Augie is a poor but exuberant boy growing up in Chicago during the Depression. While his friends all settle into chosen professions, Augie demands a special destiny. He tests out a wild succession of occupations, proudly rejecting each as too limiting - until he tangles with the glamorous perfectionist Thea.
"Wonderful story, wonderful reader"
Bellow evokes all the rich colour and exotic customs of a highly imaginary Africa in this comic novel about a middle-aged American millionaire who, seeking a new, more rewarding life, descends upon an African tribe. Henderson's awesome feats of strength and his unbridled passion for life earns him the admiration of the tribe - but it is his gift for making rain that turns him from mere hero into messiah.
"Funny and Powerful"
Winner of the National Book Award when it was first published in 1964, Herzog traces five days in the life of a failed academic whose wife has recently left him for his best friend. Through the device of letter writing, Herzog movingly portrays both the internal life of its eponymous hero and the complexity of modern consciousness.
"Grows Within You"
Asa Leventhal, a temporary bachelor with his wife away on a visit to her mother, attempts to find relief from a Gotham heat wave only to be accosted in the park by a down-at-the-heels stranger who accuses Leventhal of ruining his life. Unable to shake the stranger, Leventhal is led by his own self-doubts and suspicions into a nightmare of paranoia and fear.
Mr. Artur Sammler is a man who has lasted, from the civilized England of the '20s and '30s through the war and death camps in Poland. As he moves now through the dangerous streets of New York, curious and disinterested in all he sees, he ponders the future of life on this planet.
"annoying narration detracts from story"
This extraordinary book is the result of Saul Bellow’s sojourn in Israel in 1975. A personal record of his stay—his experiences and impressions—as well as a meditation, it crackles with wit and controversy on America’s relationship with this embattled country.
"Complexity Beautifully Weighed"
For years, they were the best of friends: the grand, erratic Humboldt and the ambitious young Charlie. But now Humboldt has died a failure, and Charlie's success-ridden life has taken various turns for the worse. Then Humboldt acts from the grave to change Charlie's life: he has left Charlie something in his will.
"Great Book, Great Reader"
In this wise and dazzling work of fiction, Nobel laureate Saul Bellow writes comically and tragically about the tenacity of first love. The story behind The Actual belongs to Harry Trellman, an aging, astute businessman who has never belonged anywhere: not in the Chicago orphanage where he was sent by his mother, not in high school (too brainy), not even on the streets, where his vaguely Asian features set him apart from the rest of the pack.
"Love this late Bellow"
Fading charmer Tommy Wilhelm has reached his day of reckoning and is scared. In his forties, he still retains a boyish impetuousness that has brought him to the brink of chaos: he is separated from his wife and children; at odds with his vain, successful father; failed in his acting career (a Hollywood agent once placed him as “the type that loses the girl”); and in a financial mess.
"A sad day in the life of a man"
Albert Corde is a professor of journalism and dean of students at a Chicago university. He and his wife, Minna, travel to Bucharest, Romania, where Minna's mother has suffered a stroke and is lying semiconscious in the local state hospital. As Corde tries to adapt to life in his mother-in-law's small apartment and cope with her relations and friends, news filters through to him of problems he left behind in Chicago: one of his students has been murdered.
"Another novel ruined by a poor narration."
The year 2015 marks several literary milestones: the centennial of Saul Bellow's birth, the tenth anniversary of his death, and the publication of Zachary Leader's much anticipated biography. Bellow - a Nobel laureate, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and the only novelist to receive three National Book Awards - has long been regarded as one of America's most cherished authors. Here, Benjamin Taylor, editor of the acclaimed Saul Bellow: Letters, presents lesser-known aspects of the iconic writer.
Abe Ravelstein is a brilliant professor at a prominent Midwestern university and a man who glories in training the movers and shakers of the political world. He has lived grandly and ferociously - and much beyond his means. His close friend, Chick, has suggested that he put forth a book of his convictions about the ideas that sustain humankind or kill it, and much to Ravelstein's own surprise, he does and becomes a millionaire.
A Theft: A clever but tender novella is also Bellow's first book to feature a woman as its principal character. A 40ish executive of an international publishing group, Clara is "the czarina of fashion writing"; the breadwinner of her family. Clara's powerful facade is vulnerable to the demands of her heart.
Expecting to be inducted into the army during World War II, Joseph has given up his job and carefully prepared for his departure to the battlefront. When a series of mix-ups delays his induction, he finds himself facing a year of idleness. Written in diary format, Bellow’s first novel documents Joseph’s psychological reaction to his inactivity while war rages around him and his uneasy insights into the nature of freedom and choice.
A collection of short fiction from one of the most influential authors of the 20th century. In the title piece, a musicologist awaiting extradition in British Columbia reflects on the events of his past that led to his criminal offense - beginning with a thoughtless insult he'd given over 30 years earlier. Witty and at times emotional, Him with His Foot in His Mouth and Other Stories is a must-have collection for all Bellow fans.
Kenneth Trachtenberg, an eccentric and witty native of Paris, travels to the Midwest to spend time with his famous American uncle, a world-renowned botanist and self-described "plant visionary". After numerous affairs and failed relationships, the restless Uncle Benn seeks a settled existence in the form of marriage - but tying the knot again opens the door to a host of new torments.
The man himself and a lifetime of his insightful views on a range of topics spring off the page in this, his first nonfiction collection, which encompasses articles, lectures, essays, travel pieces, and an "Autobiography of Ideas".