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Why You Should Read The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach as an Epub File: A Guide for Fans of Baseball and Moby-Dick


# Outline - Introduction - What is The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach - Why it is a popular and acclaimed novel - How to download it as an epub file - Summary of the plot - The main characters and their relationships - The baseball theme and the Melville connection - The challenges and conflicts they face - Analysis of the themes and style - The role of baseball as a metaphor for life - The influence of Melville and other literary references - The use of humor and realism - Evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses - The positive aspects of the novel, such as the characterization, dialogue, and structure - The negative aspects of the novel, such as the length, the ending, and the originality - Conclusion - A brief recap of the main points - A recommendation for who should read the novel - A call to action to download the epub file # Article The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach: A Review and Guide to Downloading the Epub File Have you ever heard of The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach? If not, you are missing out on one of the most acclaimed and popular novels of the past decade. The Art of Fielding is a 2011 novel by American author Chad Harbach. It centers on the fortunes of shortstop Henry Skrimshander and his career playing college baseball with the fictional Westish College Harpooners. The novel was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award, and was featured on several year-end lists. But The Art of Fielding is not just a baseball novel. It is also a story of friendship, love, ambition, failure, and redemption. It is a story that explores the themes of literature, philosophy, and identity. And it is a story that will keep you hooked until the last page. If you are interested in reading this amazing novel, you might be wondering how to get it as an epub file. Epub is a format that allows you to read ebooks on various devices, such as smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and computers. Epub files are easy to download and store, and they offer a great reading experience. In this article, we will give you a brief summary of the plot of The Art of Fielding, an analysis of its themes and style, an evaluation of its strengths and weaknesses, and a guide on how to download it as an epub file. By the end of this article, you will have a good idea of what this novel is about, why it is worth reading, and how to get it on your device. ## Summary of the Plot The Art of Fielding follows the lives of five main characters: Henry Skrimshander, Mike Schwartz, Owen Dunne, Guert Affenlight, and Pella Affenlight. Henry Skrimshander is a 17-year-old from South Dakota who has a natural talent for playing shortstop. He is recruited by Mike Schwartz, a student at Westish College in Wisconsin, who sees Henry's potential and becomes his mentor and friend. Henry joins the Westish Harpooners, a small-time college baseball team that has never won anything significant. Mike Schwartz is a senior at Westish who plays catcher for the Harpooners. He is also the team captain and leader. He devotes his time and energy to helping Henry improve his game and prepare for a professional career. Mike has his own ambitions of going to law school after graduation, but he struggles with injuries, painkillers, and academic pressure. Owen Dunne is Henry's roommate at Westish. He is also a member of the Harpooners, playing right field. Owen is gay, biracial, handsome, intelligent, and witty. He loves reading books and has a casual attitude towards baseball. He attracts the attention of Guert Affenlight, the president of Westish College. Guert Affenlight is a renowned scholar who specializes in Herman Melville. He returns to his alma mater as president after spending years at Harvard. He has a strained relationship with his daughter Pella, who left him when she was young to live with her mother. He falls in love with Owen Dunne, despite being much older than him and having never been with a man before. Pella Affenlight is Guert's daughter who comes back to Westish after leaving her husband in San Francisco. She is unhappy and aimless, but she finds a new purpose when she meets Mike Schwartz and starts working at the college cafeteria. She develops a romantic relationship with Mike, but they face many challenges and misunderstandings. The novel revolves around the baseball season of Henry's junior year, when he is on the verge of breaking a national record for errorless games by a shortstop. His idol is Aparicio Rodriguez, a legendary shortstop who wrote a book called The Art of Fielding, which Henry studies religiously. However, Henry's dream is shattered when he makes a bad throw that injures Owen in the dugout. This incident triggers a crisis of confidence in Henry, who loses his ability to play. His slump affects not only his future, but also the fate of his team and his friends. The novel also explores the connection between Westish College and Herman Melville, who visited the campus in the 1880s and gave a lecture there. The college has a statue of Melville and its mascot is the Harpooner, inspired by Moby-Dick. Melville's influence is felt throughout the novel, as his themes of obsession, fate, and identity resonate with the characters and their struggles. The novel reaches a climax when several events converge: Henry's attempt to overcome his slump, Mike's decision to leave Westish, Owen's discovery of a lost Melville manuscript, Guert's revelation of his affair with Owen, and Pella's pregnancy. The novel ends with a dramatic baseball game that determines the destiny of the Harpooners and their players. ## Analysis of the Themes and Style The Art of Fielding is a novel that explores many themes, such as baseball, literature, friendship, love, ambition, failure, and redemption. One of the main themes is baseball as a metaphor for life. Baseball is not only a sport, but also an art, a science, and a philosophy. It requires skill, discipline, teamwork, and passion. It also involves chance, luck, and uncertainty. It can bring joy and sorrow, success and failure, glory and humiliation. It can teach valuable lessons about oneself and others. It can also be a source of obsession and madness. The novel shows how baseball affects the lives of the characters in different ways. For Henry, baseball is his identity and his destiny. He has devoted his life to mastering the art of fielding, following the advice of Aparicio Rodriguez. He believes that he can achieve perfection and happiness through baseball. However, when he makes a mistake that shatters his confidence, he realizes that baseball is not enough to fill his emptiness and loneliness. He has to find a new meaning and purpose in life. For Mike, baseball is his passion and his duty. He loves playing baseball and helping others improve their game. He sees himself as a leader and a mentor for Henry and the Harpooners. He sacrifices his health and his future for the sake of baseball. However, he also realizes that baseball is not everything. He has to face his own limitations and