Read Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella Free Online
Book Title: Shoeless Joe|
The author of the book: W.P. Kinsella
Date of issue: July 12th 1986
ISBN 13: 9780345342263
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 540 KB
Edition: Ballantine Books
Read full description of the books Shoeless Joe:W. P. Kinsella passed away this weekend. Fittingly, we have selected his novel Shoeless Joe, the basis of the movie Field of Dreams, as our fiction selection for the baseball book club for October 2016. Featuring the characters who star in the film as well as additional personae and locations, it was a joy for me to reread this novel filled with examples of magical realism on and off of the baseball diamond. Although Kinsella hails from western Canada, at the time of this novel's publication he and his wife spent their summers driving through the United States to view America's pastime. He was a gem of a writer and a true fan of the game, and his love of baseball shines through the pages.
The year is 1979. Ray Kinsella lives in a farm house outside of Iowa City with his wife Annie and their daughter Karin. One day he hears a voice telling him, "If you build it, he will come." Ray believes the voice refers to Shoeless Joe Jackson and the other eight members of the 1919 Chicago Black Sox scandal who had been banned from the game for life. Jackson was also the favorite player of Ray's father, and instead of being brought up with stories of nursery rhymes, Ray heard stories of Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and, of course, Shoeless Joe. Upon hearing the voice, Ray decides to plow under his corn and build a baseball field, deeming him crazy to all but his wife and daughter.
After constructing a gleaming field and meeting Jackson, the voice speaks to Ray again, telling him to "Ease his pain." After wracking their brains, Ray and Annie realize that Ray must drive over 1000 miles and take reclusive author J. D. Salinger to a Red Sox game. Unlike the movie which skips directly to Boston, in this printed version Ray attends games in Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and New York on his journey east. The scene in a Cleveland Greek diner contains magical symbolism that would have been enjoyable to see on screen but wouldn't have leant itself to the flow of the film. Frank and Wandalie the waitress were memorable characters all the same.
The novel moves from Boston to Moonlight Graham in Chisolm, Minnesota and back to Iowa City. We meet Eddie Scissons the oldest living Chicago Cub and find out that Ray has a twin brother named Richard who has worked for a traveling circus for the past fifteen years. Both play pivotal roles in the book but were also kept out of the film version. Additionally, having attended college in Iowa City, I found the landmarks Kinsella the author mentions to be reminiscent of a simpler time, which is the imagery he created with his magical field.
Kinsella ends with the same speech by Salinger that he recites on screen: "I don't have to tell you that the one constant through all the years has been baseball.." As a fan of the game, this soliloquy resonates to me as to why I eagerly await spring training each winter. Baseball is the one presence in many of our lives that gives us hope each spring and moves on cyclically through the years. W. P. Kinsella has penned what I feel is the definitive baseball novel. His field is magical for all who view it live as I have, in print, or on screen. It was a pure joy to reread and I look forward to revisiting Kinsella's other work as well. As always, 5 delightful stars.
Read information about the authorWilliam Patrick Kinsella, OC, OBC was a Canadian novelist and short story writer. His work has often concerned baseball and Canada's First Nations and other Canadian issues.
William Patrick Kinsella was born to John Matthew Kinsella and Olive Kinsella in Edmonton, Alberta. Kinsella was raised until he was 10 years-old at a homestead near Darwell, Alberta, 60 km west of the city, home-schooled by his mother and taking correspondence courses. "I'm one of these people who woke up at age five knowing how to read and write," he says. When he was ten, the family moved to Edmonton.
As an adult, he held a variety of jobs in Edmonton, including as a clerk for the Government of Alberta and managing a credit bureau. In 1967, he moved to Victoria, British Columbia, running a pizza restaurant called Caesar's Italian Village and driving a taxi.
Though he had been writing since he was a child (winning a YMCA contest at age 14), he began taking writing courses at the University of Victoria in 1970, receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing there in 1974. He travelled down to Iowa and earned a Master of Fine Arts in English degree through the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa in 1978. In 1991, he was presented with an honorary Doctor of Literature degree from the University of Victoria.
Kinsella's most famous work is Shoeless Joe, upon which the movie Field of Dreams was based. A short story by Kinsella, Lieberman in Love, was the basis for a short film that won the Academy Award for Live Action Short Film – the Oscar win came as a surprise to the author, who, watching the award telecast from home, had no idea the film had been made and released. He had not been listed in the film's credits, and was not acknowledged by director Christine Lahti in her acceptance speech – a full-page advertisement was later placed in Variety apologizing to Kinsella for the error. Kinsella's eight books of short stories about life on a First Nations reserve were the basis for the movie Dance Me Outside and CBC television series The Rez, both of which Kinsella considers very poor quality. The collection Fencepost Chronicles won the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour in 1987.
Before becoming a professional author, he was a professor of English at the University of Calgary in Alberta. Kinsella suffered a car accident in 1997 which resulted in a long hiatus in his fiction-writing career until the publication of the novel, Butterfly Winter. He is a noted tournament Scrabble player, becoming more involved with the game after being disillusioned by the 1994 Major League Baseball strike. Near the end of his life he lived in Yale, British Columbia with his fourth wife, Barbara (d. 2012), and occasionally wrote articles for various newspapers.
In the year 1993, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2005, he was awarded the Order of British Columbia.
W.P. Kinsella elected to die on September 16, 2016 with the assistance of a physician.
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