Sacrifice. Chad Harbach’s sprawling and ambitious debut novel, The Art of Fielding, demands a lot of patience from readers. The characters are developed very slowly, almost at the pace of most baseball games. The setting is a Midwestern college where the protagonist, Henry Skrimshander, has been recruited to the school because of his talent as a baseball player. His ambition and that of other characters, along with the sacrifices made by many, provide the backdrop for relationships and a multi-year odd adventure with mighty highs and deep lows. Harback tested my willing suspension for disbelief at many times, but by the time I finished the 500+ pages, I realized that I had really enjoyed a fine story. Patient readers who are willing to give a chance to first time authors are those most likely to enjoy this novel.
Rating: Four-star (Highly Recommended)
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