Hello there and welcome to The Turndog Review: the books I read, reviewed.
I aren’t a professional critic, instead all I offer is my honest opinion into everything I read. However, I do this with a difference, as I don’t only offer my personal views on the Writing, Plot, and Story, but also the Book Cover, Book Marketing, and Author Website.
We live in a modern world where being a writer is different to years gone by, and I feel the whole experience of the book matters. This covers everything from the initial find, the actual read, and everything that follows. Therefore I hope this review not only offers a great insight into the book and author, but also into my own mind and what makes me tick.
So without further ado let’s begin, and today I focus on The Art Of Fielding by Chad Harbach
Read: September 2012
Discovered: It sounded very good J
In the lead up to the final edit of my own book, I’m on a coming-of-age ONLY mission (Beyond Parallel is also coming-of-age). The Art Of Fielding caught my eye a couple of months ago, so I figured now was the perfect time to commit.
I’m glad I did, too. It surrounds the life of a small college in Middle America and focuses on several characters. The main focal point is Henry Skrimshander, a young and talented baseball player. However, several characters are looked upon and you get a great insight into their world as a whole.
It’s superbly written and Chad Harbach immerses you into this world. We can all engage with these characters. Some are annoying, some are lost, and others are far too perfect.
Who isn’t in their early twenties?
A fantastic coming-of-age read, and just the kind of writing I aspire to. Lovely…
The writing in general is very good indeed. Chad does a fantastic job in immersing you into the characters, and the story as a whole works, despite a lot of head hopping (very difficult to control).
I also think he brings out a love/hate feeling in each character. I fell for all of their charm but also hated them all the same. I’m not too sure how he did this, either. Each person is a complex being, which when you think about it, is absolutely perfect.
As I say, I had a love/hate relationship with all the major characters. However, I had more hate towards Pella. Despite having a sweet-ass name, she really really really annoyed me!
It might be because I’ve known girls like this and her charms get old rather quick. It’s hard to say this is bad, because it’s better to feel something, rather than nothing.
Loving the cover, however, it is hard to read. Both the title and author are in a large, prominent position. But the font is a tad too ‘cool’.
Saying that, it does have a baseball feel to it, which plays a massive element in the book. And the colours are superb. It certainly catches your attention in-store, but as an ebook cover, I’m not too sure.
It’s standard without doing anything out of the ordinary. It’s simply what I expect from a traditionally published book I’m afraid.
There’s some detail about the author, as well as some links for the publisher. But what about everything else? Where’s the flair and ingenuity? Where’s the element to get the reader to learn more about the author and book?
Overall, it’s disappointing 🙁
Author Website & Engagement:
Hmmmmm, not great I’m afraid. Neither the book nor author has their own website (at least not one I can find). Chad seems to send a lot of his traffic to N+1 (a literary magazine that Chad founded along with others). He is still an editor here, so I guess he engages through this…maybe.
But there is little to find out about him, at least not without digging quite far, which let’s face it, people don’t do anymore. If you can’t find it straight away, you move on.
I find this disappointing because I loved the book and would loved to have found more about Chad and the process. This is the kind of writer I would love to follow and engage with. However, that isn’t really possible. Sad face L
All in all, the book is great but everything else…less so. I can’t deny the writing or story, though. It truly is something I loved reading and being part of for a week or so.
The marketing and engagement, though, well, it’s a negative that is for sure. It’s for this why I give The Art Of Fielding:
4 Turndogs out of 5
Thanks for reading this version of The Turndog Review. I review every book I read, not only for the writing, but the marketing, website, and general communication from the author.
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