terça-feira, 10 de abril de 2012

John Grisham "rebate para fora" em conto sobre moralidade no baseball

É o que diz o título da crítica do jornal americano USA Today de hoje sobre o novo livro de John Grisham, confiram:

Avaliação: 3 estrelas

John Grisham tosses out a baseball morality tale

By Bob Minzesheimer, USA TODAY

In baseball, as in other forms of life, reality inspires fiction.

In 1949, the Philadelphia Phillies' All-Star first baseman, Eddie Waitkus, was shot and seriously injured by an obsessed female fan. That inspired Bernard Malamud to write his 1952 classic novel, The Natural.

In 1920, the Cleveland Indians' Ray Chapman became the only professional player killed by a pitch, thrown by the New York Yankees' Carl Mays.

John Grisham, master of the legal thriller and a lifelong baseball fan, writes that Chapman's death triggered his imagination: "What if a pitcher intentionally hit a batter, a young star? What if both careers were ruined?"

That's the grown-up morality tale he weaves in his novel Calico Joe. It's about a near-fatal beanball thrown in 1973 and its aftermath 30 years later. It's not in the same literary league as The Natural, but it's an enjoyable, heartwarming read that's not just for baseball fans.

It's mostly narrated by Paul Tracey, who's 11 in 1973. He loves baseball and detests his dad, a mediocre pitcher for the New York Mets who's a philandering, wife-beating drunk. Warren Tracy yells at his son, a pitcher, to "knock down" an opposing batter — in Little League!
Warren Tracey is remembered for one pitch, thrown at Castle's head. At the time, after just 38 games, Castle had 21 home runs and a batting average of .488 — numbers that would stay frozen forever.

Thirty years later, Tracey is dying of cancer. His son, who has abandoned all interest in baseball, tracks down the reclusive Castle to arrange a meeting with the man who ended Castle's career.

In baseball terms, Calico Joe is no World Series thriller decided in the last at-bat. It's more like a pleasant, midseason afternoon at the ballpark when the home team creeps back in the game and wins 4-2.

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