I recently came across an obituary from the local newspaper for author W P Kinsella that I had tucked between the pages of a book several years ago. Amongst other things Kinsella wrote Shoeless Joe from which the movie Field of Dreams was derived. Kinsella’s literary agent described the author as a “dedicated storyteller, performer, curmudgeon, an irascible and difficult man”. Love him already.
Shoeless Joe is a good read, with more flesh than the movie, though this does not necessarily make it any better.
Iowa farmer Ray (Kevin Costner) hears a mysterious voice one night in his cornfield saying “If you build it, he will come,” and he feels the need to act. Despite the threat of bankruptcy, Ray builds a baseball diamond on his land, supported by his wife, Annie (Amy Madigan). Afterward, the ghosts of great players start emerging from the corn fields to play baseball led by “Shoeless” Joe Jackson.(Ray Liotta …big sigh and twinge of lust).
This stays pretty much to the original storyline, and much of the dialogue from the book is in the movie. This was a tad disconcerting in that I could hear the “voices”, particularly of Burt Lancaster and James Earl Jones, whilst I was reading. I could only “hear” Shoeless Joe in the first half when he did his spiel about what playing the game meant. Maybe this means nothing other than I’ve watched the movie far too often.
The camaraderie of the ball players is far more prominent in the movie version providing much of the humour and humanising the ghosts.( It’s about here we can offer a collective sigh for Liotta again……….)
Which brings me to a recent project: the Butterfly House in my back garden.
Build it and they will come. Fingers crossed anyway. I’ve also planted Marigolds, Lavender, and Geraniums so here’s hoping for house guests soon.
Next project? A Bee Motel.