Review: The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

Have you ever experienced the joy of picking up a random book in a bookshop, reading the back, buying it and then loving the book so much that you really wish that it wasn’t the author’s debut book so that you could add their back catalogue to your reading list?!

I experienced that this week; I went shopping in Exeter and decided I would allow myself to spend a maximum of £30 in Waterstones (I try to get books through Read It Swap It and charity shops these days to try and save money) and knew that I wanted one of James Patterson’s new books and thought that I would buy another book at random in the hope of striking gold.  And I did.

The first good sign was when I got to the till and the guy processing my purchases told me that a friend of his had loved it.  Then, when I was on the bus home I started flicking through the book a bit and noticed that 2 of my favourite authors had given it a glowing review.  I started it as soon as I got home (about 6.30pm on Tuesday) and finished it this morning.  It was BRILLIANT.

The book in question: “The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach

It would be harsh to say that not a lot happens, but it’s one of those books that you read 100 pages and then wonder to yourself how that many have passed as there hasn’t been one big storyline. I know NOTHING about baseball but have always wanted to learn a bit (which I think I have done by reading the book) but it goes to show that you don’t need to, to read, understand and love the book.

I felt myself feeling attracted to Schwartzy, protective of Henry and wanting to be BFF’s with Pella.  I became addicted to it very quickly and found I really couldn’t put it down; James Patterson is quoted as saying about the book:

“One of those rare novels that seems to appear out of nowhere, and then dazzles and bewitches and inspires, until you nearly lose your breath from the enjoyment and satisfaction”

I think this really sums up my feeling about the book – a story of friendship, dreams, hard work and college and one that I am contemplating re-reading right away just to go back into the world of Westish College.  If you haven’t read it already, do give it a go!


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