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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (41,245 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Chad Harbach Narrator: Holter Graham Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2011 ISBN: 9781611135565
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At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended.

Henry’s fight against self-doubt threatens to ruin his future. College president Guert Affenlight, a longtime bachelor, has fallen unexpectedly and helplessly in love. Owen Dunne, Henry’s gay roommate and teammate, becomes caught up in a dangerous affair. Mike Schwartz, the Harpooners’ team captain and Henry’s best friend, realizes he has guided Henry’s career at the expense of his own. And Pella Affenlight, Guert’s daughter, returns to Westish after escaping an ill-fated marriage, determined to start a new life.

As the season counts down to its climactic final game, these five are forced to confront their deepest hopes, anxieties, and secrets. In the process they forge new bonds, and help one another find their true paths. Written with boundless intelligence and filled with the tenderness of youth, The Art of Fielding is an expansive, warmhearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment—to oneself and to others.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Dazzling debut....The Art of Fielding might be the best book you'll read this year....Harbach's debut novel has a succulent heft to it--a growing weight of love and devotion that is comprised of Harbach's deft and boundlessly emotive writing. The remarkable sincerity with which he develops characters renders their conflicts and complexities so authentic it's impossible not to care about them. The Art of Fielding is youthful, invigorating and fiercely intelligent writing....[It] is not really a book about baseball. Westish College sports are a backdrop as life's more prevalent struggles--doubt, romance, grief and determination--collide and merge marvellously....This is a book about love, family and dedication...A nearly flawless construction of dazzlingly clear sentences...The most enjoyable aspect of The Art of Fielding is the true-to-life humanity Harbach's characters are infused with. Their heartache, loss and yearning are palpable. The Art of Fielding brims with its author's extraordinary talents. It's going to be hard waiting to see what Harbach does next. Alex Lemon, The Dallas Morning News
  • Inspiring...Ambitious in a refreshing way. Jim Higgins, The Milwaukee Sunday Journal-Sentinel
  • Debut novel hits a grand slam... Resplendent... Ambitious and accomplished... Harbach's characters are well developed and eminently realistic. The rich portrayals of their psychological struggles and interactions add a warmth and dept to the already colorful narrative....Harbach's novel is mature, compelling, graced with both charm and humor, and shaped as much by his expressive prose as by its memorable and substantive characterizations. Harbach is a gifted storyteller and his debut novel may well herald a fresh, new talent in the realm of contemporary American fiction. The Art of Fielding, like baseball itself, is beautiful in its simplicity, yet made great by the effortless subtlety of its many nuanced intricacies. Jeremy Barber, The Sunday Oregonian
  • A debut novelist delivers his assured pitch right into our strike zone.... The Art of Fielding lives up to the hype.... Harbach's prose is considered, clean and pastoral, and he makes it easy to root for each of his characters. The Art of Fielding is a decidedly American story, impeccably told. Skrimshander's pride, his struggle to regain his confidence and his dreams of a second act will resonate with baseball fans, readers of Franzen-style family dramas and anyone drawn to smart, funny, engaging writing.... this novel came right down the middle of my strike zone. But as The Art of Fielding is such a rich and occasionally heartbreaking experience, others will not only realize where their strike zone is, but they'll let Harbach paint the corners for them. Corban Goble, The Awl
  • Large-hearted... Harbach writes about the Harpooners with touching intimacy (and an impressive knowledge of baseball).... expansive, thought-provoking and ambitious... This is a big book in every way... If The Art of Fielding begins as a baseball story, so it ends as one, too--poignantly, beautifully, and improbably. David Goodwillie, The Daily Beast
  • [A] brilliant, intensely readable first novel...Harbach, whose knowledge of baseball is encyclopaedic but never ponderous, resists the temptation to which many other baseball writers...have succumbed: to write not a novel but a version of the core baseball myth, the game as a pastoral vision of America, in which the heroes and villains, the fictional stand-ins for the Babe and the Say-Hey Kid and Shoeless Joe, enact predestined roles. Instead, Harbach finds analogies in other literary genres: the epic, the picaresque, the coming-of-age story, the self-scrutinizing memoir.... In an endearingly traditional way, he subordinates the ironic commentaries and the mirroring influences to the tender, funny, poignant story of Henry's travails and their unexpected resolution. Richard Horwich, Newsday
