Saturday, 15 September 2012

The Art of Fielding

Title: The Art of Fielding

Author: Chad Harbach

Number of pages: 528

Started: 8 September 2012

Finished: 15 September 2012

Opening words:

Schwartz didn’t notice the kid during the game. Or rather, he noticed only what everyone else did — that he was the smallest player on the field, a scrawny novelty of a shortstop, quick of foot but weak with the bat. Only after the game ended, when the kid returned to the sun-scorched diamond to take extra grounders, did Schwartz see the grace that shaped Henry’s every move.  

Read the first chapter here

Plot summary:

Henry Skrimshander, newly arrived at college, shy and out of his depth, has a talent for baseball that borders on genius. But sometimes it seems that his only friend is big Mike Schwartz – who champions the talents of others, at the expense of his own. And Owen, Henry’s clever, charismatic, gay roommate, who has a secret that could put his brilliant college career in jeopardy.

Pella, the 23-year-old daughter of the college president, has returned home after a failed marriage, determined to get her life in order. Only to find her father, a confirmed bachelor, has fallen desperately in love himself.

Then, one fateful day, Henry makes a mistake – misthrows a ball. And everything changes…

What I thought:

This book was readable, but I did rather find it hard work at times.  It was a very long book and I did at sometimes find it hard to motivate myself to keep reading it, but I did get to the end.  There was nothing wrong as such with the book.  It just didn’t feel entirely original and felt a bit slow at times.  It reminded me a bit of a few other books I have read (primarily “Skippy Dies”, and the baseball theme and a specific incident changing everything reminded me of “A Prayer for Owen Meany”).

It was fine, but didn’t strike me as being worthy of all of the praise that has been heaped upon it.

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