Customer Reviews for

Natural

Average Rating 4
( 38 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

The Natural

In the novel, The Natural by Bernard Malamud, you are taken back to the 1930¿s and 40¿s era and learn of a man named Roy Hobbs who is on a train to Chicago. Later in the story, the setting changes to New York where the Knights, a major league baseball team plays. This s...
In the novel, The Natural by Bernard Malamud, you are taken back to the 1930¿s and 40¿s era and learn of a man named Roy Hobbs who is on a train to Chicago. Later in the story, the setting changes to New York where the Knights, a major league baseball team plays. This setting gives you a sense of 1940¿s baseball and is described to create a very realistic picture of that time and baseball during that period. The plot of The Natural starts with the young new pitcher Roy Hobbs, is on his way to Chicago to try out for the Cubs. On the train he meets the baseball legend, The Wammer, who Roy strikes out in three pitches at a carnival when the train had stopped. He also meets a very pretty woman named Harriet Bird, when in Chicago, invites Roy to her hotel room. When he arrives she shoots him. The story moves to 16 years later, Roy is now 34 years old and has a contract to play for the New York Knights. Manager Pop Fischer doesn¿t like the idea of having an old rookie and doesn¿t play Roy. But, after the Knights start outfielder Bump Bailey dies after crashing into the wall, Roy takes his spot. Using his bat he made from a tree struck by lightning called Wonderboy, Roy becomes the new fan favorite. He then falls in love with Memo Paris, Pop¿s niece who brings Roy bad luck and sends him into a horrible slump. But when in Chicago, he meets Iris Lemon who makes Roy begin to hit again. Once the team has the chance to play for the pennant against the Pirates, the Judge, who owns the Knights offers Roy a $35,000 dollar bonus to lose on purpose so he can take the team away from Pop Fischer. Roy strikes out to end the game and his deal with the Judge is later exposed to the public. The plot is a very fairy tale story in that Roy is able to come back at age 34 and dominate the game, and the type of deal he made with the Judge seems to be a very unlikely event to occur. Roy¿s main conflict during the book was his dilemma to accept the $35,000 or just live with his inadequate salary of $3,000. Roy wants the cash, but doesn¿t want to upset Pop Fisher. He is pressured by Memo to give into the Judge¿s plan. Roy did learn that he can become corrupt by money, because during his incredible season, he only wanted to play for the love of the game, but in the end took the money to lose the pennant. Some concepts that were present were to have courage as Roy displayed to come back after leaving baseball for 16 years. Others include heroism in capturing the attention of the fans, but also of betrayal when he took part in the Judge¿s plan. The concepts of courage and chasing your dreams are important to me because I have my own ideas for the future and I can¿t take shortcuts like Roy tried. I enjoyed The Natural, I learned it¿s never too late to chase dreams and do what you set out to do. Also, because I love baseball and enjoy reading sport novels. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes heroic stories followed with some tragedy.

posted by Anonymous on September 7, 2004

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Not Just A Baseball Story..

Struggling to pursue a professional baseball career, Rob Hobbs, a character in The Natural, overcomes many obstacles in his first year as the Rookie. Roy moves to the crowded and sleepless city of New York as he adapts to the celebrity lifestyle of parties and meeting...
Struggling to pursue a professional baseball career, Rob Hobbs, a character in The Natural, overcomes many obstacles in his first year as the Rookie. Roy moves to the crowded and sleepless city of New York as he adapts to the celebrity lifestyle of parties and meeting new people, most of them being girls. Bernard Malamud, the author, is successful in creating a realistic setting through the use of hectic moods and a party-like atmosphere. As Roy takes on new responsibilities, his main struggle is trying to balance everything while still playing a spectacular game night after night, a stability that not everyone is able to achieve. Roy enters the baseball world with a great deal of early criticism but besides all that, he is an immediate success. After finally gaining support of the coaches, teammates, and local fans, he begins to grow older and more experienced yet still continuing to pile on the pressure to do well. In fact, they demand perfection. The media is after him wanting to know all about his history, as Roy does not want the public to know about his personal stories. As a leader of the team, he brings them up from last place to being in the World Series. Roy has a passion for the game that no one could ever change, as I respect that in an athlete. Throughout his injuries and slumps, he would still put on his glove and go out and play, which is very practical as that is the life of professional athletes. Memo, one of Roy¿s friends, make a comment to him that could be used as the theme of the book, which is, ¿Experience makes good people better¿. Especially through their suffering.¿ I believe The Natural is an entertaining book for audiences of different generations as it interweaves a love story with an intense sports tale. As stated earlier, Roy Hobbs is a fighter who wants to keep his past a mystery. Readers from all backgrounds can relate to the struggles of the everyday perfection others expect out of you, and as we can see, what doesn¿t kill you, makes you stronger.

