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An Iowa corn farmer, hearing voices, interprets them as a command to build a baseball diamond in his fields; he does, and the Chicago White Sox come.

"If you build it, he will come", is what thirty-six year old novice farmer Ray Kinsella hears several times over the course of days from a bodiless voice emanating from somewhere in the corn field on his Iowa farm, the voice which no others around him hears. Later, he has a vision that the "it" is a baseball field, the "he" Shoeless Joe Jackson, infamous for his association in the Chicago 8, the eight players of the 1919 Chicago White Sox who were banned for life from the sport for throwing games during that year's World Series in exchange for money from gamblers. Although it was proved that Jackson did take money, it was never proved that he participated in throwing any of the games. Ray grew up with baseball, his long deceased father, John Kinsella, who played in the minor leagues, lived in Chicago during that infamous baseball year, and told stories to Ray often about it and his hero Shoeless Joe when Ray was growing up. Ray was estranged from his father at the time of his death, something that Ray now regrets. With the moral support of his wife Annie Kinsella, Ray tears up part of their corn field to build that baseball field. Ray eventually hears the voice telling him other things, always without a clear understanding on Ray's part of what it all means. One he believes has to do with famed '60's writer Terence Mann, now a recluse who stopped writing because he, renowned as *the* voice of his generation, didn't always want to be the answer to his generation's problems. Another he believes has to do with Archie "Moonlight" Graham, who played only one half of one inning of one major league game in 1922, and who died in 1972. Ray's voice led path may be difficult to achieve since cynical Mann may not have the same direction of the voice as Ray, and since Graham is dead. Ray will have to work through these puzzles to understand the full meaning of what the voice wants for him, which may not happen if he and Annie lose the farm and thus the baseball field, a real possibility due to the baseball field taking away from earning income from the farm, especially as Annie's cutthroat brother Mark, who says he is looking out for his sister's best interest, will do whatever needed to get Ray back to what Mark considers reality of earning a living from the farm.


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