I read reviews often and I hardly find a book of this genre having so many negative reviews. I count that on the discomfort many will feel on the homosexual twist that dominates half of the plot. But if you, as rightful heterosexual person, manage to get over that, you will see that there is real beauty to this book. That beauty resides on the fine grain the characters have, on the wonderful analysis of what a baseball player is, on what it means to be a semi-adult in today's America. And if you do so, the story of the unconventional (or maybe just illegal) love of an older man to a younger one will become understandable. I should also mention that the reader is simply flawless and perfect to my ears.
Mike Schwartz - he was the most likeable and very well drawn for a sidekick.
Very good pacing.
President Affenlight's character held the most surprises.
While not the baseball book I expected, I did really like the book.
The performance is terrific -- even with a lot of dialog, the reader does an excellent job of providing each character with a personality that enhances the author's perspective. Very well done.
The story is in almost all ways excellent, but there's one relationship that struck me as so far-fetched as to weaken -- in a meaningful way -- the story's overall impact and credibility. I don't want to provide spoilers, so I won't write any more, but this relationship was so repeatedly jarring that it colors my overall impression of the book and moves it from excellent to very good.
Oh, and don't worry if you're not a baseball fan. It starts off as though baseball is the centerpiece, but it's merely a vehicle for telling a character-driven story.
I'm not one to listen to all that many books and I got this one because of the buzz around the book itself, yet I found the performance to be just as impressive as the story itself. As a baseball fan and former high school player, I waited for the moments when the author got back to the field because he writes with such effectiveness.
The opening moments about Henry playing as a shortstop were my favorite because Mr. Harbach writes about the sport so beautifully.
I prefer Audio as I listen to them while I work. I don't have much time outside of work to read a print version.
Predictable, but the one twist was good.
No, I haven't.
I really like the President of the University character.
It was a good book.
I usually don't listen to books a second time, but this would be one that I just might.
He brings a personality to the characters.
I couldn't wait to get back to it. There was always something pivotal that was going on.
I did not think I would enjoy this story because I have zero interest in baseball, but what a great listen. Interesting characters and story.
That it was a great book centered around baseball. Great characters, great setting, great story.
The plight of Henry Scrimshander. From wonderkind to failure and, finally, a hint of redemption.
The final scenes where Guert's friends and family bury him at sea and then the workout by Henry and Mike.
So many characters who were so well developed. I enjoyed reading about each character as the story bounced around. The main characters were all so likeable.
One of the best books I've listened to in a while. I don't normally do reviews, but I felt compelled to vent. The narrator, Holter Graham, was great with different voices and the drama of the story. This is my first listen of Mr. Graham but surely won't be my last.
I enjoyed it like I was listening to a baseball game & getting the scores...sadly, didn't read the print first.
Real interest in the subject matter & characters--I could visualize their faces, their scenes.
The main character & his high-school recruiter friend.
To ask them why they think things happened just so...would they have changed anything.
And to ask...what did they love most in the beginning of the game--in their youth.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…The man who never reads lives only one.” (George R. R. Martin)
I would but probably to someone who likes baseball and/or literary fiction. It's not for everyone, even though it's not entirely about baseball.
I liked the baseball aspects the best. There aren't many good baseball novels around. There aren't many baseball novels around in general that I know of. I found some of the secondary character's stories to be a bit tedious - Affenlight, Owen, and Pella - and I was waiting for the story to get back to Skrimshander and Schwartz. It's very well written, I just couldn't care less about the other characters. Also, I thought it was interesting to make a story out of the guy who can no longer make routine throws - Steve Sax, Chuck Knoblauch, Rick Ankiel, among others.
As with most good narration the characterization here is very well done. I never thought it was off in any way.
I've heard that an HBO series is in talks.
Overall, I thought this was a generally good novel. I think it's a great baseball novel and very good for a first-time novelist. I think, for my taste, it could have been cut down a bit as I didn't care too much about the secondary characters and how much of the story was devoted to them. It was very well written, I just didn't find the other characters and their part of the story too interesting when compared to the main college baseball storyline.