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Preview — The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
The Art of Fielding
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The storyline revolves around five characters and readers shouldn't be misled into thinking, as the inside cover description seems to imply, that Henry is the star and the four other cha ...more
No John Smiths or Jane Does allowed in this one.
Mike Schwartz is a hard working and ambitious student athlete at second rate Westish College in Wisconsin. At a summer league baseball game, Mike sees Henry Skrimshander play and instantly recognizes that he’s seeing the kind of fielding talent that can only be called genius. Skinny Henr ...more
I wanted to like it, I did. I like books that take place in college. I like baseball. I like baseball metaphors even more. but it felt like a book that took 10 years to write and not in a good way. Characters that I imagine ...more
While reading it, I couldn't help but reflect upon and compare this novel to The Marriage Plot. Both are about college-aged kids (though set in different decades); mental illness is an element in both; and while the love triangle in the Eugenides is paramount, the one here (which is sort of (though not really) a love triangle) is more subtle and more realistically portrayed. (I almost want to say that, exceptin ...more
Number 1) Pure jealousy. Harbach got paid like a bajillion dollars for his very first novel. I was paid slightly less than that. Okay, a lot less than that.
Number 2) I don't like n+1 magazine, of which he is the co-founder. I find it pretentious and boring. I would honestly rather read Cat Fancy.
Number 3) Harbach wrote an article about MFA vs. New York writers that was, in a word, uber-douchy. And anyone who we ...more
100 pages in and the author has already *twice* withheld information from the reader which would be apparent to the character. Is there a name for this?
The first time it's dialogue overheard by a character, dialogue which the reader is meant to mistake for sex when in fact it's two people lifting weights. But the character is outside the weight room, so there's no chance that /he/ would think it's sexual.
The next occurrence: one character is straining for a glimpse of another, wor ...more
I've finished the book. I was a little wrong about how the book would end, I think I liked the book more because of the way it wrapped up than I expected to. I gave it an extra star. It is a pretty good book, not a great book, there are problems with it, some of the characters could be developed a bit more in places and some of the middle part of the book could have probably been reworked a little bit to make it not feel like a slog for a little bit, but with the ...more
This is one of those ...more
I'm sure there are others out there, a secret brotherhood of ivy-loving, two-seamer fetishists, lurking in dank hallways dreaming about spring and middle ...more
Without divulging any secrets, I'll just say.....the novel intertwines friendships and relationships among five flawed characters who struggle to find their way in life and follow their dreams.
Baseball is, without a doubt, mega dull. But with near-perfect (actually more perfect than near-perfect) "The Art of Fielding," the passion in the hearts of five individuals will likewise light a passion within the impressionable reader. I am not kidding. I LOVE this novel. I was convinced that "The Marriage Plot", a kindred book--same time, same themes, same environment--by Eugenides was the definitive college novel of our times. I am sorry to say (well, not really) that this one t ...more
This is an auspicious, audacious debut novel about self-discovery. Set at a middling liberal arts college on the shores of Lake Michigan, it is loosely based on Melville's Moby Dick, with baseball substituting for whaling. Like most baseball games, it starts slow, but the momentum builds as the season progresses. One player succumbs to an existential crisis as the team finally begins to have some success. America's other favorite pastime appears when Pella, the college president's prodigal dau ...more
The first two chapters of this book (I got an advance copy at work) gave me such high hopes. Funny, a good sense of place and time, a knowledge of baseball (and a clear love for the sport), interesting 3D characters....I actually handed it to my husband, who is even more of a baseball fan than I ...more
I have always thought about what poem, or story to have read at my funeral???....after reading this book,you might figure out what I have decided to have read at my funeral.....no rush on that event....but this book inspire ...more
There were some reviews I had read that had turned me off the book, mostly citing a bloated middle part, but I couldn't ignore the best-of lists that it kept turning up on. Particularly this one:
So, a few weeks ago I slapped it back on my to-read list, and shortly after that, loaded it onto my Kindle.
This was top notch writing for the most part. It's the story of a baseball phenom who goes to colleg ...more
A review I read compared Harbach's voice to Franzen but I don't think there's nearly as ...more
It opens in Peoria with a no-name tournament between small-time summer teams. Harbach sets the robust tone and pacing here, with a droll wit and a steady, fluid tempo. He coaxes us to treasure his characters as much as he clearly en ...more
The character names may be a bit preposterous, and the main character rather thin and forgettable in the e ...more
The book reviews tell you that this about a college baseball team which develops into a winning team under the defensive prowess of the star shortstop Henry Skrimshander. While some reviewers correctly note that to say that is a baseball book is like saying Moby Dick is a fish story, even the best reviews don't ...more