The Natural by Bernard Malamud
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
there are some movies that are adapted from books that simply can not compare to the written word (The Road comes to mind). there are also movie adaptions that are so different from the book that you wonder what was the same - other than the title (My Sister's Keeper comes to mind). then there are the rare few... those movie adaptations that are far better than the book ever was. The Natural is one of those few.
i'll admit, while reading Bernard Malamud's written text found within The Natural, the voice of Roy Hobbs sounded distinctly like Robert Redford, while the voice of Pop and Red sounded a lot like Wilford Brimley and Richard Farnsworth. i'll admit, the first half of the book was as intriguing as anything. a novel about baseball... what a delight! But the second half took odd turns that where anything but dramatic. Frankly, the movie had more drama and more of a climax than the book, and that left me disappointed.
perhaps i'd feel different if i hadn't already seen the movie, but i doubt it. i'm o.k. with the fact that the endings of book and movie differ... it was the steps that took Roy Hobbs to that conclusion that were tiresome and lame.
this is not Malamud's best text. he is a wordsmith. but to what avail?
Skip this book. watch the film instead.
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