OVERRIDE

The Natural

A Novel

Bernard Malamud; Introduction by Kevin Baker

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



The classical novel (and basis for the acclaimed film) now in a new edition

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.”

BOOK EXCERPTS

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The Natural
PRE-GAMERoy Hobbs pawed at the glass before thinking to prick a match with his thumbnail and hold the spurting flame in his cupped palm close to the lower berth window, but by then he had figured it was a tunnel they were passing through and was no longer surprised at the bright sight of himself holding a yellow light over his head, peering back in. As the train yanked its long tail out of the thundering tunnel, the kneeling reflection dissolved and he felt a splurge of freedom at the view of the moon-hazed Western hills bulked against night broken by sprays of summer lightning,
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REVIEWS

Praise for The Natural

“A brilliant and unusually fine novel.” —The New York Times

“A preposterously readable story about life.” —Time

“Malamud [holds a] high and honored place among contemporary American writers.” —Washington Post Book World

“The finest novel about baseball since Ring Lardner left the scene.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Bernard Malamud; Introduction by Kevin Baker

  • Bernard Malamud (1914–86) wrote eight novels; he won the Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award for The Fixer, and the National Book Award for The Magic Barrel. Born in Brooklyn, he taught for many years at Bennington College in Vermont.
  • Bernard Malamud Copyright Seymour Linden
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The Natural

A Novel

Bernard Malamud; Introduction by Kevin Baker

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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