Michael Magras's Reviews > The Art of Fielding

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
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's review
Dec 28, 2011

really liked it

Don't let anyone tell you otherwise: You do have to like baseball to appreciate fully Chad Harbach's début novel. Yes, it's about other things, but the focus is on baseball and how one's talent for the game, or lack thereof, affects one's sense of self-worth. Non-baseball fans would probably relate to many of the themes, but I doubt they'd give the book its due if they had to force their way through long set pieces about missed cut-off men and errant throws and hitting to the opposite field. It helps to like the game, as I do. But this is still a fine novel, if not exactly the Great American Novel some would have you believe. Maybe the book's most vocal champions like the game too much.
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Dave Trembley I've had this book in my hand twice, and put it back. But now, I think the third time will be the charm.

Michael Magras I hope you like it, Dave. It's an enjoyable book for baseball fans. I'll be interested in your thoughts on it.

Tina Thank you for acknowledging the simple truth that this is a book for baseball fans. I'm not one, and this book is a struggle for me. On I read, hoping to see the beauty that has eluded me thus far...

Doneen No such thing as "liking the game too much."

Casey while I am not a huge baseball fan I am a minor one (my son played and I have 'my team') and I think I fully enjoyed it all the same. But I want to thanks you for your review - always appreciate not having to read a re-hash of the story. :) Have to agree though, not the Great American Novel, but it was a good american novel, following the Great American pasttime.

Christa Hate sports, but loved this book.

Diane C. thank you, Michael, because I didn't like this book. It's not a bad book, I'm just not interested at all in baseball. It just wasn't for me. Looks like lots of folks enjoyed it.

Leslie Disagree that you have to like baseball to appreciate this book. I am pretty neutral about sports in general, but I loved the book because of the intensity of the characters, their drives, their pain. Baseball is just the vehicle for the story.

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