“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
In Which The Cosmos Clears Its Throat
Having fallen for baseball in a shamefully wanton fashion last summer, I’ve been looking forward to the start of the season for quite some time now. I’ve also been anticipating it with a kind of creeping dread, given that I don’t have the time to scratch myself these days, let alone get sucked into watch three hours worth of baseball every night.
But I will. Go Phillies, etc.
Anyway, the timing is good for John Grisham’s CALICO JOE, a charming novel with shades of THE NATURAL, in which a rookie phenom called Joe Castle debuts for the Cubs in the 1973 season, only to come up against a mean-spirited Mets pitcher with a penchant for beanballs. Told by the son of said pitcher, and looking back on the events of ’73 from the perspective of today, it’s essentially a love letter to the game of baseball. And, like all the best love stories, and despite Grisham’s crowd-pleasing instincts at the finale, it is at its heart a tale of poisoned innocence and paradise lost.
It’s also only 194 pages long. If you start reading it now, you’ll be finished in time for the first pitch …