Herzog, Paperback
1.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


A masterful twist on the epistolary novel, Saul Bellow's "Herzog" is part confessional, part exorcism, and a wholly unique achievement in postmodern fiction.

This "Penguin Classics" edition includes an introduction by Malcolm Bradbury in "Penguin Modern Classics".

Is Moses Herzog losing his mind? His formidable wife Madeleine has left him for his best friend, and Herzog is left alone with his whirling thoughts - yet he still sees himself as a survivor, raging against private disasters and the myriad catastrophes of the modern age.

In a crumbling house which he shares with rats, his head buzzing with ideas, he writes frantic, unsent letters to friends and enemies, colleagues and famous people, the living and the dead, revealing the spectacular workings of his labyrinthine mind and the innermost secrets of his troubled heart.

Saul Bellow (1915-2005) was a Canadian - born American writer who enjoyed a dazzling career as a novelist, marked with numerous literary prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature.

His books include "The Adventures of Augie March", "Herzog", "More Die of Heartbreak", "Mosby's Memoirs and Other Stories", "Mr. Sammler's Planet", "Seize The Day" and "The Victim".

If you enjoyed "Herzog", you might like Bellow's "Seize the Day", also available in "Penguin Modern Classics". "Spectacular ...surely Bellow's greatest novel" (Malcolm Bradbury). "A masterpiece ...Herzog's voice, for all its wildness and strangeness and foolishness, is the voice of a civilization, our civilization". ("The New York Times Book Review").




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Sadly, all those critics' experiences of a beautifully constructed novel of ideas were entirely lost on me, as I ended up having to force myself to read more of this middle-aged guy's miserable whining. Bellow might well have succeeded at jotting down a brilliant exploration of this fellow's mind - it's just a shame there wasn't much interesting to observe about Herzog's psyche in the first place. To summarize this novel, think the park bench scene in Sartre's Nausea, repeated across 350 pages, with the addition of occasional tales of Moses' depressing relationships.

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