The Natural (Perennial Classics)

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9780060958299: The Natural (Perennial Classics)

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--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.

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Product Description:

This is a book about heroism - of sorts. Roy Hobbs has an immense natural gift for playing baseball. He could become one of the great ones of the game, a player unmatched in his time - a hero. But his first hard-won big chance ends violently, at the hands of a crazy girl, and then it is years before he gets another shot. At last, in a few short seasons, or never, he must achieve the towering reputation that he feels is his right.

Review:

"A rich original of the first rank" (Saul Bellow)

"One of the best writers in the English language... His work embeds itself into one's consciousness and refuses to be dislodged" ( Sunday Times)

" The Natural by Bernard Malamud shows the agony, destruction and pathos that come often with great sports talent" (Sid Waddell, sports commentator Independent)

"This book established that we could have a serious adult baseball novel by playing with the parallels between mythical elements in the game and mythical elements in literature" ( Chicago Tribune)

"Bernard Malamud's The Natural that still leads the field [for novels about baseball]. It is one of the landmarks of a period in US fiction when Jewish novelists dominated the scene with work of the highest ambition" ( Metro)

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