Wednesday 26 Nov 2014

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

art of fieldingOk let’s get this out of the way. I’m not a baseball guy (it’s two guys playing catch and every once in awhile something happens). The fantasy season is so bloody long and if you are in a daily line up league ugh…it’s daily. Also, let it be known, my Mum is a die hard Cubs fans with shared season tickets. Going to Wrigley is amazing. You should do it before you die. In fact, I have a feeling that the year the Cubs win my Mum will have a heart attack. Note to Chicago: if the Cubs ever make it to the World Series (and really what a dumb name it’s not a “world” series) you better hire extra ambulances.

The book is about baseball. An underdog (of course) turned star. It was a Christmas gift (Thank you jolly old elf). It’s about Academia. It’s about Sexual confusion (or discovery). It’s about America’s pastime (the NFL? No silly baseball).

It’s not a must read. It’s a good beach read. My favorite kind. Quick but smart. The ending is pure Hollywood but don’t let that ruin the first 3/5ths.

a few quotes from the book

“Then the coach’s bucket was empty and the first baseman’s bucket full, and all three men left the field with out a word. Schwartz felt bereft. he wanted the performance to continue. he wanted to rewind it and see it again in slow motion. He Looked around to see how else had been watching – wanted at least the pleasure of exchanging a glance with another enraptured witness – but nobody was paying any attention.”

“All his life Schwartz had yearned to possess some single transcendent talent, some unique brilliance that the world wold consent to call genius. Now that he’d seen that kind of talent up close, he couldn’t let it walk away”

“Putting Henry at shortstop – it was like taking a painting that had been shoved in a closet and hanging it in the ideal spot. You instantly forgot what the room had looked like before.”

“Something happened yesterday. At least now, in retrospect, it seemed like something happened yesterday. At the time it hadn’t seemed like much, certainly not a turning point – just one of those moments that force you to admit, because you’re not insane or utterly fanatical, that you and your lover are different people whose views of the world will sometimes differ.”

“Deep down, he thought, we all believe we’re God. We secretly believe that the outcome of the game depends on us, even when we’re only watching – on the way we breathe in, the way we breathe out, the T-shrit we wear, whether we close our eyes as the pitch leaves the pitcher’s hand and heads toward Schwartz.”

Side note: I played soccer at a small college and this book brought back a flood of memories of those seasons and my teammates. I wonder what Wad is doing right now?

NEXT (or currently): I think I’m finally going to read “The Pale King” by David Foster Wallace. I’ve been saving that one. I think I’m finally ready but also am in various stages of “Cloud Atlas” by David Mitchell (I’m on a David streak I guess) and the Kurt Vonnegut bio “And So It Goes” (by a Charles not a David)

2 Comments

  1. Jake Dunn says:

    Dude, i love that you got that most wonderful quotes…but that picture…SKRIMMER is with a K. The only reason I’m so nit-picky about this book is because it has literally become my Bible.

    Reply
  2. Chris says:

    Thanks for reading this post and commenting. If I remember correctly I looked and looked and that was the best photo I could find.

    Let me look again and see if I can fix that.

    Reply

Leave a Comment