P&P Reading Club: Dayn Perry on The Art of Fielding Chapters 18 – 33

he art of fielding by chad harbachDayn Perry is a senior writer at NotGraphs and skilled Reggie Jackson biographer.

My thoughts on Phase Two of the novel that binds us? I have little to add that hasn’t already been laid out on these pages by previous, smarter readers. I do, however, suspect that Pella and Henry will have, at they very least, a romantic dalliance in the pages to come. The problem is that any plot turn that I can anticipate is likely too obvious by half, so part of me hopes this doesn’t come to pass. Besides, I have already developed an unhealthy interest in seeing Schwartz and Pella work things out to my satisfaction.

Anyhow, instead of regaling you with my lack of insight, I’m going to cast “The Art of Fielding: The Movie.” Since I’m but halfway through the book, I reserve the right to fire any and all cast members should circumstances dictate. For now, though, I decree the following:

Henry Skrimshander – Jesse Eisenberg

He’s gangly, awkward and withdrawn. I have no idea if he can feign the necessary athleticism, but that’s what body double David Eckstein is for.

Mike Schwartz – Chris Pratt

The unimpeachable CelebHeights.com tells me that Mr. Pratt is 6-foot-2. He also seems capable of thesis-beard growth and related bearishness.

Owen Dunne – Thomas Hobson

If Jeffrey Wright were, say, 15 years younger, I’d bestow my casting blessings upon him. Things as they are, however, I am mandating, in my Judge Lance Ito fashion, that Mr. Hobson be given the job. And, yes, my spawn inflicts Nick Jr.’s “Fresh Beat Band” upon me, which is why I’m familiar with Mr. Hobson’s work in the first place. So Hobson is the choice. Hobson’s choice. Ha!

Guert Affenlight – Victor Gerber

When I think of “accomplished third-generation cracker with sublimated homosexual longing,” I think of James Mason. But then I remember than James Mason is dead and also terribly British. So then I think of Victor Gerber.

Pella Affenlight – Greta Gerwig

Effortlessly attractive, smart, complicated without striving to appear so … Also, I believe I’m in love with her. Greta, that is, not Pella. Yet.

Genevieve (What’s her surname?) – Lisa Gay Hamilton

The hair works, as does the yoga-toned body. She also seems capable of playing a television anchor who is orders of magnitude more lucid than you’re garden-variety television anchor.

The floor is now open for complaints, well-mannered or otherwise.

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7 Responses to P&P Reading Club: Dayn Perry on The Art of Fielding Chapters 18 – 33

  1. Ted says:

    I love the idea! Most of these are spot-on, and I’m impressed with your second-level casting options. No Angelinas or Laura Linneys here. My only dispute would be with the country boy Henry Skrimshander. Eisenberg, who I think is great, has too much New York, neurotic speed-talking in him. I see Henry being slow of speech and manner enough to infuriate anyone east of Ohio. I don’t think I have the chops to find a suitable replacement among the college-aged set, so I’ll leave it at the dick move of shooting down your proposal without offering an alternative.

  2. Dayn Perry says:

    Ya know, funny you say so because the Eisenberg casting was the one I was the most conflicted about. Something off about it. I’m sure there’s a better Henry out there …

  3. Dayn Perry says:

    And I just noticed two somewhat horrifying grammatical errors within my write-up …

  4. kate dunn says:

    Just was wondering about the casting myself and googled it. I like most of your ideas, especially Chris Pratt! How about Zach Gilford for Henry? He was my favorite character on Friday Night Lights. Very introspective.

  5. mootpt says:

    How about Michael Cera as Henry?

  6. kay mohlman says:

    Henry = John Heder

  7. Kate says:

    I had to comment because I had mentally cast Eisenberg and Pratt too. Pratt was my picture of Schwartz from page 1. I’ve got Dennis Quaid as Affenlight, Joseph Gordon Levitt as Owen (whitewashing, but the book is pretty explicit about how surprised Guert is by Owen’s race ) and Ellen Page as Pella.