The classical novel and basis for the acclaimed film now in a new editionIntroduction by Kevin BakerThe Natural, Bernard Malamud s first novel, published in 1952, is also the first and some would say still the best novel ever written about baseball In it Malamud, usually appreciated for his unerring portrayals of postwar Jewish life, took on very different material theThe classical novel and basis for the acclaimed film now in a new editionIntroduction by Kevin BakerThe Natural, Bernard Malamud s first novel, published in 1952, is also the first and some would say still the best novel ever written about baseball In it Malamud, usually appreciated for his unerring portrayals of postwar Jewish life, took on very different material the story of a superbly gifted natural at play in the fields of the old daylight baseball era and invested it with the hardscrabble poetry, at once grand and altogether believable, that runs through all his best work Four decades later, Alfred Kazin s comment still holds true Malamud has done something which now that he has done it looks as if we have been waiting for it all our lives He has really raised the whole passion and craziness and fanaticism of baseball as a popular spectacle to its ordained place in mythology.
The Natural The classical novel and basis for the acclaimed film now in a new editionIntroduction by Kevin BakerThe Natural Bernard Malamud s first novel published in is also the first and some would say
As baseball season heats up, I find myself gravitating toward baseball related books in order to enhance my love for the game when I am not listening to or watching a game Today I read Bernard Malamud s The Natural, which I rate 3.6 stars I have seen the movie version of this book in which Robert Redford s character hits a game winning homer to clinch the pennant, shattering lights, creating his own fireworks, with memorable music in the background The written version, unfortunately, is not as u [...]
Important book on baseball, rife with fun cliches essential to our nation nonetheless A cool view from the top of that profession, with social drama going by at a largely brisk pace.
A reader who begins The Natural by Bernard Malamud after having enjoyed the wonderful 1984 film starring Robert Redford and Glenn Close will be disappointed Like many books and films based upon the book, the two media are vastly different This relationship reminds me of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep 3 and Bladerunner, two similar stories but essentially different and made so by the necessary distinctions of the enabling forum Both are fine works, just very different First of all, Malamud s [...]
A true slice of that American pieor rather a slice of the true American pie with a dusting of nuts on top I mean crazy nuts jesus, this metaphor is falling apart like ake a bad analogy For the better part of the last hundred years, baseball has meant America The Natural is about baseball, thus The Natural is about America The American dream of working hard and making something of yourself is encapsulated herein The protagonist, Roy Hobbs is a young baseball prospect with the world ahead of him M [...]
One of the most over rated novels in all of American Literature Malamud cannot write Or he writes like a 13 year old boy would write It baffles me baffles me why this book is considered a classic and why on earth we would teach it to high school students It must be because it s about baseball Big farkin deal Do yourself a favor skip the book and watch the movie Redford is excellent in the film and gives the story depth than the author ever could.
Malamud un formidabile raccontatore di storie di infelicit Ha una prosa nitida, di una agilit e di una eleganza che non fa intuire sforzi Un talento naturale Come quello di Roy Hobbs, che voleva diventare iI Migliore dei giocatori di baseball Molti si lamentano del baseball, parlando di questo libro Ma sbagliano Non importa capirci niente di mazze e palle, in realt , per starci dentro E molti parlano di demolizione del Sogno Americano, quello per cui, se sei bravo e ce la metti tutta, l America [...]
I haven t seen the movie, but other reviewers mention that the movie is sparkling and upbeat, while the novel is rather dark And that is true this is not an altogether happy story It seems like Roy Hobbs will be a fantastic pitcher, able to strike out batters without their even seeing the ball But that is quickly cut short no, I am not going to spoil the story here Roy Hobbs career as a baseball player is shut down before it really gets started And he does not return to the game for fifteen year [...]
Gloomy and full of sadness, yet lacking any real lessons or even a real heart.What s striking about THE NATURAL is that critics love the IDEA of the book a Jewish American writer certifies his American identity by writing the Great American Baseball Novel Yet almost nobody who reads this book ever remembers any of the ball games or any of the characters or any American scenes or situations or dialogue It s full of shadowy sureallism and all seems to be set in some twilight world devoid of real h [...]
