4 Sports Fiction Novels You Should Read

4 Sports Fiction Novels You Should Read


  1. The Natural, by Bernard Malamud

This 1952 novel of Bernard Malamud tells the story of baseball player Roy Hobbs on the fast track to his stardom which gets derailed when a woman shoots him. The story then follows him when he was with the New York Knights.

The 1984 movie shows the most part of the same story, however, the tone between the two versions are quite different. While the book is a dark tragedy with Roy Hobbs being a deeply flawed character with fantastic athletic abilities, the movie is upbeat with Hobbs seemingly a flawless character. It is a book not only about baseball but also about the American dream and an individual’s fight for it.

  1. Once A Runner, by John L. Parker, Jr

Once A Runner, written in 1978, tells the story of Quenton Cassidy who is the runner for Southeastern University. When Cassidy is going to reach his dream of running a 4-minute mile, he is suspended to take part in a Vietnam War protest. It is difficult to finish reading this novel without feeling inspired.

  1. The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach

The Art of Fielding, a warm story about baseball and college life, is an easy fun read. It tells the story of Henry Skirmshander and his college career. The Art of Fielding is about ambition and commitment as well as friendship and rivalry at its core.

  1. The Sport of Kings, by C.E. Morgan

This story follows 3 major characters; Henry Forge – a horse breeder, his daughter Henrietta Forge, and Allmon Shaughnessy – who comes to work in the Forges stables. This is a tale of poverty, wealth, and racism which is cored about family and blood ties. It steeps itself in the history of the United States and Kentucky. The Sport of Kings is a beautifully written southern gothic story with the complex characters.