  • Chad Harbach makes the case for baseball, thrillingly, in his slow, precious and altogether excellent first novel.... It seems a stretch for a baseball novel to hold truth and beauty and the entire human condition in its mitt, well THE ART OF FIELDING isn't really a baseball novel at all, or not only. It's also a campus novel and a bromance (and for that matter a full-fledged gay romance), a comedy of manners and a tragicomedy of errors...Welcome to the big leagues, kid. Now get out there and play. Gregory Cowles, The New York Times Book Review
  • [A] delightful debut...Erudite enough to reference Herman Melville, Homer and T.S. Eliot, yet sufficiently geeky to pay homage to the epic struggles of ill-fated ball-players such as Steve Blass, Steve Sax and Mackey Sasser... a showcase for...Harbach's mad skills, his humor and above all, the humanity with which the author infuses each of his characters...The author's observations about baseball can be both pithy and witty... wonderfully insightful. And the writing throughout, as Walt Whitman once said of the game itself, is glorious...a natural talent, one who has the potential to become a Hall of Famer. Adam Langer, San Francisco Chronicle
  • It's hard to figure who wouldn't take to this captivating, breezy debut...It has it all: love, the search for identity, redemption, a superbly drawn setting, engaging characters...and baseball. John Barron, The Chicago Sunday Sun-Times
  • "The novel feels intimate, bound up in the details of its characters' everyday lives, which Harbach relates with tenderness and observational humor, and as with any 'literary' baseball novel, the players' personal struggles also take on a larger resonance. Mike Doherty, Salon
  • [The Art of Fielding] is really about forming and nurturing relationships... Mr. Harbach practices all of the techniques of the classic literary novel, from drawing well-realized characters to developing a suspenseful plot that pulls us through. Bob Hoover, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • A lightness of tone and style...has persisted into the published version of the book. To my mind, that pervasive lightness is one of the novel's virtues...Ultimately, I think THE ART OF FIELDING is a work of escapism--a work of escapism about the perils of escaping.... the writers who came to mind most often for me were John Irving and Mark Helprin, authors of sprawling, plot-driven, reader-friendly (but still literate) novels that are often woven with the texture of fable.... This lack of darkness and Harbach's unerring ability to imbue almost every scene with warmth and humor keeps the reader focussed on the plot, which moves quickly... The Art of Fielding has often been referred to as a baseball novel, but I think it is more truly a campus comedy, as much in the tradition of Lucky Jim and Straight Man as it is of The Natural... What Harbach accomplishes in The Art of Fielding is to create for the reader (or this reader, at any rate) a space as safe and blissful as the baseball diamond was for Henry before his errant throw. He has created that space with words. During the days that I was reading the novel, I was always delighted to escape from my own 'non-baseball world' of jobs and friends and worries and live instead in Westish, Wisconsin. I was sorry to leave when it ended, but, as the book poignantly illustrates, eventually everyone has to face reality. Jon Michaud, The New Yorker "Book Bench" Blog
  • [The Art of Fielding is] all in all the most delightful and serious first book of fiction that I have read in a while.... Baseball matters desperately in this novel. But so does physical affection and, whether felt by a freshman or a college president, the unquenchable desire to know another human being in a deep and important way before the end of things. In this regard, the novel takes its place among a few charmed works of art that deal with the national pastime in the context of human yearning - books by superb writers such as Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth and Mark Harris. It also stands among the best school novels we have, from This Side of Paradise to A Separate Peace. Alan Cheuse, The Chicago Tribune
  • Astonishingly assured yet seemingly effortless...Sport is the metaphor here, but it is only that; [The Art of Fielding] is a wonderful tale of youth, ambition, love, and a little, unpredictable thing called life. In other words, it's a whole other ballpark. Sara Nelson, O, The Oprah Magazine
  • Chad Harbach can make anything mesmerizing: a potato cube in a bowl of clam chowder, a college baseball player's batting average, the antics of teenagers, the antics of grownups, the consequences of falling in love, the consequences of falling from grace. What a beautiful book this is, a feast to gulp and savor. Joanna Scott
