The Art of Fielding

Chad Harbach, read by Holter Graham. Hachette Audio, unabridged, 14 CDs, 16 hrs., $26.98 ISBN 978-1-61113-210-6
Harbach’s popular debut is part baseball novel, part campus satire, part exploration of male friendship, and part warped 21st-century love story. Juggling all of this would be a heavy burden for any narrator, and while Holter Graham can’t quite keep all the balls in the air, he does deliver an engaging performance. Graham handles Harbach’s prose gingerly, delicately threading his way through the book’s elegant descriptions of life on the baseball diamond. Additionally, Graham delivers distinct voices for Harbach’s characters, including wizardly shortstop Henry Skrimshander, college president Guert Affenlight, and Affenlight’s searching daughter, Pella. If something of the book’s grandeur is lost in the transition to audio, Graham’s narration allows listeners—from baseball novices to scholars—an opportunity to immerse themselves in the supremely alluring world of Westish College. A Little, Brown hardcover. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/2012
Release date: 12/01/2011
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