Malamud, Bernard. The Natural. New York: Dell, 1952.
Even though the Boston Red Sox didn’t make it to the world series this year, I still wanted to read a baseball book before the season was over. The Natural seemed like the perfect choice to wrap up October 2009 even though it was on the depressing side.
Despite being only 180 pages long Bernard Malamud packs a lot of action into the plot of The Natural. Roy Hobbs is a rookie baseball player on his way to try out for Chicago’s pro team, the Chicago Cubs. Just as he arrives in Chicago he is shot by a serial killer, a woman bent on killing professional athletes. Fastforward 16 years and Roy has survived being shot and is now playing for the New York Knights. He has made it to the big time only to have to deal with a mid-season slump, a crooked co-owner, Judge Banner, an infatuated woman who says she is carrying his child, Iris Lemon, and his unresolved relationship with the fans. When Hobbs is bribed to throw the game, he counters with a bigger bribe and the deal is done. The book ends with a newspaper boy confronting Hobbs after the game, asking “Is it true?” and Hobbs cannot reply.
I didn’t really find any lines that struck me serious.
BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter called, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” (p 229).