  • An immediately accessible narrative reminiscent of John Irving, Harbach...draws readers into the lives of his characters, plumbing their psyches with remarkable psychological acuity, and exploring the transformative effect that love and friendship can have on troubled souls. And, yes, it's a hell of a baseball story, too, no matter who wins. Bill Ott, Booklist (starred review)
  • [The Art of Fielding] emerges fully formed, a world unto itself. Harbach writes with a tender, egoless virtuosity...There's just something so easy and riveting about the way this book's layers unfold; not since Lonesome Dove have I been so sorry to let a group of characters go. Andres Corsello, GQ
  • Harbach writes with the self-assurance of a seasoned novelist. He exercises a masterful precision over the language and pacing of his narrative, and in some 500 pages there's rarely a word that feels out of place.... The Art of Fielding is somehow both confident and intimate, simple yet deeply moving. Harbach has penned one of the year's finest works of fiction. Kevin Nguyen, Louisville Courier-Journal
  • Fast on its way to becoming a classic of the genre. San Francisco Chronicle
  • Can the book possibly live up to this advance billing? In a word, yes....Harbach has pulled it off...thanks to the sheer mastery of his writing. It doesn't hurt that the baseball details are so realistic they seem stolen from an actual small college somewhere in the American heartland.... The real magic is in the way Harbach strings words together, the inventive descriptors that liven every page. James Bailey, Baseball America
  • Reading The Art of Fielding is like watching a hugely gifted young shortstop: you keep waiting for the errors, but there are no errors. First novels this complete and consuming come along very, very seldom. Jonathan Franzen, author of Freedom
  • Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding is one of those rare novels--like Michael Chabon's Mysteries of Pittsburgh or John Irving's The World According to Garp--that seems to appear out of nowhere and then dazzles and bewitches and inspires until you nearly lose your breath from the enjoyment and satisfaction, as well as the unexpected news-blast that the novel is very much alive and well. James Patterson
  • An intricate, poised, tingling debut. Harbach's muscular prose breathes new life into the American past-time, recasts the personal worlds that orbit around it, and leaves you longing, lingering, and a baseball convert long after the last page. Téa Obreht, author of The Tiger's Wife
  • Chad Harbach has hit a game-ender with The Art of Fielding. It's pure fun, easy to read, as if the other Fielding had a hand in it - as if Tom Jones were about baseball and college life. John Irving
  • [The Art of Fielding] is not only a wonderful baseball novel--it zooms immediately into the pantheon of classics, alongside The Natural by Bernard Malamud and The Southpaw by Mark Harris--but it's also a magical, melancholy story about friendship and the coming of age that marks the debut of an immensely talented writer...Mr. Harbach has the rare abilities to write with earnest, deeply felt emotion without ever veering into sentimentality, and to create quirky, vulnerable and fully imagined characters who instantly take up residence in our hearts and minds. He also manages to re-work the well-worn, much-allegorized subject of baseball and make us see it afresh, taking tired tropes about the game (as a metaphor for life's dreams, disappointments and hopes of redemption) and interjecting them with new energy. In doing so he has written a novel that is every bit as entertaining as it is affecting....You don't need to be a baseball fan to fall under this novel's spell, but THE ART OF FIELDING possesses all the pleasures that an aficionado cherishes in a great, classic game: odd and strangely satisfying symmetries, unforeseen swerves of fortune, and intimations of the delicate balance between individual will and destiny that play out on the field. Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
  • Sharp-witted... The Art of Fielding...is an affecting portrait of the seductive powers of athletic talent and society's eagerness to indulge its possessors. It also transcends baseball.... As the novel expands into a meditation on young love and male bonds, Harbach's prose remains as exacting as, say, firing a leather sphere at an awaiting glove. Mike Peed, Men's Journal
  • His first time at bat, Harbach wins. Confident and deliberate, Art imitates baseball...The Art of Fielding is an old-fashioned novel in the very best way--unhurried , engrossing, a universe unto itself...It's that rare, big social novel with the quiet confidence not to overreach for grand statements on the times, and a debut that never feels like it's straining to impress. There's just quiet confidence in honest storytelling--Harbach is all Derek Jeter, not Alex Rodriguez....Harbach's images are so lively and surprising, his characters so intoxicatingly engaging, that The Art of Fielding becomes something special and unique, a complete and satisfying fictional universe....Harbach, in his first time at bat, has made the near-impossible act of writing a very good American novel feel almost effortless. David Daley, USA Today
