Jamie's Reviews > The Art of Fielding

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
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's review
Apr 01, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: audiobooks, adult, sports-baseball, coming-of-age
Read in April, 2012

The age old question when listening to an audiobook. Does a good narrator make a mediocre book better or worse? I've definitely listened to bad narrators who ruin good books, but I think good narrators can go either way. They can raise a mediocre book to greater heights, OR they can shine the light on the flaws of mediocre books. I listened to this and I'm pretty sure it's the latter.

I found nothing creative or interesting in this first novel. The characters were all BORING and I didn't CARE about any of them. This is very different than hating characters. I love to hate characters (everyone in One Day, Pete Campbell) These characters were sketchily drawn and without solid motivation most of the time. The ostensible lead character, Henry, was SO boring and thin that I hated the book the most when he was being featured.

But as a sports fan, this is no sports book. This is an author's idea of a literate sports book. A person on a collegiate baseball team who is allowed to read novels on the bench? I doubt it. Characters who have to be told who Roberto Clemente was. No. But worst of all, Characters named OWEN who get HIT IN THE HEAD WITH BASEBALLS while READING A BOOK. Chad Harbach, you are in no way A Prayer for Owen Meany.

Then there was graverobbing which made my eyes roll. Its only with distance that I managed to give this book 3* instead of 2* after that.
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