Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesday - The Art of Fielding

For a slow reader, this book took quite a while to finish. It is rare for a lengthy book to keep my attention but this new novel from Chad Harbach was worth all the time and effort. Fortunately, my book club at work extended the finish date so I had plenty of time to finish.

Here's what Amazon had to say,
"At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended.

Henry's fight against self-doubt threatens to ruin his future. College president Guert Affenlight, a longtime bachelor, has fallen unexpectedly and helplessly in love. Owen Dunne, Henry's gay roommate and teammate, becomes caught up in a dangerous affair. Mike Schwartz, the Harpooners' team captain and Henry's best friend, realizes he has guided Henry's career at the expense of his own. And Pella Affenlight, Guert's daughter, returns to Westish after escaping an ill-fated marriage, determined to start a new life.

As the season counts down to its climactic final game, these five are forced to confront their deepest hopes, anxieties, and secrets. In the process they forge new bonds, and help one another find their true paths. Written with boundless intelligence and filled with the tenderness of youth, The Art of Fielding is an expansive, warmhearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment--to oneself and to others."
The plot revolves around baseball but it is SO much more than that. Much to my dad's disappointment, I am hardly a baseball fan. Not even close. I don't hate it but I refuse to keep up with such a busy schedule for typically slow games. I'm much more of a football fan. But I digress. Despite my disinterest in baseball, I really enjoyed this book. Harbach did a great job of weaving in stories for each significant character and mixing up the perspectives to tell the story of one year in college.

Just when you get to the end and you think that the book will conclude with the playoffs like a stereotypical feelgood baseball movie would do, the plot takes a big old twist and leaves you gripped to the book until you get some answers.

Each character grows so much throughout the book that by the end you feel like you've grown up a little bit too. I've always thought a good book leaves you feeling sad when it's over because you can't read more and that really sums up how I felt last night as I finished.

The only bummer about my experience with this book is that it just came out so I couldn't find a used copy for a cheaper price. But I enjoyed reading it on my Nook while I was on the treadmill so I really can't complain too much.

I'd give this book at 5/5. Definitely put it on your Christmas list!

No comments:

Post a Comment