  • [A] triumphant first novel...Like a great baseball game, the novel manages to feel traditional and contemporary all at once. Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal
  • Harbach is witty, wise...engaging...Harbach excels in writing about baseball and those who play it...Harbach's hand is sure.... echoes of the 19th-century greats lend unexpected richness to a book that ends up high in the standings. Dennis Drabelle, The Washington Post
  • A debut swinging for the fences...You don't have to like baseball to savor Chad Harbach's sumptuous debut novel, a wise and tender story of love and friendship, ambition and the cruelty of dashed dreams, featuring an appealing cast of characters.... Harbach demonstrates an impressive gift for balancing his exploration of these fragile entanglements with an absorbing, well-plotted story, so we're rooting as hard for the small company of troubled souls as we are for the ragtag Westish nine. There aren't many books of 500 pages that feel too short. But like a true fan enjoying a game of baseball as it scrolls its leisurely signature across a summer afternoon, there are moments when you will find yourself wishing The Art of Fielding would never end. It's that good. Harvey Freedenberg, BookPage
  • Written with wit and grace and the true fan's eye and ear for the subtleties of the game. With The Art of Fielding, Harbach turns a double play that would make Skrimshander and Roth proud: The book will knock out baseball and literature fans alike. Sports Illustrated
  • Witty, intellectual and big-hearted. Angie Drobnic Holan, The St. Petersburg Times
  • Harbach spins this simple premise into a wide-ranging book about desire and loss, friendship and loneliness....A rich, engrossing story. Rob Brunner, Entertainment Weekly
  • That baseball rewards languid virtuosos and frothing monomaniacs about equally is one of the game's weird fascinations. That Academe does the same would not be useful information in the hands of a hack. But The Art of Fielding marries the national pastime to the life of the mind, takes off running, and never flags. Chad Harbach's pen shatters stereotypes like fastballs shatter bats. His sentence-making keeps things fluid and tense as a September pennant race. When the best shortstop alive sounds believably like a Tibetan lama, and when a thrown ball striking a shovel head at dawn leaves your own head ringing with certainty that truth and friendship have triumphed, you know you're in the hands of a writer you can trust. David James Duncan, author of The Brothers K and The River Why
  • Spectacular! The Art of Fielding is a wise, warm-hearted, self-assured, and fiercely readable debut, which heralds the coming of a young American writer to watch. Harbach's characters live and breathe, yearn, ache, and in the end, make you love them for their flaws. You won't want this book to end. Jonathan Evison, author of All About Lulu and West of Here
  • Here is that rarest of pleasures, a baseball novel by someone who really knows baseball. The beautiful part is that The Art of Fielding is mere baseball fiction the way Moby Dick is just a fish story. I read this vividly written, powerfully imagined story of a group of young ballplayers and the small-college world they inhabit in a single weekend--read it when I was supposed to be going to the park, making lunch, seeing a movie. Chad Harbach is that kind of writer, so affecting, subtle, funny and true that he gets in the way of your plans and makes everything better. Nicholas Dawidoff author of The Catcher Was A Spy and editor of Baseball: A Literary Anthology
  • Not being a huge fan of the national pastime, I found it easy to resist the urge to pick up this novel, but once I did I gave myself over completely and scarcely paused for meals. Like all successful works of literature The Art of Fielding is an autonomous universe, much like the one we inhabit although somehow more vivid. Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City and How It Ended
  • Easily one of the best books of the year, The Art of Fielding is a triumph in every way, from glittering storytelling talent to an emotional depth of the rarest kind. I savored every page and plot line, and hated to see it end. Comparisons will abound--everything from The Natural to The Story of Edgar Sawtelle to Infinite Jest--but they need not be offered, because this one will stand on its own for years to come. Michael Koryta, author of The Ridge
  • Beautifully made, surpassingly human, and quietly subversive, The Art of Fielding restores one's faith in the national pastime--i.e., reading and writing novels. Benjamin Kunkel, author of Indecision
  • The Art of Fielding is terrific. It is a baseball novel the way Bang the Drum Slowly is a baseball novel--it is about much, much more. The plot builds and builds, the characters are spirals of fault and goodness, the descriptions of action are precise and shining. John Casey, author of Compass Rose
  • It's left a little hole in my life the way a really good book will, after making room in my days for reading it--which is also what a really good book will do. Jonathan Franzen, TIME
  • Chad Harbach does not merely echo Moby Dick. In at least one respect, he goes Mr. Melville one better. Whereas Ishmael alone symbolically dies and then bobs to the surface in Melville's novel, Harbach puts the noggins of two of his major characters in the paths of potentially lethal pitches. Both young men are feared dead. Each rises to play again. So The Art of Fielding is ambitious, and Harbach's reach is not limited... Though there's plenty of baseball in The Art of Fielding, Harbach's novel is no more about the game than Moby Dick is about whaling. Both books examine determination and striving, which can ennoble one or drive one mad... The invocations of Melville's ambition and achievement are lightened by the fun Harbach has with his characters. Bill Littlefield, Boston Sunday Globe
  • Charming...Watchers of Friday Night Lights will be at home in Harbach's generously told novel...But there's also much more here to interest readers of the contemporary literary novel, a genre that's clearly a preoccupation of Harbach's....The main order of business here is to entertain, and in this Harbach succeeds. His prose, furthermore, is uncommonly resourceful...Such torches are more than surface felicities. They serve a larger purpose in a story that is, after all, about virtuosity and promise--about a young man whose future is incandescently bright, until he becomes too aware of its fragility....The dream of perfection deferred allows Harbach to tell a story about our national pastime that manages, as well, to be about our historical present--in other words, a story about fallibility. Wyatt Mason, The New Yorker
  • Harbach takes plenty of cues from other great baseball novels, like Bernard Malamud's The Natural and Philip Roth's The Great American Novel, but more so from Melville, in a display of cleverness that wraps around Westish life.... The Art Of Fielding captures the bright, big sense of purpose Henry and the other Harpooners feel as they step onto the field... Henry's attachment to baseball and his new home delivers a satisfying wallop of meaning that ultimately links his friends' fates with his. Ellen Wernecke, The Onion A.V. Club
  • The Art of Fielding is a long, generous and deeply absorbing story that more than lives up to all the pre-publication anticipation....Harbach writes in precise, intelligent, yet very accessible language, and he seems to understand what makes college students tick.... Harbach is wise enough to understand what baseball really represents -- the folly of pursuing perfection; the challenge of bringing mind and body into perfect union -- and he explores these themes with exceptional grace on and off the field, through the perspectives of a half-dozen beautifully drawn characters.... Over the course of two baseball seasons and 500-plus pages, we become immersed in these people's lives in the way that we only can in an epic novel; the closer the book draws to its conclusion, the slower we begin to read, for fear that we'll have to bid adieu to this beautifully conjured universe too soon. Indeed, Harbach works wonders in painting an expansive portrait of this college... The sport doesn't matter as much as the emotions and anxieties that it evokes in us: the fear that we won't be as good today as we were yesterday or the day before; the doubt that plagues even the most confident souls....[a] stirring, singular novel -- the best new work of American fiction that I've read this year. Christopher Kellly, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • An early contender for book of the year... critics have called this an entrant in the 'Great American Novel' sweepstakes.... One of the best baseball books in memory. David Swanson, Maxim
  • [An] endearing first novel... Harbach opens his formidable lens beyond pitch-perfect male bonding...That all its characters are crafted with an ardour equal to any ninth-inning at-bat makes THE ART OF FIELDING a marvel...Many first novels swing for the fence; Harbach's novel is the fence. Baseball fan or no, you should read it. Scott Muskin, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
  • “One of those rare novels—like Michael Chabon's Mysteries of Pittsburgh or John Irving's The World According to Garp—that seems to appear out of nowhere, and then dazzles and bewitches and inspires, until you nearly lose your breath from the enjoyment and satisfaction, as well as the unexpected news-blast that the novel is very much alive and well.”