posted by Anonymous on September 7, 2004

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2004

    Not Just A Baseball Story..

    Struggling to pursue a professional baseball career, Rob Hobbs, a character in The Natural, overcomes many obstacles in his first year as the Rookie. Roy moves to the crowded and sleepless city of New York as he adapts to the celebrity lifestyle of parties and meeting new people, most of them being girls. Bernard Malamud, the author, is successful in creating a realistic setting through the use of hectic moods and a party-like atmosphere. As Roy takes on new responsibilities, his main struggle is trying to balance everything while still playing a spectacular game night after night, a stability that not everyone is able to achieve. Roy enters the baseball world with a great deal of early criticism but besides all that, he is an immediate success. After finally gaining support of the coaches, teammates, and local fans, he begins to grow older and more experienced yet still continuing to pile on the pressure to do well. In fact, they demand perfection. The media is after him wanting to know all about his history, as Roy does not want the public to know about his personal stories. As a leader of the team, he brings them up from last place to being in the World Series. Roy has a passion for the game that no one could ever change, as I respect that in an athlete. Throughout his injuries and slumps, he would still put on his glove and go out and play, which is very practical as that is the life of professional athletes. Memo, one of Roy¿s friends, make a comment to him that could be used as the theme of the book, which is, ¿Experience makes good people better¿. Especially through their suffering.¿ I believe The Natural is an entertaining book for audiences of different generations as it interweaves a love story with an intense sports tale. As stated earlier, Roy Hobbs is a fighter who wants to keep his past a mystery. Readers from all backgrounds can relate to the struggles of the everyday perfection others expect out of you, and as we can see, what doesn¿t kill you, makes you stronger.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2004

    The Natural

    In the novel, The Natural by Bernard Malamud, you are taken back to the 1930¿s and 40¿s era and learn of a man named Roy Hobbs who is on a train to Chicago. Later in the story, the setting changes to New York where the Knights, a major league baseball team plays. This setting gives you a sense of 1940¿s baseball and is described to create a very realistic picture of that time and baseball during that period. The plot of The Natural starts with the young new pitcher Roy Hobbs, is on his way to Chicago to try out for the Cubs. On the train he meets the baseball legend, The Wammer, who Roy strikes out in three pitches at a carnival when the train had stopped. He also meets a very pretty woman named Harriet Bird, when in Chicago, invites Roy to her hotel room. When he arrives she shoots him. The story moves to 16 years later, Roy is now 34 years old and has a contract to play for the New York Knights. Manager Pop Fischer doesn¿t like the idea of having an old rookie and doesn¿t play Roy. But, after the Knights start outfielder Bump Bailey dies after crashing into the wall, Roy takes his spot. Using his bat he made from a tree struck by lightning called Wonderboy, Roy becomes the new fan favorite. He then falls in love with Memo Paris, Pop¿s niece who brings Roy bad luck and sends him into a horrible slump. But when in Chicago, he meets Iris Lemon who makes Roy begin to hit again. Once the team has the chance to play for the pennant against the Pirates, the Judge, who owns the Knights offers Roy a $35,000 dollar bonus to lose on purpose so he can take the team away from Pop Fischer. Roy strikes out to end the game and his deal with the Judge is later exposed to the public. The plot is a very fairy tale story in that Roy is able to come back at age 34 and dominate the game, and the type of deal he made with the Judge seems to be a very unlikely event to occur. Roy¿s main conflict during the book was his dilemma to accept the $35,000 or just live with his inadequate salary of $3,000. Roy wants the cash, but doesn¿t want to upset Pop Fisher. He is pressured by Memo to give into the Judge¿s plan. Roy did learn that he can become corrupt by money, because during his incredible season, he only wanted to play for the love of the game, but in the end took the money to lose the pennant. Some concepts that were present were to have courage as Roy displayed to come back after leaving baseball for 16 years. Others include heroism in capturing the attention of the fans, but also of betrayal when he took part in the Judge¿s plan. The concepts of courage and chasing your dreams are important to me because I have my own ideas for the future and I can¿t take shortcuts like Roy tried. I enjoyed The Natural, I learned it¿s never too late to chase dreams and do what you set out to do. Also, because I love baseball and enjoy reading sport novels. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes heroic stories followed with some tragedy.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 4, 2012