I can t believe how little Malamud apparently knew baseball I tried to understand this book three different ways first, as a remarkable story set in the real world NFW Second, as a surreal fairy tale morality play, a la Coelho s The Alchemist No, Malamud simply seems to believe what he wrote too much I mean, there are obviously surreal elements, but Malamud didn t make the full commitment It s just not that Third, as a kid s book Almost, until you get to the end He really thought he had somethin [...]
This is one of my all time favorite books I have gotten to teach it twice now, and each time I read it, I m and impressed with Malamud s spot on perspective on American heroes, the dreams we create for ourselves and how they change and diminish as we age, and the inevitable failure that we all have lurking inside of us Despite the fact that Roy Hobbs is an utterly frustrating character does he ever make the right choice it s hard to be too down on him because it s easy to see ourselves in his [...]
Hm Apparently, I do not have a shelf for this book What sort of shelf would that be Baseball fiction Books That Use Baseball as an Interminable Metaphor Books that Express Disillusionment with the American Dream Because it definitely belongs on those shelves But I think the shelf this book fits best on is I Liked the Movie Better Because the movie was awesome.
This is a tricky review I was recommended this classic by my father in law who recently found a collection of his work on a bookventure, and knows how much I love the game of baseball As a boy, the movie about Roy Hobbs was a favorite and fantasy I grew up in a rural town, and my father passed on his love of baseball to me before I knew how to walk and talk I loved playing the game My friends and I played it all the time in spring, summer, and fall I was on multiple teams, and in my neighborhood [...]
This tale of a 35 year old baseball player with extremely gifted talent for the game paints a mostly dark picture of a flawed man Bernard Malamud s 1952 novel about Roy Hobbs and his time playing for the New York Knights is considered to be a classic baseball fictional story and was also adapted onto film in the 1980 s, with Robert Redford starring as Hobbs I will add a disclaimer that I have never seen the film, so this review and the opinions within are based only on this book.I found Malamud [...]
An interesting tale by a great writer It s a first novel, much simpler than some of Malamud s other work, the dialogue a little awkward, but perhaps intentionally so Do not read further if you don t like spoilers It is hard to say anything about this novel without giving away pivotal events We first meet Roy Hobbs as a young prospect who is being taken by a down on his luck scout to a tryout for a big league team Fate intervenes, the scout dies, and Roy is very seriously wounded His chances for [...]
This book had its good points and its bad points, but in the end I felt underwhelmed The movie left me feeling the same way, but at least that had Randy Newman s great score The good Malamud s writing can be humorous, at times even makes you chuckle on BART humorous The introductory sequence with greenhorn Roy Hobbs on the train with the world famous Whammer and pretty, mysterious Harriet Bird is unforgettable evocative, inspiring and sad those first 50 pages would have made a great short story [...]
THE NATURAL 1952 Bernard MalamudWhen I read this first novel by Malamud back in the late 1950s, I was blown away On this second read, I was still mightily impressed If you have not read any of Malamud s works, this should be first on your list It was immediately classified as a baseball novel, and, indeed, it is set in the baseball world The hero a natural ball player, is cut short in his career by a woman he totally mis read, and had to defer his entry into the sport for several years His basic [...]
Those who have seen the movie but have not read the book will be surprised Bernard Malamud paints a much darker picture of the odyssey of Roy Hobbs The book takes the arc of one person s career Roy Hobbs and weds it to a couple grim episodes in baseball s history Eddie Waitkus and the Black Sox The Hobbs of the novel is wonderfully talented but very human In the movie, there is a prolonged slump after Hobbs links up with Paris Memo In the novel, he sometimes simply has a slump In the novel, he a [...]
I ve never seen this movie.This book is vivid and summery Full of baseball and its superstitions and lingo I love the word stuff and what it means in baseball and I think nowadays it means even Malamud doesn t use contractions in his dialogue here so there s a 50s formality to the mood Seems like all the men s names are one syllable and all the women s names are two I like the name Memo for a character Never heard that one before Roy s appetite and all the food he consumes some fun food listing [...]
I would give this 3 1 2 stars In full disclosure, I have loved the movie most of my life and I knew the book was going to be darker And it is And the characters are less likable It is really interesting to see how they masterfully adapted essentially the same story and dialogue from the book into a movie with a completely different tone and a lot heart So, I m glad I read it to appreciate the comparison, but in this rare case I did prefer the movie.
