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Author: Bernard Malamud Narrator: Christopher Hurt Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455170685
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,045 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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Pulitzer Prize–winning author Bernard Malamud’s first novel is still one of the best ever written about baseball. His story of a superbly gifted “natural” at play in the fields of the old daylight baseball era is invested with the hardscrabble poetry, at once grand and altogether believable, that runs through all his best work.

First published in 1952, this novel has since become an American classic. Five decades later, Alfred Kazin’s comment still holds true: “Malamud has done something which—now that he has done it!—looks as if we have been waiting for it all our lives. He has really raised the whole passion and craziness and fanaticism of baseball as a popular spectacle to its ordained place in mythology.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A brilliant and unusually fine novel.”

    New York Times

  • “The finest novel about baseball since Ring Lardner left the scene.”

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

  • “A preposterously readable story about life.”

    Time

  • “Hurt’s [reading] is a seven-course dinner at the Ritz-Carlton…Hurt’s delivery of each character’s lines is pitched in such a way as to make the voices clearly distinguishable. He reads with clarity and assurance.”

    Kliatt

  • “This fine audio production retains the flavor of the world of professional sports circa 1940…Christopher Hurt’s vaguely Midwestern voice is wonderfully matched to the characters…[it] has the perfect combination of flatness and emotion common to the finest sports announcers. This production is essential for collections of serious American fiction and great baseball novels.”

    AudioFile

  • “Reader Christopher Hurt’s dynamic range…[makes] this a well-told story that will generate demand. Listeners who have only seen the movie will be astonished by the ending.” 

    Library Journal 

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award in 1995

Listener Reviews

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  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tim | 2/19/2014

    " Really inconsistent writing, a lot of pulp fiction kinda drama, and not nearly enough about baseball. I know this has been called the best baseball book ever, but i liked Shoeless Joe much more. I suppose all the fisher king/arthurian themes are what draw people to it, and get it taught in school, but the story and the characters were just not likeable enough for me. In my opinion, the title of best baseball book ever is still up for grabs. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ori | 2/13/2014

    " Every boy who loves baseball should read this, then be confused by the sexual themes, and then watch the movie. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin | 2/1/2014

    " Not as uplifting as the movie... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Randal | 1/29/2014

    " The best baseball novel? Possibly. I would vote for W.P. Kinsella, maybe one or two others, but it's right up there. Like all good writing about baseball, it's really about life and death, fame, sex, ambition, power ... and oh yeah, there's a game going on. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy | 1/28/2014

    " Certain parts of this book still come up in my mind every once in a while. It's certainly not really a baseball book - I think it's more of an American book. There is a certain seediness that appeals. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bwiz | 1/27/2014

    " its not just about baseball, its about life motherfucker "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kettie | 1/15/2014

    " I was expecting a book about baseball. This wasn't really about baseball though. More like it used baseball as a backdrop. The book was ok but not what I was wanting. It was more of an exposition on the wasted life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Polomoche | 1/8/2014

    " He's a great writer; I'd start with the Fixer "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon | 11/6/2013

    " Malamud can do no wrong. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 4/9/2013

    " The book preceded the movie. A novel about good and evil. A Pulizer prize winner. it's different from the movie. I would like to know what you think about the difference between the book and the movie. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bryan | 2/26/2013

    " I found it hard to enjoy this book. I hate every character in this novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nick | 2/3/2013

    " One of the only times I've ever thought the movie was better than the book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tbone | 4/24/2012

    " really good book. movie was better. I recommend reading if if you like the movie. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 4/5/2012

    " This book was fairly enjoyable. The topic of baseball is very interesting and the underdog story that the Knights took on was exciting. However, the plot was somewhat predictable. Also, the book wasn't that well written because the sentence structure was confusing at times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rock | 1/18/2012

    " This deserves more than 3 stars, but I couldn't go 4 so I'll call it 3.5. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lin | 1/2/2012

    " The death of Harry Kalas made me want to add this book and recommend it to anyone who hasn't yet read it. The movie doesn't do it justice. A fable about greed, desire, and the american dream. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 7/5/2011

    " Whatever you do, don't go into it expecting it to be like Robert Redford. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Brandon | 11/29/2010

    " This book is worthless. I can't believe they got such a sweet movie from such a worthless time waster. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carole | 11/21/2009

    " What could possibly be better....the impending start of baseball season & the phenomenal writing of Malamud?! One of the great pieces of American literature. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mitch | 4/28/2009

    " Due to the wild differences between the ending of the two books, I had a hard time rating this book. I will take another run at it when my fiction list is exhausted. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna | 2/19/2009

    " Junior year English. Who knew that this book is just a re-telling of the Fisher King legend? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine | 1/4/2008

    " Had to read this when I was senior in high school... didn't expect it to turn out to be one of my favorites. "

About the Author

Bernard Malamud (1914–1986) was an American author of novels and short stories. Born in Brooklyn and educated at Columbia University, he was one of the great American Jewish authors of the twentieth century. His 1966 novel The Fixer, about anti-Semitism in czarist Russia, won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He also authored many short stories, winning a National Book Award for his collection The Magic Barrel. He was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Fiction in 183. He taught English at Oregon State University from 1949 to 1961.

About the Narrator

Christopher Hurt is an accomplished narrator with a lengthy résumé of popular titles for Blackstone. A graduate of George Washington University’s acting program, he currently resides in New York City.