The Natural, published in 1952, is American author Bernard Malamud’s debut novel. It tells the story of Roy Hobbs, a baseball prodigy whose career is derailed by a tragic event. As he rises to stardom, he grapples with personal demons and the corrupting influence of fame. The novel is a fable that explores themes of heroism, ambition, and the pursuit of greatness. It was adapted into an acclaimed film in 1984 starring Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs.