Chad Harbach received a $650,000 advance for The Art of Fielding. An almost unheard of amount of money for a debut novel, which also meant it received a flurry of free publicity in literary circles before it came out. These high expectations perhaps would make it easy to dismiss the book as overrated trash but it’s actually very good. It’s a compelling story with richly drawn characters that are all muddling through their believably messed up lives.
The story focuses on the life of a baseball playing college student who is on the cusp of greatness but is risking throwing everything away just as he’s about to get everything he ever wanted. Continue reading