The Natural by Bernard Malamud
Yeah, so there’s this weird baseball reading thing going on with me these days.
(image credit: Library of Congress; image is of real guys; book is about fictional ones)
And this book was an early part of it.
I was trolling for an eAudiobook that I could listen to on my iPod, and I found the magical baseball/eAudiobook combo with The Natural. And the book wasn’t half bad, neither.
So this book. As I was listening, I was kind of aching to know if it’s a view into the male psyche. So I Googled it and found SparkNotes and learned that I’m badly, badly, badly un-edu-ma-cated. Apparently there are harkenings-back to all kinds of legends and lore, and blah blah blah.
But I was just listening to it as a story, and I kept wondering if the story was doing some sort of postmodern thing and starting itself over with Roy Hobbs entering the major leagues under different circumstances. (The answer is: No. It wasn’t doing that.)
And I also wondered why Roy was so darn dumb about women.
And I kept feeling very sorry for him, because bad and demoralizing crap just kept happening to him. Also because he seemed more like a boy than a man, even as the world was throwing all kinds of grown-up problems at him.
Apparently curses are a big old thing in baseball, and it sure seems that Roy Hobbs had one of them. This story is tragic.
Audiobook comments: Christopher Hurt read this audiobook, and he made it easy to hear. The narration didn’t knock my socks off, but nothing about it failed to work.
Number of hours: 6.75