    James Patterson

  • “Chad Harbach has hit a game-ender with The Art of Fielding. It's pure fun, easy to read, as if the other Fielding had a hand in it—as if Tom Jones were about baseball and college life.”

    John Irving

  • “The Novel of the…Year…Riveting...[The Art of Fielding] emerges fully formed, a world unto itself. Harbach writes with a tender, egoless virtuosity…There's just something so easy and riveting about the way this book's layers unfold; not since Lonesome Dove have I been so sorry to let a group of characters go.”

    GQ

  • “Not being a huge fan of the national pastime, I found it easy to resist the urge to pick up this novel, but once I did I gave myself over completely and scarcely paused for meals. Like all successful works of literature The Art of Fielding is an autonomous universe, much like the one we inhabit although somehow more vivid.”

    Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City

  • “An intricate, poised, tingling debut. Harbach's muscular prose breathes new life into the American past-time, recasts the personal worlds that orbit around it, and leaves you longing, lingering, and a baseball convert long after the last page.”

    Téa Obreht, author of The Tigers Wife

  • “A novel that is every bit as entertaining as it is affecting.”

    New York Times

  • A 2011 Barnes & Noble Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2011 New York Times Top 10 Book
  • A 2011 Amazon Top 10 Book for Fiction
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, September 2011
  • A 2011 Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Prize for First Fiction Finalist
  • A 2011 Washington Post Notable Book for Fiction
  • A 2012 Guardian First Book Award Finalist
  • New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction, 2011
  • An ALA Notable Book for Fiction
  • A 2011 NPR Best Book: Top 10
  • Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books, Best Fiction 2011
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the September 2011 Indie Next List
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2012 PEN/Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award Honourable Mention

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 2/16/2014

    " My ambivalence about this novel didn't stop me from blasting through it, but I did take a break to watch "Top Chef." People tossing salmon on TV shouldn't take precedence over a book, but it did. I found the dialogue somewhat predictable, and two of the sexual liaisons unrealistic. The over-the-top Melville references got to me after a while (trust your readers--they can see that a big white house = a big white whale-- you don't have to spell it out). I think if I were 15-20 years younger I would have found this novel compelling...or maybe I just don't know enough about baseball. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erik | 2/11/2014

    " Very, very readable. I highly approve of authors who don't make you slog through their books. Harbach writes in a lucid style and employs a consistent, enjoyable pacing. This is not an ambitious story, but it is self-contained, with no loose ends, and well told. The Art of Fielding is an above-average effort with (mostly) rounded, fleshed-out characters and a believable storyline that holds one's interest. Knowledge or liking of baseball not required. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Petra Ballings | 2/11/2014

    " Well written and hard to put down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeremy Winaker | 1/25/2014

    " A lyrical tale of well-drawn characters set beautifully into the wide-world yet brought close by geography and emotional proximity. The ending was not as well written as the prior portions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Courtney | 1/23/2014

    " I enjoyed this story and its characters. The characters each had their own flaws, but I was able to find something to like and/or admire about each of them. While the framework of the story was set around baseball, the book was really about the characters' personal developments and relationships to one another. Even after the book ended, I found myself thinking about them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 1/23/2014

    " Good glory, what a treat. I'm partial to baseball. But this is a baseball book like 'Moby Dick' is a whaling book... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bobby | 1/22/2014

