Chad Harbach's "The Art of Fielding" is a very well-written book, but I was very ambivalent while reading it.
There wasn't any one character that I liked a lot more than the others, and they all seemed to be extremely flawed.
If you like baseball, which I do, then there are some great baseball moments in the book, but that was about it for me. I thought that this book was a bit elitist, too.
It was okay, but not my favorite book of this summer yet.
Chad Harbach's first novel paints a clear picture of an athlete's breakdown at a small college in the Midwest. Campus life is beautifully rendered, down to the color of the paint on the walls and the smell of the food in the cafeteria. A parallel story describes a love affair between the college president and one of his students - a big ethical no-no, which, from this academic's viewpoint, is hard to stomach. The characters are a bit flat, but the sounds and smells of college life make the book a pleasant read.
I really enjoyed this book-it is extremely well written and I came to care about all of the characters. A basic understanding of baseball is helpful, otherwise a lot of it might be boring or not clearly understood. I would give it 5 stars and highly recommend this book.