Another favorite part--the excerpts from the fictitious book The Art of Fielding by Aparicio Rodriguez:
"The glove is not an object in the usual sense," said Aparicio in The Art of Fielding. "For the infielder to divide it from himself, even in thought, is one of the roots of error."
"The shortstop is a source of stillness at the center of the defense. He projects this stillness and his teammates respond."
"To field a ground ball must be considered a generous act and an act of comprehension...."Aparicio's book is the only book that Henry takes with him to Westish College, but for him, the book is a mentor and a philosophy.
The first half of the book was excellent, and I enjoyed all of the Melville connections, even the name Skrimshander evokes scrimshaw and images of whaling. As the complications involving the relationships began taking more precedence, however, I felt much less attached.
Nominated for a Pulitzer (although it did not win), the book has garnered great praise and severe criticism. I loved the book, but did feel that some of the relationships off the field were a bit forced, nor did the last few chapters work that well for me.
It isn't a book that I'll forget; it will linger much longer than many of the books I read.
Fiction. Contemporary Lit. 2011. 512 pages.