Chad Harbach’s book, The Art of Fielding, has been both praised and panned, the pan, I suppose, because it doesn’t come across at first as serious writing, the praise because it’s damned entertaining. But what makes it entertaining? It’s characters.
Characterization has to seem real, even when it’s slightly exaggerated, and the cast of characters should be a coherent whole – among themselves and within the context of story. Harbach does this, and with great skill. Check out this book, read it, not once but twice, and see if I’m not right.