The Natural by Bernard Malamud

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Synopsis

Introduction by Kevin Baker


The 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."

 

About Bernard Malamud

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ALAN CHEUSE is the book commentator for National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." NICHOLAS DELBANCO directs the Hopwood Awards program and the MFA in writing program at the University of Michigan.
 
Published July 7, 2003 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 249 pages
Genres: Sports & Outdoors, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books, History, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Natural

Kirkus Reviews

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A highly original, tightly written novel of America's national sport and its periphery of fanatics, which in its fantastic invention of character and exploit assumes the proportions of the fabulous impossible.

Sep 28 2011 | Read Full Review of The Natural

Examiner

- When Lightning Strikes: Creating the Natural - When Lightning Strikes: Creating the Natural - Pt 2, The Line-Up: Assembling the Moviemaking Team - When Lightning Strikes: Creating the Natural - Pt 3, Let's Play Ball: Filming the Show - For the Love of the movie...and the Game - A Natural Gunned...

Apr 09 2010 | Read Full Review of The Natural

AV Club

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But given the movie's draggy 144-minutes run time, shockingly little is made clear: Why does the evil journalist (Robert Duvall) have it in for Redford?

Mar 21 2007 | Read Full Review of The Natural

The Trades

The Heart of The Natural - In-depth discussion with retired Baltimore Orioles great Cal Ripken, Jr., talking about how the relationship between Roy Hobbs and his father mirrored that of Cal and his father, and the differences between naturally gifted athletes and those who must work hard to excel.

Apr 04 2007 | Read Full Review of The Natural

Reader Rating for The Natural
68%

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