P&P Reading Club: Adam Webb on The Art of Fielding Chapters 53- 72

he art of fielding by chad harbachFind more of Adam at Everyday Footnotes.

Well, that certainly got plotty, didn’t it? Maybe I skipped over the warnings but I hadn’t been concerned that Guert was putting his job on the line with his affair. The book successfully encouraged me to focus my concern on Owen’s eventual rejection of Guert. This development seemed to appear out of nowhere (dean ex machina?) but I loved the way this turn of events played off the unending and seemingly inconsequential talk of climate change. (Inconsequential to the novel, not — you know — the world.) In hindsight, I realize Owen’s solar-power pillow talk was actually quite strange and I would love it if Guert’s fleeting paranoid idea that Owen may be sleeping with him simply to make Westish carbon-neutral turned out to be true.

While Guert has the Skrimshanders to thank for the unraveling of his life’s work, Henry has both Affenflights to thank for avoiding fates such as ramen soup and shallow water drowning. I’m curious to see what’s driving Guert, at this dark moment, to send Henry to Nationals.

A question for everyone else: did I miss some legitimate reason for Schwartz to turn down the assistant athletic director job? I understand that we’re supposed to believe that he’s too stubborn or single-minded to accept this perfect gap-year opportunity … but is anyone buying that?

2 Responses to “P&P Reading Club: Adam Webb on The Art of Fielding Chapters 53- 72”


  • I think Schwartz is too mad at himself to see sticking around Westish during his “gap-year” as an option. As a person whose ambitions exceed his talents, staying in one place when everybody else moves on would feel like stagnation.

  • One of the biggest questions for me was also what is Affenlight’s real motivation in sending Henry to Nationals, and if I had the book on me right now, I’d do some rereading because I feel like I missed something.

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