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The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
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The Art of Fielding (2011)

by Chad Harbach

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,3672182,418 (3.96)225
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» See also 225 mentions

English (212)  Dutch (4)  Italian (1)  German (1)  All languages (218)
Showing 1-5 of 212 (next | show all)
4.8 A near perfect first novel. Beautifully written and structured with elegantly formed characters. It is, however, limited to the collegiate experience (the way [b:Moby Dick; Or, the Whale|432363|Moby Dick; Or, the Whale|Herman Melville|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1279993832s/432363.jpg|2409320] is limited to the whaling experience). I respect and support this limit as I mention it. Worth it for Schwartz's last dug-out speech (among so much else). ( )
  Eoin | Jun 3, 2019 |
There are a lot of comparisons made between this book and Gabe Habash's book Stephen Florida. In the first place, Stephen Florida is better written and edgier. This is a cuter story about a scrawny shortstop that wins a college baseball scholarship, and then starts getting recruited by the major leagues. There is quite a few humorous incidents in the story, but the plotline is confused when more and more characters keep getting thrown into the mix. It would have been a better tale if the author had just stuck with two or three main characters.

( )
  kerryp | Apr 30, 2019 |
Fantastic character names, but otherwise not particularly engaging characters or plot or setting. ( )
  patl | Feb 18, 2019 |
I have no interest in Baseball, but this is really a character driven story. It takes place on a college campus, and involves a very eclectic group of characters. I could have enjoyed the book very well without a few of the main players, but over all it was very well written, not predictable, and kept my interest despite being about college BB! ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
A really strong beginning but sagged in the middle and never recovered its momentum. Some memorable characters, some nice writing, but I lost my early enthusiasm for it. Still well worth reading, though. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 212 (next | show all)
The book is a throwback to a bygone, if not universally mourned era when charismatic white male novelists wrote intelligent bestsellers, and one senses that it is intentionally so....It is a work of stridently unexperimental psychological realism, featuring likeable characters with cute nicknames, dramatic events that change people’s lives, easily identified and fully consummated narrative arcs, transparently conversational prose and big, obvious metaphors.

 
Wie aan dit boek begint, wordt een wereld binnengezogen waaruit je niet meer kunt en wilt ontsnappen.
Naast honkbalroman, bildungsroman en campusroman zou je De kunst van het veldspel ook een Melvilleroman kunnen noemen. Zonder dat het hinderlijk wordt (zelfs als je ze allemaal zou opmerken, wat geen lezer zich verbeelde), stikt het boek van de verwijzingen naar met name Moby Dick.
Dit klinkt als gewichtigdoenerij, maar maakt gewoon deel uit van de spitsvondige speelsheid die dit hele boek kenmerkt. De kunst van het veldspel is een jongensboek voor jongens en meisjes van alle leeftijden.
added by sneuper | editde Volkskrant, Hans Bouman (Jan 28, 2012)
 
Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding cross-breeds two genres with limited gene pools, the baseball novel and the campus novel, and comes up with a vigorous hybrid, entertaining and engrossing, though almost absurdly high-minded.
added by zhejw | editThe Guardian, Adam Mars-Jones (Jan 28, 2012)
 
It's easy to see why The Art of Fielding has done so well: it is charming, warm-hearted, addictive, and very hard to dislike....

The Art of Fielding feels like a novel from another, more innocent age. It revels in themes that have been unfashionable in literary fiction for generations – team spirit, male friendship, making the best of one's talents. In its optimism and lack of cynicism, in its celebration of the wide open spaces of the Midwest and its confidence in the deep inner meaning of baseball, it is a big American novel of the old school....

...it creates a richly peopled world that you can fully inhabit in your mind, and to which you long to return when you put it down.
added by zhejw | editThe Guardian, Theo Tait (Jan 12, 2012)
 
Centering on an imaginary northern Wisconsin private school and its baseball star-in-the-making Henry Skrimshander, Harbach sidesteps much of the familiar mythmaking that can go along with spinning the American pastime into literature and instead delivers a rich, warmly human story that resonates even if you have no idea what a 6-4-3 double play looks like.
added by zhejw | editLos Angeles Times, Chris Barton (Oct 16, 2011)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chad Harbachprimary authorall editionscalculated
Vermeulen, JorisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
So be cheery, my lads
Let your hearts never fall
While the bold Harpooner
Is striking the ball.

--Westish College fight song
Dedication
For my family
First words
Schwartz didn't notice the kid during the game.
Quotations
Literature could turn you into an asshole; he'd learned that teaching grad-school seminars.  It could teach you to treat real people the way you did characters, as instruments of your own intellectual pleasure, cadavers on which to practice your critical faculties.
Talking was like throwing a baseball.  You couldn't plan it out beforehand.  You just had to let go and see what happened.  You had to throw out words without knowing whether anyone would catch them--you and to throw out words you knew no one would catch. You had to send your words out where they weren't yours anymore.  It felt better to talk with a ball in your hand, it felt better to let the ball do the talking.  But the world, the nonbaseball world, the world of love and sex and jobs and friends, was made of words.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Affecting, subtle, funny, and true. The Art of Fielding is mere baseball fiction the way Moby-Dick is just a fish story. Reading the Art of Fielding is like watching a hugely gifted young short stop: you keep waiting for the errors, but there are no errors. First novels this complete and consuming come along very, very seldom.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316126691, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, September 2011: Though The Art of Fielding is his fiction debut, Chad Harbach writes with the self-assurance of a seasoned novelist. He exercises a masterful precision over the language and pacing of his narrative, and in some 500 pages, there's rarely a word that feels out of place. The title is a reference to baseball, but Harbach's concern with sports is more than just a cheap metaphor. The Art of Fielding explores relationships--between friends, family, and lovers--and the unpredictable forces that complicate them. There's an unintended affair, a post-graduate plan derailed by rejection letters, a marriage dissolved by honesty, and at the center of the book, the single baseball error that sets all of these events into motion. The Art of Fielding is somehow both confident and intimate, simple yet deeply moving. Harbach has penned one of the year's finest works of fiction.--Kevin Nguyen

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:35 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

"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."--from publisher's description.… (more)

» see all 8 descriptions

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