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The Art of Fielding: A Novel

The Art of Fielding: A Novel - Chad Harbach Wish I could get a Westish Harpooners ball cap.Harbach is brilliant at conveying the tension of the star shortstop's crisis of confidence and other elements of the game and its preparations. Within those constraints, there is also some wonderful character development and exposition on baseball-as-metaphor that touches me.There are characters and situations outside the game depicted in the Art of Fielding, as well. And those are a little flatter. I love the touches of history Harbach creates for the college and its president. The structure of the novel is just right. But the romances and intertwined paths of the characters that are not playing the game fall a little into caricature. I want some more dimension to Pella and Owen, in particular.I can't decide if this is a three-star effort deserving of extra credit for avoiding shortcuts (a rape-free star) or a four-star book that should be pushed to the top. I'm having trouble hanging five stars on this one.