An unusually fine novel...Malamud’s interests go far beyond baseball. What he has done is to contrive a sustained and elaborate allegory in which the ‘natural’ player, who operates with ease and the greatest skill without having been taught, is equated with the natural man who, left alone by, say, politicians and advertising agencies, might achieve real fulfillment.... Malamud has made a brilliant and unusual book.
New York Times
What gives the novel its liveliness is Malamud’s inspired mixture of everyday American vernacular (it’s reminiscent of Ring Lardner) with suggestions of the magical and the mythic. He tucked a lot into that mixture, [including] a sense of mystery—the kind that charms you and you don’t need explained. And he makes it all seem easy. The novel is in the pink—it’s fresh.
Pauline Kael - The New Yorker
[Malamud is] one of our greatest prose writers—and one of our keenest and most disturbing moralists.
A preposterously readable story about life.
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.
Alfred Kazin - Author and Critic
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