Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Shoeless Joe Book/Movie Review

Rating 3

Dear Readers,

YAY!!!!!  I have finally been able to break away from two kids and a husband to go get some "me" time at our local Starbucks!  Now I can finally begin our review and discussion of Shoeless Joe. Thank you again for your patience

"If you build it, he will come"

If some of you are stumbling upon us for the first time, Shoeless Joe is the novel of the film Field of Dreams.  I am a huge, HUGE fan of the film and had never read the book until now.  Honestly, I am embarrassed to say that I didn't even know it was based on a book for the long before now.  I usually cry when I watch the movie, and I always feel uplifted and motivated to get "in tune" with my spiritual side.

There are actually quite a few changes from the novel and film.  The book begins after Ray Kinsella has already heard the voice "If you build it he will come".  He's already built the baseball diamond.  Hmmm...I'm going to see if I can make this easier on myself.


The voice is that of an old baseball radio announcer
Karen, Ray's daughter is two
There is a man who Ray bought his land from, Eddie Scissons, who is part of our story
No Annie protest book banning (I liked that scene in the film)
J.D. Salinger lives out in the boonies, a beautiful area, but the boonies nonetheless
Moonlight Graham spends more time at Ray's house before being able to join the "game"
The story with the baseball players seems to not be as focal
Ray's twin brother, Richard, and his girlfriend are part of the story, but closer to the end


Ray has not built the baseball field but hears a quiet whisper among the cornstalks.  The voice is never that of an announcer, but a whispering
Karen is around 6 or 7
More interaction with Ray and the baseball players
No Eddie Scissons or Richard, which in my humble opinion weren't really needed.
Moonlight Graham saves Karen's life, giving up his spot with the players
J.D. Salinger is replaced with Terrance Mann.  Salinger did not want the publicity so Kinsella changed the name.
More of a magical moment between Ray and his father

I'm sure I've missed some other things that are different, but these are the first ones to pop into my head. This clips is one of my favorite scenes and usually starts the waterworks.
Yep, I'm crying just watching it now.  There's something the film was able to capture that the book didn't.  Can't explain it.  It's just that big swelling in your heart.  I love you Burt Lancaster!!!

I thought the book was ok.  I feel the film captured more of a spiritual undertone and magical quality than it's novel.  I got so many different things from the film: listening to that inner voice that speaks to us, taking that leap of faith to follow promptings when we have no idea what their purpose or intentions are, having someone believe in you even when you might seem crazy at the moment, and being an answer to someone else's prayers.

Here are our cast of great characters and information about their lives:

For those of you who have read the book and/or seen the film, which do you prefer?  Why?  What did you get from the story?  

ps. In honor of OB, I am posting one of her favorite scenes from the movie

pps. Oh my goodness!  This is hilarious and I love the cameos!  hahahahahahahahaha!!!
Field of Dreams 2


  1. Sorry LB for not joining in on this discussion. U did a fantastic job once again in displaying the great pictures to give us some visual representation. I LOVE, LOVE, "Field of Dreams" for all the wonderful period baseball uniforms. I know I'm crazy.

    My favorite line. "If u build it he will come." I read the book but I really liked the movie for different reasons. The story to me was really about faith. What would u do and how far would u go for faith? Anyway, I get lump in my throat each time I watch the scene when Ray plays catch with his Dad.O.k. I'm tearing up now just thinking about this scene. Let me stop.

    1. That's one of the greatest scenes!!!! yes, it really is about faith. To answer your question, I think I would "go the distance." haha!! But seriously, I would. Faith means you have absolutely no idea what is about to come or how something will work out. You have to trust that if you are doing your part to do the best you can and follow those promptings, that something is going to work out for you. I've made decisions in my life that got me comments like, "Are you crazy? No way would I do that." And I can understand their POV because if I were in their shoes looking in my life from the outside, I probably did seem crazy. However, I really believe that there is a God and He is watching out for me. He may have me do something that seems out of the norm, but sure enough, looking back, it was the only way something great was going to be accomplished in my life.

      I think we all need an Annie in our life too. We need at least one cheerleader who will support us when we have that strong premonition/prompting to do something. maybe it doesn't work out the way we think it should or perhaps it doesn't seem to be working at all, but down the road you realize, "oooohhhh yeah...I see why I was propelled to do that."

