Hailed as one of the greatest sports stories ever written, The Natural tells the story of fame, and betrayal.
Many of us are probably familiar with the Robert Redford movie based on this novel.
What we may not have known was that the book is quite different than the movie. (The ending is completely different!)
Roy Hobbs was going to be the best ball player anyone had ever seen. He was going to walk down the street and people were going to say, "There goes Roy Hobbs; the best there ever was!"
After being shot by a crazy woman, he disappeared from the game for a number of years.
When he returns, he no longer has the pitching power that was to take him to mythological heights; instead, he relies on his hitting strength.
The Natural shows you how complex professional baseball can be. You have owners and devious players vying for power and money, you have women who only seek name-recognition, and you honest men, wanting to simply enjoy America's past-time.
I thought Malamud did a great job with this story. I was engaged right until the last page. I hated the ending of this book. Perhaps it's more realistic, but sometimes we need our mythic heroes in sports.