The Art Of Fielding is about seventeen year old Henry Skrimshander, a baseball player for his college team. He is an exceptional fielder and is scouted to play for Westish College Harpooners to improve their team. I am finding it really hard to accurately sum up the book without any spoilers and concisely enough. So much happens.
Although the book does centre on the experience of baseball, I found (as a 17 year old British girl with no knowledge of baseball whatsoever) it didn’t matter that I didn’t know anything and the story was easy to follow and the baseball language they use is easy to pick up from the book. It also highlights that although the book is about baseball, it’s not about baseball. I would describe it as a sort of coming-of-age story, in a way that helped me identify as a seventeen year old myself.
I really loved Henry as a character and I really identified with him in a lot of ways, even though I laugh at the mere mention of sports. He was really real to me, and in fact all of the characters in the book were very three dimensional, I could completely believe that I was involved and I knew them all personally. It’s not a short book, but I utterly raced through it.
I have to say, however that I did find at a few points that I felt so much for the characters that it was hard to read on, I just wanted them to have their happy ever after, but I also think that in a way that’s what made the book so good – because it was really easy to be consumed by the universe and to feel for and with the characters.
I actually read this book quite a while ago and I just never got around to writing this review, there were moments that I remember crying, it evoked quite an emotional response from me (although to be honest with you, most things do).
I have to give The Art of Fielding five stars, I really enjoyed reading it, and it is written extremely well. You should definitely read it.