    Don't buy

    Usually I have found the book version to be soperior to the movie version, often vastly so. I was disappointed with this book and cannot recommend it, especially if you liked the movie. I loved the movie. It's among my favorite movies.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2008

    The Best in Baseball Fiction

    This book is the definitive work in this genre. The baseball color is unmatched and the rigor and depth of the characters and conflict is wonderful. You will be captivated by Roy Hobbs and his baseball prowess, and cringe at his flaws that make his quest for baseball immortality impossible. Just fabulous.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2006

    It was good for the most part

    I had this book for a summer reading assignment this year, and at first I didn't like it all that much and thought it was a hard read, but then I really got into it, which is wierd because I don't really like baseball all that much. The storyline is good and sad in most parts. I think that the main character, Roy Hobbs, is a little self centered because he thinks he is the best and fools around with women. But in the end, you have to feel sorry for the guy. So this story is really good and it was written extremely well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2005

    Required Reading

    I had to read this book for a school assignment. I thought that it was a pretty good book considering that usually the books we read in school are not so good. However, I found that it was hard to get through and it took a while to read. I did good on the test for the book so I guess I liked it.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2004

    Best Baseball Book

    This book is the best baseball there is.This bookjust pulls you into it and does not want to let you go. I this book Roy goes through many challenges but in the endhe comes out on top. THis bookis great for any kid who loves base ball and or fo ay adult who loves the game of baseball.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2004

    An Excellent Book

    The book, The Natural, is an excellent book because of the valuable lessons that the reader learns from reading the book. Bernard Malamud creates very realistic characters in a realistic plot to teach the reader that you need to step up to the plate in order to be successful in life. In the beginning of the story, Roy uses his inexperience to strike out the Whammer, who at the time was one of the greatest baseball players in the world. Unfortunately, Roy is shot by a woman, keeping him out of baseball for fifteen years. When he returns to baseball at the age of 34, he joins the struggling New York Knights and leads them to win the pennant. The conflict in the story that makes it a good read is that Roy is very susceptible to women and this causes him to go into a slump. At the end of the book, Roy is now faced with a phenomenal rookie, who symbolizes Roy when he was young. Roy is unable to step up to the plate, and the rookie pitcher ends up striking out Roy, showing that Roy had given up on baseball and on life. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to read it because it is not just about baseball, but it is about valuable lessons in life that Roy learns in order to be successful in the real world.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2004

    Good baseball read

    I liked the imagery Malamud used during the baseball sequences. A good exciting fast paced read. I recommend it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2004

    Classic

    Just a great underdog story.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2004

    Good Book

    As a baseball lover I loved it i thought it was a very well-written book. It kept me interested right through to the end of the book. It was a very inspirational novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2003

    The Natural was very disappointing

    I picked The Natural because I had saw the movie and enjoyed it very much,but I thought the book would go more in depth about the movie. It was like reading a totally different story, and was nothing at all like the movie.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2002

