Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella
- My dad loved baseball. I grew up going to my cousins’ baseball games and watching the Braves on TV. Ever since my daddy died, I’ve felt like baseball kind of connects me to him. When I found out that this book was the basis for Field of Dreams I decided to read it right away.
- I had no idea that J.D. Salinger is a character in this book! Apparently they weren’t allowed to use him in the movie, which is where James Earl Jones as Terrence Mann came from. I really loved the connections between Ray Kinsella and Salinger, though. Books and baseball – I love it.
- I thoroughly enjoyed the baseball scenes in this book, and Kinsella’s writing is just lovely. Particularly:
“Cops, taxi drivers, and cocktail waitresses will tell you about the full moon: a time when the most docile little wino runs amuck, tossing off twice his weight in blue uniforms; when college students scream through cities, writing on walls; when sedate businessmen drink until they vomit on linen tablecloths; when wives shoot husbands and husbands shoot wives; when little old ladies report lost cats and strange men under their beds. From dark doorways, priests hiss at hookers when the moon is full. And housewives have fearsome attacks of manic energy and shred their underclothes in the blender.”
“I have to absorb the new season like sunlight, letting it turn my winter skin pink and then brown. I must stuff myself with lore and statistics until my fingers ooze balm with which I can staunch his wounds – whatever form they may take. He hasn’t seen a live game in over twenty-five years; he needs my memories. I’ll tell him of the warm-ups, of the home team in their white uniforms doing calisthenics and wind sprints like fast-flying sailboats on a green sea. I’ll make him smell the frying onions and hear the sizzle of the hot dogs, and I’ll tell of baseballs scattered like white oranges on the outfield grass. I’ll walk beside him as if I am a bottle of blood swinging from a gray enamel standards; I’ll pierce a vein and feed him the sounds, smells, and sights of baseball until he tingles with the same magic that enchants me. Then we’ll ride off together, as in the happy ending of a western movie, drifting toward the closest baseball stadium.”
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