aspirations. He has to decide what he wants to do after college and how to balance his relationship with Pella. For Owen, baseball is his hobby and his escape. He plays baseball for fun and for socializing. He does not take it too seriously or too personally. He enjoys reading books on the bench and making witty comments. He uses baseball as a way to avoid his problems and his feelings. However, he also realizes that baseball is not irrelevant. It connects him with Guert Affenlight and with Henry Skrimshander. It exposes him to danger and to opportunity. It forces him to confront his identity and his choices. For Guert, baseball is his curiosity and his temptation. He does not know much about baseball or care for it until he meets Owen Dunne. He becomes fascinated by Owen's beauty and intelligence, as well as by his skill on the field. He falls in love with Owen against all reason and morality. He risks his reputation and his career for the sake of baseball. However, he also realizes that baseball is not harmless. It causes him pain and guilt. It threatens his relationship with Pella and with Melville. It challenges his beliefs and values. For Pella, baseball is her opportunity and her challenge. She does not like baseball or understand it until she meets Mike Schwartz. She becomes attracted by Mike's strength and charisma, as well as by his dedication to the game. She falls in love with Mike despite their differences and difficulties. She finds a new direction and a new family through baseball. However, she also realizes that baseball is not easy. It demands her patience and her support. It tests her trust and her commitment. It shapes her identity and her destiny. Another theme of the novel is literature as a source of inspiration, influence, and critique. The novel is full of literary references, Herman Melville and Moby-Dick. The novel pays homage to Melville's masterpiece, which is considered one of the greatest American novels of all time. Melville's influence is evident in the structure, style, and themes of The Art of Fielding. The novel is divided into 135 chapters, some of which are very short and have descriptive titles, just like Moby-Dick. The novel also uses various literary devices, such as songs, poetry, catalogs, soliloquies, asides, and stage directions, to create a rich and diverse narrative. The novel also explores similar themes as Moby-Dick, such as obsession, fate, identity, and the nature of evil. However, the novel also critiques Melville and Moby-Dick. The novel questions the validity and relevance of Melville's vision and voice for the contemporary world. The novel challenges the authority and authenticity of Moby-Dick as a canonical text. The novel exposes the flaws and limitations of Melville's characters and worldview. For example, the novel portrays Ahab as a tragic hero who is driven by a noble quest for knowledge and justice, but also as a madman who is blinded by his pride and hatred, and who leads his crew to their doom. The novel shows Henry as a fanatical admirer of Ahab, who tries to emulate his perfectionism and courage, but also as a naive follower who fails to understand Ahab's complexity and ambiguity, and who suffers from his own weakness and doubt. The novel depicts Moby Dick as a mysterious and majestic creature, who represents the sublime and the unknowable, but also as a violent and destructive force, who symbolizes the evil and the chaotic. The novel also contrasts Melville's epic style with a more realistic and humorous tone. The novel does not take itself too seriously or pretentiously. The novel mocks some of the aspects of Moby-Dick, such as its length, its digressions, its symbolism, and its moralizing. The novel also makes fun of some of the characters and situations in The Art of Fielding, such as Owen's reading habits, Guert's affair with Owen, Pella's pregnancy scare, and Henry's slump. ## Evaluation of the Strengths and Weaknesses The Art of Fielding is a novel that has many strengths and weaknesses. Some of the strengths are: - The characterization: The novel creates memorable and realistic characters who have distinct personalities, backgrounds, motivations, and conflicts. The novel makes the reader care about their fates and empathize with their struggles. The novel also develops their relationships in a convincing and compelling way. - The dialogue: The novel uses dialogue effectively to reveal the characters' thoughts, feelings, and intentions. The dialogue is natural, lively, and witty. The dialogue also reflects the characters' voices and accents. - The structure: The novel has a clear and coherent structure that organizes the plot into chapters and sections. The structure also creates suspense and tension by alternating between different points of view and time frames. The structure also enhances the themes and symbols by using parallelism and contrast. - The humor: The novel has a lot of humor that lightens the mood and entertains the reader. The humor comes from various sources, such as irony, sarcasm, exaggeration, wordplay, and satire. The humor also balances the seriousness and sadness of some of the situations. Some of the weaknesses are: - The length: The novel is too long for its content. It could have been shorter and tighter without losing its essence or impact. It has some unnecessary or redundant parts that slow down the pace or distract from the main story. - The ending: The novel has an unsatisfying ending that leaves many questions unanswered or unresolved. It does not provide a clear or satisfying closure for some of the characters or conflicts. It also feels rushed or forced compared to the rest of the novel. - The originality: The novel is not very original or innovative in its plot or themes. It borrows heavily from Melville's Moby-Dick and other literary works. It does not offer a new or fresh perspective on its topics or issues. ## Conclusion The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach is a remarkable novel that combines baseball, literature, friendship, love, ambition, failure, and redemption in a captivating story. It is a novel that pays tribute to Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, but also critiques and challenges it. It is a novel that has many strengths, such as the characterization, dialogue, structure, and humor, but also some weaknesses, such as the length, ending, and originality. If you are looking for a novel that will make you laugh, cry, think, and feel, you should read The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. And if you want to read it as an epub file, you can download it from various online sources, such as: - https://archive.org/details/moby-dick-herman-melville - https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2701 - https://www.epubbooks.com/book/2701-moby-dick But before you do that, make sure you have an epub reader installed on your device. You can find many free and easy-to-use epub readers online, such as: - https://calibre-ebook.com/ - https://www.adobe.com/solutions/ebook/digital-editions.html - https://fbreader.org/ Once you have an epub reader, you can enjoy reading The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach on your device. You will not regret it.




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