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THE NATURAL by Bernard Malamud


by Bernard Malamud

Pub Date: Aug. 21st, 1952
ISBN: 0374502005
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World

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. The protagonist is Roy Hobbs, a "natural" all player, first seen on a train heading for Chicago and a tryout at the age of 19. Succumbing to the wiles of Harriet Bird, a dangerous paranoid who shoots athletes with .22- loaded with silver bullets- his career is stopped before it starts. At 34 he returns to the mound and makes a meteorical rise to the top. But he seems doomed to estruction and is victimized by a merciless sports writer, a sanctimonious but evil judge who owns the club, a foul-mouthed dwarf, and a woman who is in love with his dead predecessor. The only one who might have saved him is Iris, but he destroys her with a ard hit ball-aimed at the dwarf... A strange and arresting story (Malamud has been a contributor to Commentary Partisan Review etc.) which men- even those who never get further than the newspaper- should enjoy.