The Art Of Fielding
by Chad Harbach
A BOOK about baseball which requires zero knowledge of the sport to enjoy and fully appreciate.
Harbach’s debut novel is quite beautiful and compelling.
Yes, the backdrop is a baseball team on a university campus, but, in truth, ‘The Art Of Fielding’ is a study of people - people in love, falling out of love and how their often broken, fractured lives intertwine.
The five main characters all spin around one mistake on a baseball pitch which has consequences for all.
Henry Skrimshander is the college team star who errs quite disastrously in a game.
His coach starts to question if he has sacrificed his own career to mentor his young protege, Henry’s room-mate and buddy becomes embroiled in a dangerous affair, the college principal has a crush which brings his own house of cards tumbling down, and his daughter returns to campus to flee a broken marriage.
Their lives, and stories, collide as this story unfurls at a sedate, gentle pace. Poignant, irresistible and wonderfully written - and highly recommended.