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The Submission: A Novel
The Submission: A Novel
by Amy Waldman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.06
244 used & new from $0.01

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Rate, October 23, 2011
This is an exceptionally good book. It avoids easy answers and probes deeply into the messy business of how we all deal -- sometimes successfully, sometimes not -- with the interplay of emotion, reason, ambition, and principle. Amy Waldman invites us into the private worlds of people thrust onto a very public stage and refuses to let either her characters or her readers off the hook by accepting simple, comforting resolution or cliched responses. All of that is made all the more noteworthy because the book is a tremendous read with a captivating plot, engaging characters, and a sure sense of timing. Ms. Waldman repeatedly takes big risks as a writer here -- scenes that shouldn't work but do, encounters that should end predicably but don't, plot twists that should bring the whole novel crashing down, but instead take the story to even better and richer places. This is a book that deserves to be read and savored.

The Art of Fielding: A Novel
The Art of Fielding: A Novel
by Chad Harbach
Edition: Hardcover
331 used & new from $0.01

736 of 918 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Astonishingly Awful, October 13, 2011
I have never felt compelled to write an online review before. But as someone who reads four or five novels a month (mostly popular fiction) and works in the publishing industry, I find the praise for this book so inexplicable and disturbing that I feel the need to speak out. Cardboard, cliched characters (the coach? Henry's father? the chef? other nominees?) engaged in laughable dialogue (as you read the book, ask yourself whether you know any college students -- any -- who talk this way) in a plot held together by cheap TV-esque cleverness (a gay baseball player who after striking out says the pitcher is cute . . . a scene in which readers are led to believe the main character is overhearing two people engaged in sex behind a door -- but only because the writer holds off telling us for a few paragraphs that the character is at the gym outside the weight room). People and themes disappear without a trace (the architect husband? Gone. Aparicio Rodriguez? Disappeared. The zen-like manual, The Art of Fielding, that is the supposed central conceit of the book? Abandoned somewhere mid-novel). For all the complaints here about the ending -- and it is truly silly and pretentious -- let's not lose sight of the wreck that precedes it.
Comment Comments (68) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 22, 2014 2:44 PM PDT

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