    2. OB,

      I didn't want you to cry alone, so I posted your favorite moment above for everyone to watch. yeah, I'm crying. Along with faith, I get the strong impression of hope of what waits for us and importance of family.

    3. I love, love your comment. I'm not a very conventional person. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

  2. OB,

    Ray heard a soft whispering. He really had to stop what he was doing, tune out the world around him, and listen. As someone I know who believes in God, do you think their is a particular reason why He speaks to us in a still, small voice?

  3. Ahhhh! LB. Thank U!

    That scene gets me every time.

    To answer your question. I believe God speaks to us in a soft voice to get us to focus so we choose to put him first.

    1. OOoohhh!!! I like that answer. I'm going to piggy back on that and add: it gets us to tune all the "crap" of the world out. The more we listen to Him, the less we listen to the world. :)

      Yeah, i was totally crying watching that clip! I don't even have to see the whole film apparently to get the water works going. hahaha!!!

    2. Follow up questions:

      Why do you suppose most of us don't listen to the voice the first, second, third, fourth time around? Do you think it is because we think it is our own thoughts and not God? Also, do you believe in visions? Ray sees the baseball field before he starts construction.

    3. LB-Great question.

      I think the reason is due to a lack of faith.OMGosh my middle name is Thomas. Hahaha! Seriously, I look for confirmations when I get a vision. When I’m being led to do something outside of my comfort zone, I usually need about three or four confirmations before I act. The conversation usually goes like this. Really!!!! I don’t have time. How is that possible? Then the next day or week my schedule changes or he gives me opportunities to support it I would have never imagined. Then I try to debate the issues. If that’s even possible??? Hahaha! It’s only recently I’ve been willing to let things fall where they may. It can be really difficult for those close to u.

  4. OB,

    Another reason I think the movie has so much more impact is because of James Horner who orchestrated the film. Plus the video montage at the beginning really helps set up the visual of baseball in the past. (Yes I am watching the film as I type this. haha)

    1. It also deals with such a sensitive topic most people have difficulty expressing. It deals with people taking chances, being vulnerable etc... Really listening and responding to that inner voice. Without looking crazy. Hahahaha

  5. I noticed how Ray's "voices" always lead to something else. I have seen that in my own life. I never get a straight up answer to problems. I get bits and pieces and if I keep following that inner voice I end up with the whole puzzle. I think that's another aspect of faith comes in. God isn't going to gives us knowledge all at once. I truly believe he wants us to do our part and work for it as well. It shows our faith and we grow spiritually.

    1. Yes, bits and pieces are good for me. If things got revealed to us all at once we would freak out!!! Also, we would not grow and start to believe we were perfect.

  6. Ok, I think I am almost done here. I forgot a great speech Ray gives in the film and I think it is very pertinent to most people, if not all, who are consistently trying to do the right thing.

    It's towards the end and Shoeless Joe asks Terance Mann to join them in the "corn". Ray gets upset and asks why he doesn't get invited. he did everything he was asked especially when he didn't understand. But he did it! He never asked for everything...Joe doesn't really give him an answer but just looks at him knowingly. Joe says he wasn't invited. This still ticks of Ray...come to find out that after Terance leaves with Joe, Ray's younger version of his father is out on the field. IF Ray had gone he would have missed this moment where he gets to talk to his father and play ball with him. Joe (God) knew something Ray (us) didn't. Ray didn't get what he thought he wanted. He got something more.

    I think that is very reflective of how I can be sometimes. I do and I do and I give and I give because that's how I was raised and what I know to be true. I see those who don't do diddly end up with things I want but never seem to get. Turns out I always end up with much, much more in ways that I NEED. And I know it's because I have been obedient. it's not always easy to see friends and family get pay raises when we don't or buy beautiful homes when we live in a small little rental. But my blessings always end up so much better than I would have planned for myself.

    god knows what we want and what we need. If we are staying on the right course, we always end up with those "things". It just is on His time. :)

  7. How beautiful LB. Really, beautiful and a great conclusion to the discussion.

    If I may add to your great analysis. I use to envy others, then I realized. What God has for u is what he has especially for u for a reason. Diversity is a wonderful thing, if u think about it. Not one finger on a hand looks identical and they each serve a different purpose.

    I wasn't at my Mom's bedside when she passed away and for months I envied my siblings who were. But eventually I realized God wanted me to remember my life with my mother not her death. Things always happen for a reason.