    Natural

    I read this book as a 9th grader and it was the best. The begining was slow, but in the end you felt better that finished a great book not just about the boring sport of baseball.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2002

    Not My Kind Of Book

    I had to read The Natural this summer to prep for an A.P. Lit. class. The way the book jumps around really confused me. It also left me asking myself ENDLESS amounts of questions that should have been evident in the book. I have to admit that there were definitely some interesting parts, but if I weren't required to read this book, I don't think I would. It's just not my kind of book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2002

    Good Book

    The Natural was an exceptional book it great details and I love sports so it really interested me about how things use to work back in the 40's when baseball was life, I would recommend this book to people who like sports otherwise I dont think they would like it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Love

    I love this book alot i hope everyone reads it i bet you will love it alot

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 26, 2009

    the natural

    The Natural by Bernard Malamud tells the story of Roy Hobbs, a man who is about 19 and trying to make it to the Majors. While on a train on his way to Chicago, he runs into a sports writer and a real ball player. He is challenged to a duel against the leagues leading hitter. Later on his way to Chicago, he runs into trouble and is sidelined for years. When he finally makes his return, Roy is in his 30's and signs with the team that is at the bottom of their division. When he goes out and practices, everyone notices how much of a natural he is, especially since he only learned how to play from his dad. After the death of the star player on the Knights, Roy has to fill in his big shoes. He helps raise the morale of the team and brings them within contention for the league lead. Near the end of the season, Roy is forced to make the toughest decision of his life; take a large sum of money and throw the game, or to take his small salary and not throw the game. The ending is one that you can kind of see coming with an unexpected twist, but it also leaves you hanging. It is a great book for sports fans because it portrays the struggle of someone trying to make it to the Majors while getting into their personal life and making you want to read more and more. In the novel, there is also a lot of foreshadowing that helps careful readers pick up on things that are going to happen and affect Roy. There are also many surprises that pop up along the way. It is a great story about following your dreams and never giving up on them no matter how old you are, because they can always come true if you keep working at them, much like they did for Roy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2002

    Quite Dissapointing

    I had to read this book for a high-scool english class, and thought it would be a baseball story. Instead I found it to just keep dragging on and on, which made me uninterested.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2001

    A Good Read, With Its Flaws

    I recently read the natural for a high school English class. I found it enjoyable and was saddened by the ending but pleased that it was not the same as the movie's cheesy, must-please-the-audience one. At times it seems soap opera-esque, but I liked it just the same. A book for the guy who likes the hero, always roots for the underdog.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2001

    Baseball's not just a spory; it's a way of life.

    BOOK REVIEW: Baseball¿s not just a sport; it¿s a way of life. By: Devon DeBlasio If I were to hive this book a rating on its plot, characters, interest, and storyline then I would have to hive it four stars! The famous author, Bernard Malamud, wrote the book, The Natural, brilliantly. He uses his knowledge of baseball and creative talent to write a book about a man¿s life long struggle to become a professional baseball player. There were only really two major things that I did not like about this great novel the first is that it was a little hard to follow with the characters frequent flashbacks and dreams. It made it hard for me to exactly know when it was describing present day and when it was talking about a dream or telling a flashback. The second problem I had was when the book was talking about one of the main characters girlfriends, and since he had so many it was hard to tell which one the book was explaining. These two minor problems were easily overcome, but still were noticeable to be mentioned from memory. This book was an excellent portrayal of a soap opera, which gave the reading that little edge and twist that always left you in shock. I have chosen to explain two positive points that this book had to offer out of many. The first is that this book, even though about baseball, still could hold the interest of someone like me who has no apparent interest for the topic of baseball. But because of the dramatic plot, and interesting characters, I didn¿t even think about the baseball side of the story. The second, and one of the most important traits that this book has is that it tells the classic tale of a hero, a hero who defies all odds and wins the hearts of everyone. With that immortal storyline, dramatic plot, and its detailed characters, anyone who picks this book up is sure to love it.

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