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Book Reviews of Shoeless Joe

Shoeless Joe
Shoeless Joe
Author: W. P. Kinsella
ISBN-13: 9780395957738
ISBN-10: 0395957737
Publication Date: 4/28/1999
Pages: 265
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.

3.7 stars, based on 21 ratings
Publisher: Mariner Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

15 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

havan avatar reviewed Shoeless Joe on + 138 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Just finished this and needed to re-watch the movie Field of Dreams that it inspired. While the novel has some characters, themes, and events that some might feel are missing from the film, on the whole, the film is faithful to the spirit of the book and in some ways even improves upon it.

This book is about the love of baseball, known for decades as the American Pastime. The book is also about the love of the land and this is one of the themes that gets trimmed. But the love of baseball is embellished upon. It's a love passed down from fathers to sons and while this man has only one daughter, its clear that that love is being taught to her as well. Finally, the book and the movie are about having the courage to fearlessly follow your dreams when you know that they're in the right.

The novel clearly falls into the Magical Realism school and the movie makes that even more apparent. It's about the beauty of dreams and one man's quixotic mission to follow his dreams.

The connections with baseball are perfect for this theme. Baseball is evocative of a simpler, more innocent time when even the villains could be heroes.

Surprisingly the book is more modest than the movie in some of its plot points. The book's protagonist is a bit more of the everyman while the movie emphasizes the fabulous dreamer part of his character.

It's a measure of the magic of film that the movie evokes the beauty of the ball diamond and the worshipful air of expectancy associated with a game under the lights without coming off as religious, while some of the passages in the book that attempt the same descriptions seem weirdly evangelical.

Ray's twin brother, the old farmer Eddie Scissons and Annie's Brother Mark all receive less emphasis in the film but their absense was not too deeply felt.

Not omitted, but considerably changed was the authors's fascination with reclusive writers. James Earl Jones does a credible job as the formerly activist writer Terrence Mann in the film but this fictional writer is a poor substitute for the original J.D.Salinger of the book. However it is nice to see a black man in this film that is firmly centered on pre-Jackie Robinson baseball.

I'd recommend this to baseball fans, fans of dreamers, fans of writers and to fans of fathers and sons. This read is well worth the time.
reviewed Shoeless Joe on + 11 more book reviews
If you like the film Field of Dreams, you'll enjoy the book that it's based on. Whimsicle, magical, cute.
Mel avatar reviewed Shoeless Joe on + 186 more book reviews
This book became the movie Field of Dreams. This an excellent book. If you want something to read on rainy day ,or a day that is way too hot this book is an easy enough read for everyone.
perryfran avatar reviewed Shoeless Joe on + 1156 more book reviews
Who would have thought...the CUBS and the INDIANS in the World Series! Today is game 3 of the series with it tied one game apiece. The Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908 and the Indians haven't won since 1948. This great matchup made me want to read a baseball novel and what better than SHOELESS JOE, the basis of the movie "Field of Dreams" starring Kevin Costner. I saw Dreams when it first came out in 1989 but I didn't really remember much about it other than the Costner character building a baseball diamond in his cornfield in Iowa where a ghostly team of Chicago White Sox end up playing. I have recorded the movie on my DVR and will be watching it again soon to see how it compares to the book.

I've had the book on my shelf for several years, along with a few others by Kinsella, and I'm glad I finally got around to reading it. The main character, Ray Kinsella, does build a ball field outside his corn field on his Iowa farm because he heard a ballgame announcer tell him..."build it and he will come." And sure enough, once he is finished with left field, Shoeless Joe Jackson of the infamous 1919 Chicago Black Sox does appear and lets him know that the entire team will come when the ball field is complete. Then Ray hears the voice again advising him to seek out the Catcher in the Rye author, J.D. Salinger, and take him to a ballgame in Fenway Park. (In the movie, Salinger is changed to the fictional Terence Mann.) Salinger reluctantly agrees to go with him and winds up going back to Iowa to the ball field along with a young Moonlight Graham, who played only one inning for the New York Giants back in 1905.

The novel is full of baseball trivia including details about the early Chicago Cubs (who last won the World series in 1908) and their players. One of the characters in the story, Eddie Scissons, claimed to be the oldest living Chicago Cub. Overall, I really enjoyed this fantasy about the love of the game and would recommend it to any baseball fan.
reviewed Shoeless Joe on + 209 more book reviews
This is the book on which the movie "Field of Dreams" was based. The book is even better than the movie.
DanJohnson avatar reviewed Shoeless Joe on + 63 more book reviews
This is the book upon which the movie "Field of Dreams" was based. If you liked the movie, you will love the book.
reviewed Shoeless Joe on + 113 more book reviews
Ah - tis the season for baseball! But then, if you're a lover of the sport, every season is the season for baseball! And if you're not a lover of baseball - well, you'll love this book anyway. Makes you nostalgic for Summer and Iowa cornfields - even if you've never seen one. I'll definitely read more of Kinsella's stuff.
reviewed Shoeless Joe on + 6 more book reviews
This is the book that "Field of Dreams" was based on.
reviewed Shoeless Joe on + 15 more book reviews
Love this story
reviewed Shoeless Joe on + 2 more book reviews
Charming book. So well written that I slowed way down to savor every word. Better than the movie!
reviewed Shoeless Joe on
LOVED this book. Read it years ago and I remember savoring every page. Doesn't matter if you don't love baseball; it's a great story.
reviewed Shoeless Joe on + 3352 more book reviews
Interesting posthumous tale about one of our American baseball legends.
reviewed Shoeless Joe on + 24 more book reviews
Inspired the movie "Field of Dreams". Warms your heart in just the same way. Kinsella has a gift for touching our warm and fuzzy-bone.
reviewed Shoeless Joe on + 6 more book reviews
Good read, sort of a "guys" book, some bad language, the story of a guy's dream of something that could be
reviewed Shoeless Joe on + 277 more book reviews
The book was a very intersting. I can see how people thought this would make a great move.