Saturday, December 6, 2014

Book Review: The Art of Fielding: A Novel by Carl Harbach

College Baseball but so much More

I don't know much about baseball and I have never really been that interested in the game. There was even this one time where I went to Tiger's Stadium because I was invited to go with friends and I brought a book. . . All that being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this book which may have a baseball theme but really is more about people, their intimate relationships and emotions, rather than just about baseball.

Henry Skrimshander had every intention of giving up his passion for baseball after high school, and following in his father's footsteps to work in a blue collar job, never dreaming of going to college. That all changes when he meets Mike Schwartz, a baseball player and student at Westish College, who sees him play in a tournament and decides that he must recruit him, changing Henry's destiny in his single minded drive to bring the college to a championship.

This story focuses on Henry and four of the people whose lives become intertwined with his especially after one fateful game. For me the central question in regard to Henry was what happens when the drive, effort and discipline replace the original love or passion for something that was what brought you there to begin with? I think that this question really has nothing to do with baseball or could easily be applied to so many other activities or vocations, and is a question I often ponder in my own life when it comes to making art.

I really loved all the characters in this book and felt that I was with them as I heard about their dreams, their fears and their insecurities. Great book.

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