    " Picked it up off the display shelf at a Barnes & Noble. Read it together with my ex. Simply, a great book and promising future for this young writer. If you love baseball and college themed books, read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurel | 1/21/2014

    " I read and heard many great reviews of this novel. I really enjoyed this book and its bittersweet ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mia | 1/18/2014

    " Engrossing novel about the lives of baseball-playing students and faculty members at a small mid-western college. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 ph | 1/7/2014

    " Far too long for the shallow lack of density but nevertheless mildly entertaining. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Maggie | 12/16/2013

    " I never cared about the characters and I just never felt like it went anywhere. Too long. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patrick Lafferty | 11/19/2013

    " As always, the best stories revolve around the people in them: they immerse you in the lives of the characters. If you like baseball, you'll love this book. If you don't like baseball, you'll still love this book because it's not about baseball: it's about people. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Keri Couchoud | 11/14/2013

    " My book club read this book and it was so brutal getting through it. Not my taste in a read. Didn't really enjoy any of it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Babyjune96 | 11/9/2013

    " This is one of those books that I truly hated to come to an end. I just loved it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Brook | 10/29/2013

    " Finally finished this after hitting a roadblock at page 350 or so last summer. Happy to have finally finished! Book isn't all baseball but it plays into a pivotal plot point - now I'm looking (even more) forward to spring training. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana | 1/22/2013

    " A pretty good story that has baseball in it--as opposed to a baseball novel "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sara Shores | 1/13/2013

    " I almost skipped this bc I didn't want to read a baseball story, but its so much more. Loved. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Derek Perry | 11/8/2012

    " Fantastic book. The sort of story, relationships, and 'world' created that I'm really into. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maartjes | 10/11/2012

    " Een soort 'Secret history', maar dan rondom honkbal in plaats van een moord. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Naomi Thomson | 10/5/2012

    " Plot matched by Writing - both excellent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bernadette | 7/15/2012

    " One of the best books I have EVER read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer Isaacs | 5/19/2012

    " I really enjoyed this book. Great details on commitment and life choices. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike Eckhardt | 2/29/2012

    " Seriously loved this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth Connery | 2/11/2012

    " I LOVED this book. It was the kind of story that kept me reading into the middle of the night and that I wanted to go on forever. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Catherine | 12/5/2011

    " Book club. Overhyped. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 11/8/2011

    " This is my best book of the year. Great characters, engrossing stories beautifully intertwined; and you need to know just the minimal amount of baseball (or none, really). It's over 500 pages, but I read it in 3 days! I was so sad when it ended. I want a sequel! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mindy | 11/8/2011

    " The characters lacked depth and I found it hard to like them. I did not know why they acted as they did. It was an easy read, however, just not very rewarding. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alex | 11/6/2011

    " This was a fantastic book. Even if you don't care for or know very well; baseball there is still something in this book for you. The brillance of it is the way the male characters are dissected. If you ever wanted to truely understand the mind of a man, this book is for you. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kitty | 11/6/2011

    " This book is about baseball and only about baseball. The characters are not fully developed and I got to the point where I didn't care. It is way too long. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg | 11/3/2011

    " Wonderful story, very well plotted and written with great warmth. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bernie | 11/1/2011

    " This is a very good book and I enjoyed it very much. Starts w same premise as Blind Your Ponies, a unlikely team going to the championship, but does it much, much better "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scott | 11/1/2011

    " Long live the publishing hype machine. I'm not sure the book lives up to it, but I guess time will tell. It hasn't hit the NYTimes list yet, has it? "

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About the Author
Author Chad HarbachChad Harbach grew up in Wisconsin and was educated at Harvard and the University of Virginia. He is a cofounder and coeditor of n+1.
About the Narrator

Holter Graham, award-winning audiobook narrator, has appeared in many films, including Fly Away Home, Stephen King’s Maximum Overdrive, and Hairspray. His television credits include Army Wives, Wasted, Damages, and Law & Order, among others. Graham is the winner of twelve AudioFile Earphones Awards.