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Friday, September 09, 2011

Vanity Fair: Excerpt from “The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach

I prefer Mazeroski Hornsby, myself.

The door marked 405 stood slightly ajar, and bleepy, bloopy music came through the gap.  Henry lingered nervously in the stairwell. He didn’t know how many roommates he’d have, or what sort of roommates they might be, or what kind of music that was. If he’d been able to imagine the students of Westish College in any specific way, he imagined twelve hundred Mike Schwartzes, huge and mythic and grave, and twelve hundred women of the sort Mike Schwartz might date: leggy, stunning, well versed in ancient history. The whole thing, really, was too intimidating to think about. He nudged the door with his foot.

The room contained two identical steel-frame beds and two sets of identical blond-wood desks, chairs, dressers, and bookshelves. One of the beds was neatly made, with a plush seafoam-green comforter and a wealth of fluffy pillows. The other mattress was bare but for an ugly ocher stain in roughly the size and shape of a person. Both bookshelves had already been neatly filled, the books arranged by author name from Achebe through Tocqueville, with the rest of the Ts through Z piled on the mantel. Henry plunked his bags down on the ocher stain and drew his beat?up copy of Aparicio Rodriguez’s The Art of Fielding out of his shorts’ pocket. The Art was the only book he’d brought with him, the only book Henry knew deeply: suddenly it seemed like this might be a terrible flaw. He prepared to wedge it between Rochefoucauld and Roethke, but lo and behold there was already a copy there, a handsome hardcover with a once-cracked spine.

The District Attorney Posted: September 09, 2011 at 01:29 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: books

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   1. jcnyc Posted: September 09, 2011 at 03:39 AM (#3920020)
This is a great book. I read the ARC in June. John Irving-like in a lot of ways, back when Irving was getting properly edited.
   2. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 09, 2011 at 04:07 AM (#3920026)
This book has gotten a lot of buzz (WSJ/NYT). I just bought on my Kindle.
   3. Dock Ellis Posted: September 09, 2011 at 04:31 AM (#3920041)
650k and he left money on the table just to work with DFW's editor. Buzz, indeed.
   4. AndrewJ Posted: September 09, 2011 at 12:06 PM (#3920083)
I started reading it the other day. So far, so good.

BTW, anybody know if Chad Harbach is any relation to turn-of-the-20th-century lyricist Otto Harbach?
   5. AndrewJ Posted: September 09, 2011 at 11:51 PM (#3920690)
I'm up to page 216. Here's a money quote from page 172, uttered by a big league scout:

I played in the minors for nine years, batted twice in the majors. And I'll tell you something -- pretty much every guy I ever shared a locker room with wound up becoming either an alcoholic or a born-again Christian. Booze or God. That's what this game does to you.

I'm starting to like this book a lot.
   6. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:32 AM (#3920777)
From the excerpt: "lunular"?
I enjoyed the excerpt, but I hate when writers throw in fancy words unnecessarily. It's distracting. Just say "crescent-shaped" or something!

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