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Chad Harbach

Autor(a) de The Art of Fielding

4+ Works 4,323 Membros 256 Reviews 2 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: The Rumpus

Obras de Chad Harbach

Associated Works

What We Should Have Known : Two Discussions (2007) — Contribuinte — 37 cópias, 1 resenha
n+1, Number Six: Mainstream (2007) 21 cópias, 1 resenha
On your Marx: Neoliberalism on the rocks — Contribuinte — 1 exemplar(es), 1 resenha


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Locais de residência
Racine, Wisconsin, USA
Harvard University
University of Virginia



As the dark coolly draped over the heat-soaked desert foothills, I concentrated on the radio call for the San Francisco Giants series opener against the Rockies. The cool air outside the window where I sat and listened was no match for the crispness of the mile-high air in Coors Field. The stands sounded full, echoing just over the announcers banter, a tribute to the Rockies’ overachievement in the early weeks of the season. Maybe Tulowitzki is stealing signs, maybe not; maybe the team sneaks a non-humidor ball into the ump’s pouch at a critical time, maybe not. Even though I couldn’t see, I held my breath a little with each pitch, hoping Bumgarner, with his crane-like pivot, could sweep a 93 mph fastball over the corner of the plate. Or would the ball hang up just enough for the batter eye’s to widen with lust. As the final outs approached, the Giants were on top by a run thanks to a double that snaked into the left field corner, hit by a player that wore Rockies’ gray and purple last year. The Giants closed within one strike of victory. But the slight, wiry closer, the one with the beard sculpted to a gnome-like point, slotted a slider that a Rockies’ batter sent to the top of the wall in left field, scoring two. It’s only May. The Giants lead their division with one of the best records in baseball. It’s only one game. But listening to the excited voices of the announcers describing the path of the ball down the left field line turned my stomach. What is it about this game?

[The Art of Fielding], Chad Harbach’s debut novel, ponders the pull of the game, and how it mirrors life, transcending sport in so many ways. Not everyone sees that. Not everyone understands the game’s dichotomy: the routine interrupted by flashes of brilliant excitement and agony; the repeated failure broken by dizzying moments of success. Does that not describe life?

The book follows the life of Henry Skrimshander, a shortstop phenom, graceful and lithe on the field of play, but empty in all other ways except the pursuit of perfection. Playing college ball for a small, liberal arts college, ‘the Skrimmer’ develops an errorless streak that threatens to break records, only to see a rare errant throw destroy the face of a teammate. In that split second of failure, the minute slip of a finger, human fragility descends and consumes Henry. The doubt and confusion that follows, reflects the struggles of the people in Henry’s life: Schwartz, the captain of the team who suddenly loses his own single-minded path in life, Guert Affentlight, the college president who begins to pursue a love affair that will destroy his career; Pella, Guert’s daughter who is floundering from an abusively manipulative marriage. All of these obsessively single-minded people are confronted with the folly of life, the inability to control the ball as it teeters over the foul line, rolling independent and unmindful of everything around it, like life.

Harbach’s novel isn’t perfect, but even the most perfect of games often carries a blemish. Harbach occasionally loses his way in the narrative, almost working too hard to cobble a plot that carries his themes. Similarly, in Henry and Schwatz, he’s created such single-minded and obsessed people that their credibility as real humans comes into question – their workout routines, eating habits, and sleep schedules really push the boundaries of plausibility. But outside of these faults, Harbach presents an addictive read.

Baseball isn’t life; I know that somewhere in my rational brain. But in my heart, I see so much of life reflected on the field. Maybe that’s why I can’t stand to see the Giants to lose even one game, why I want every pitcher to pitch the perfect game, even though I know that the reality of life is that they will fail more often than they succeed. It is the search for perfection, the hope of permanent brilliance that keeps the heart alive. Harbach taps into that elusive knowledge with [The Art of Fielding], bringing a brief moment of brilliance into the routine of life.

Bottom Line: A baseball book that beautifully taps into the connections between the game and life.

4 ½ bones!!!!!
… (mais)
3 vote
blackdogbooks | outras 249 resenhas | May 12, 2024 |

I liked the writing around Henry's struggles with throwing the ball after hitting Owen. But the last pages and ending seemed off.
brozic | outras 249 resenhas | Jan 27, 2024 |
I loved this and I'm not sure why I waited so long to read it - it's been on my TBR since it was published.

A story about a college baseball player and his team sounds dull but this is so much more. Friendship, love, family, expectations, pressure. is there more covered? Probably.

I felt completely invested in all the characters and wish I could pay a campus visit to Westish.

They did lose me a little bit very close to the end with one ridiculous but sentimental scene but for me the payoff there was pretty good.

Now I'm trying to decide if I want to read Moby Dick, an important book inside the book.
… (mais)
hmonkeyreads | outras 249 resenhas | Jan 25, 2024 |
In diesem Buch geht es um fünf Menschen, die sich am Westish College in Wisconsin begegnen und eine Baseball-Saison:
Henry Skrimshander ist ein begnadeter Baseballspieler, der durch sein Talent aus der Provinz auf dieses College geholt wird.
Mike Schwartz ist sein Mentor, ein mittelloser Student, der für den Sport lebt.
Owen Dunne ist Henrys schwuler und intellektueller Mitbewohner.
Guert Affenlight ist der Rektor des Colleges, der sich in Owen verliebt.
Seine 23-jährige Tochter Pella kehrt nach gescheiterter Ehe nach Westish zurück.
Ich mochte das Buch, aber in die allgegenwärtigen Lobeshymnen konnte ich nicht einstimmen. Das liegt vielleicht auch daran, dass ich Baseball nicht verstehe, auch wenn ich schon ein Spiel gesehen habe. Die Personen sind gut gemacht und ihre Beziehungen untereinander interessant. Insgesamt hätte etwas Straffung dem Buch dennoch nicht geschadet.
… (mais)
Wassilissa | outras 249 resenhas | Jan 23, 2024 |



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