librarianh20's Reviews > The Art of Fielding

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
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's review
Jan 07, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011-12-lariat

I expected to be intimidated by lots of baseball insider information and lingo, but instead found a moving meditation on desire and what happens when you succeed or fail to get what you want. I loved the literary references and the author's description of the Westish campus made me feel nostalgic for college.

Henry Skrimshander--shortstop wunderkind, incredible focus on training and playing (made me think of Michael Phelps), falls apart after making several spectaular errors in games. You're left with the feeling that Henry's life will move forward and he might even find success in baseball again, but that it will never be as simple and pure as it was before he hit Owen.
Owen Dunne--Henry's mixed-race gay roommate who takes Henry under his wing, magnetic and singular, has affiar with Dean Affenlight.
Mike Schwartz--bear of a man, catcher on the baseball team, Henry's recruiter, mentor, and center of the universe, fails to get into law school which sends him on his own spiral.
Dean Affenlight--the scholarly world found him after he found a lost lecture of Melville's, charismatic and handsome even at 60, has an affair with Owen which is discovered just before his fatal heart attack.
Pella Affenlight--the dean's daughter, running away from a failed marriage, sleeps with both Mike and Henry, trying to find her place in the world.

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