (31). Ray translates this into meaning that he has to take J.D. Salinger out to a baseball game. In the third chapter, the announcer talks again and says ¿Go the distance¿ (93). So Ray and Salinger go to Minnesota to find all they can about a former baseball player named Archibald Graham. After they do that, they head back to Ray¿s home in Iowa. Ray then has to find a way to pay off his mortgage on his farm. Even though there are many plot twists in this book, there is enough dialogue and explanations to what is happening at each point of the book, so that you should not become confused with anything that is happening. Shoeless Joe is an amazing book and should be read by everyone. This book, even if you are not much of a reader or baseball fan, is amusing and satisfying. The fact that there are many twists keeps the book moving so that the reader will not get bored. The book doesn¿t start of fast, it makes up for it at the end and does a good job of it. Overall, I give this book five stars out of five.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2013

    Some people I discused this book with don't like the wordiness a

    Some people I discused this book with don't like the wordiness and purple prose. But to me the book read like music. There are passages I had to read over again because they were so pretty. I am not really into modern sports as they are now, so commercialized and money driven and filled with dark and sordid stories. I love stories that tell the love and passion of a player for the game, a fan of the game, and lessons in life that are related to the game, like parables. This is a story even non-sports fantatics might like.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2012

    Great

    I havent read the book but ive seen the movie and before that i had never heard of the white sox scandall and i feel sorry for all the players who were fasly accused

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2012

    Wonderful

    Loved the writing and language. Good read. Didn't make me cry like the movie did though.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2011

    Great Book

    Best book ever!!! Every one should read this book. It's based on field of dreams and is one of the best books ever.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2011

    hey

    hey everyone read this book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 28, 2010

    Recommended- must check it out

    Shoeless Joe is a book about dreams, magic and life. This book is not all about baseball. "If you build it, he will come," these were the words of the unknown announcer. This is what all started the creation of the baseball field in the cornfield by Ray Kinsella. It was all in honor of his hero Shoeless Joe Jackson. I though this book was worth reading and i would encourage people to do the same. W.P. Kinsella worte the book in a way so you would never was to stop reading. The character Ray, mades you feel that if there is something you want to do in life dont let anything hold you back, and ALWAYS follow your dreams. =)

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  • Posted April 7, 2010

    Shoeless Joe is an outstanding novel!

    Shoeless Joe was an outstanding novel. I would recommend this to readers who enjoy baseball but also to people who like books about dreams. This teaches you to never give up on your dreams or goals.

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  • Posted December 17, 2009

    Shoeless Joe Review

    Shoeless Joe was a good book. It inspires dreams and hopes of others. I would suggest this book to other baseball fans. The author keeps you interested in story. This book is amusing and satisfying.

    The storyline is unique. It made you think. Also, the author's message and themes were very inspiring. The writing is very descriptive. It gets a little too descriptive though.

    This book begins slow but then picks up. The rest of the book is exciting though. The author does a good job keeping you interested. Kinsella made up for the beginning. Sometimes I couldn't put this book down.

    This book was confusing at first. After a while I understood it. It turned out to be a great book. I recommend it to anyone. It's very inspiring. Best baseball book I have ever read.

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  • Posted April 16, 2009

    A BOOK FOR A BASEBALL FAN

    After reading this book and watching the movie, I will give this book 5 stars! In a way I wish that hollywood would of followed this book a little bit better. This book kept me wanting more. If you love baseball, you will love this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    Shoeless Joe is Great!!!!

    W.P Kinsella is a great writer. His use of real life characters such as famous baseball players Shoeless Joe Jackson and Moonlight Graham, and famous author J.D Salinger help the story become more realistic. The only problem I had with the story was -- having no knowledge of the history of the Black Sox Scandel -- that it took me a while to discover that the baseball players were just ghosts who had died many years prior to the setting of this story. All in all it was a great book to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2004

    A Great Baseball book.

    Shoeless Joe is one of the best baseball books ever written. But it's not only about baseball. It's about family and fantasy, but also includes the the harsh reality of life. It is set on a farm in Iowa, and is about a man who follows a dream. This book is filled with details,and you can imagine everything that is going on. I recommend this book for everyone, not just sports fans. It is a great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2004

    An Exciting Baseball Thriller

    ¿Shoeless Joe¿ by W.P. Kinsella is about baseball player Joseph Jefferson Jackson, Shoeless Joe. Joe Jackson got his nickname ¿Shoeless Joe¿ when he ran an inning without shoes because his shoes were new and they bothered him. He had played for the White Sox and was one of the players that were accused of throwing the 1919 World Series. Ray Kinsella is a simple man who lives on his farm that he purchased when he got married to his wife Annie. The story gets interesting when Ray is trying to find out if the rumors of some of the players for the White Sox, mainly Shoeless Joe, actually had thrown the World Series. When Ray is out on his farm one day he hears the voice of a baseball announcer that tells him to build a left field on his farm. Ray built the left field and some interesting things started to happen. He starts to see and hear ghostly figures; he starts to hear sounds of a cheering crowd and the crack of a bat. Then one night he was sitting on the little bleacher he made on the left field when something strange happened. The ghost of Shoeless Joe appears and starts to talk to Ray about baseball and how he could help an author by the name of J.D. Salinger get his love for the game of baseball back. But as he tries to do this, he runs into all kinds of trouble. Eventually he takes Salinger to a baseball game and tries to restore the love for baseball in Salinger¿s tired old heart. ¿Shoeless Joe¿ is for people who are into the game of baseball. W.P. Kinsella did a good job creating a picture for the reader with the detail of his writing. The book keeps readers guessing. There are some exciting and interesting parts that keep the reader interested. The beginning of the story is a little repetitive and isn¿t that interesting, but other than that, the author did a pretty good job getting what he wanted to get across.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2004

    Not just for baseball fans

    Shoeless Joe is a must read for almost any reader. It is much more then a novel about baseball. It is about trusting your instinct and your dreams to do what is necessary. W.P. Kinsella¿s use of vivid details and imagery creates an impressively clear picture of the scene and the characters. A good example is when he describes Shoeless Joe: ¿His feet spread wide, body bent forward from the waist, hands on hips, he waits.¿ Also, each chapter acts as its own story and has its own theme and storyline. Kinsella ties these together which helps him develop the main plot. For example, the people that Ray picks up while he is traveling back to Iowa become the baseball players on his field. When Eddie was watching himself play, he said, ¿Throw the curve, dammit, it¿s my best pitch!¿ Shoeless Joe also keeps you entertained by making you guess what will happen next. With each one of the mysterious things that the announcer tells Ray, such as ¿If you build it, he will come,¿ you want to keep reading so that you find out what the message means when deciphered. The only complaint that I have about this novel is that the beginning is slow and redundant, but the rest of the book makes up for that. Shoeless Joe should not only be read by baseball fans. It is ideal for any reader, even readers that are bored easily. I give this novel five stars out of a possible five.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2004

    A Timeless Treasure

    Kinsella's dream-like treasure remains incomparable in depicting what baseball once was and should still be. It reads smooth and makes you smile as the story progresses. A baseball classic for all times.

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