Bernard Malamud s first novel, published in 1952, is one of the best baseball books I ve ever read, despite Roy Hobbs being an antihero None of the characters are likeable, from the owner to many of the fans, but the story of a hardscrabble, gifted ballplayer is hard for a seamhead baseball fanatic to put down.
Summary The story of Roy Hobbs, whose promising career in baseball is nearly ended by a strange woman with a silver bullet and his attempt at 35 for one season of greatness.The story of Roy Hobbs is that of the tragic hero come to baseball A number of you may remember the 1984 movie starring Robert Redford I haven t seen the movie but I sense the book is darker The story begins with a young Roy Hobbs on a cross country rail journey that recurs in dreams throughout the book as a symbol of futili [...]
Say it ain t so I was aware of this novel for quite some time, as I saw the film years ago, but I never realized how far removed the book is from the 1984 film with Robert Redford In my opinion, this is one of those rare cases where the film is volumes better than the book I know that the author intended his book to have ties to mythology and the Arthurian legend, but, even at that, the way tries to incorporate the telling of Roy Hobbs story into some sort of allegory is clunky and uneven at bes [...]
The Natural by Bernard Malamud is not the typical sports hero novel The protagonist, Roy Hobbs, a talented baseball player being scouted by the Chicago Cubs, hits rock bottom after being shot in the stomach, possibly ending his baseball career Fifteen years later, Roy returns to the game and joins the fictional New York Knights He slowly works his way to becoming the baseball player he used to be, but never quite gets there Roy has conflicts with many people, including love interests and team ma [...]
I mostly read this because I somehow had it in my mind that I was remiss in not having seen the movie starring Robert Redford, and since I like to read the book a movie is based on first, well It had to be done And it is done Except now I don t want to watch the movie.Roy Hobbs is, as the title suggests, a natural in baseball He goes around talking pretty big about how bad ass he is and how badder asser he will be once he makes the big time and then he goes and gets all involved with some vagi g [...]
A great novel and perhaps the greatest baseball novel of all time, The Natural is not without its flaws First and foremost is Roy Hobbs, our protagonist, and his lack of likable traits Roy is stubborn, shallow, and selfish Everyone and everything in his life seems to only serve the purpose of appeasing his voracious appetite For what does he hunger For greatness, on the surface To be the best at what he does To fulfill his potential To have it all I struggled at times to get behind the thirty fo [...]
What an interesting book It took so many unexpected twists It was about so much than baseball as many baseball books are but it was also less about baseball than I had expected, less about baseball than you think Also, what is it about baseball and magic This book is realistic except for the bat, Wonderboy Baseball books seem to me, and , to have a special affinity for magic realism, highlighting this idea that some of the things that happen in the game are so unlikely that they can only be ex [...]
The Natural has always been one of my favorite baseball movies, and I decided to finally read the book, with the season opening and all I ve read some reviews of people saying that the book is much darker than the movie, and it s true Although that is not really a bad thing Roy is gruffer, grittier, and a little bigger than what Redford puts on the screen He s also a bit nastier in terms of personality not nearly as affable as Redford s Roy Again, not a bad thing The highs in the book are high a [...]
If you think this is the sweet story you saw in the movie with Robert Redford, complete with the overdramatic happy ending, you are in for a shock In this dark tale, Roy Hobbs baseball career is cut short by a crazed fan Years later he has a second chance and easily shoots to the top of the majors with his skills Along the way, Hobbs falls for the manager s niece, Memo, who is still in love with Hobbs now deceased team rival, Bump Bailey has a romantic fling with the past her prime fan Iris Lemo [...]
This was a bit of a tough read because I really don t know that much about baseball and I don t really understand the rules of the game beyond my rudimentary knowledge of schoolgirl softball But the book had good pace and a good story I didn t warm to Roy that much despite his age, Iris had pegged him perfectly when she had asked when are you going to grow up His obsession with Memo, from the outside, was than just damaging to him it all but destroyed him And sadly, for much of the book, I felt [...]
Malamud s prose is elegant and evocative, and made this novel a pleasure to read So different from the film Roy Hobbs is larger than life, and not just in the way he swings the bat his story is a charming, if occasionally repugnant, fable that doesn t turn a blind eye to human nature The characters are well drawn and familiar types, and the plot rushes you along like the ghostly train of Roy s nightmares It was hard to put down Thanks, Elizabeth