Seven Ways of Thinking About "The Art of Fielding"

Chad Harbach’s Art of Fielding via My Laziness. Overused poetic trope, I know, but for book reviews? Maybe novel.

1.When amazing-hitting infielders lose their ability to throw to first, they become outfielders. See: Chuck Knoblauch, Gary Sheffield, etc. The book gives no reason why this change isn’t made. Henry Skrimshander is the best hitter on the team. Which means someone else can play shortstop while his bat stays in the lineup. Coach is stupid, but team isn’t, and would demand the switch.

2.This is about small-college love lives. Baseball setting could be Frisbee, & nothing would change.

3. Plot lines of aging academic – college student romances are gripping if you don’t read much (and Blue Angel is the best place to go for that).

4. Plot lines of aging academics losing their religion with a college student are an improvement, but give him a (living) wife, maybe; otherwise, who cares?

5. There’s one major female character. That’s ok. She’s ok. But one? See #4

6.The Art of Fielding is a book to read while reading other books. I still haven’t finished it.

7. Since beginning The Art of Fielding last March, I’ve read, among other stuff: Denis Johnson’s Tree of Smoke, Parry’s People Who Eat Darkness, Benjamin Black’s Vengeance, Hilary Mantel’s Bringing Out the Bodies, Wilkerson’s Warmth of Other Suns, Peter Carey’s The Chemistry of Tears, Peter Ackroyd’s London Under, Shakespeare’s Midsummer’s Night Dream and The Tempest, Graham Greene’s A Gun For Hire and The Heart of the Matter, and maybe pages 503 to 613 of Pynchon’s Against the Day. 

Reading is a sickness. Please send medicine in the form of books. 

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