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.
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One of the best writers in the English language... His work embeds itself into one's consciousness and refuses to be dislodged - Sunday Times
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
An unusually fine novel... In his telling and always deliberate use of the vernacular alternated with passages evocative and almost lyrical, in his almost entirely successful relation of baseball in detail to the culture which elaborated it, Malamud has made a brilliant and unusual book - New York Times
Bernard Malamud, one of America's most important novelists and short-story writers, was born in Brooklyn in 1914. He took his B.A. degree at the City College of New York and his M.A. at Colombia University. From 1940 to 1949 he taught in various New York schools, and then joined the staff of Oregon State University, where he stayed until 1961. Thereafter, he taught at Bennington State College, Vermont.
His remarkable, and uncharacteristic first novel, The Natural, appeared in 1952. Malamud received international acclaim with the publication of The Assistant (1957, winner of the Rosenthal Award and the Daroff Memorial Award). His other works include The Magic Barrel (1958, winner of the National Book Award), Idiots First (1963, short stories), The Fixer (1966, winner of a second National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize), Pictures of Fidelman (1969), The Tenants (1971), Rembrandt's Hat (1973, short stories), Dubin's Lives (1979) and God's Grace (1982). Bernard Malamud was made a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, USA, in 1964, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1967, and won a major Italian award, the Premio Mondello, in 1985. Benard Malamud died in 1986.