Seize the Day, Paperback Book
3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


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.

In the course of one climactic day he reviews his past mistakes and spiritual malaise, until a mysterious, philosophizing con man grants him a glorious, illuminating moment of truth and understanding, and offers him one last hope ...


Other Formats



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews.

Review by
Tamkin was a charlatan, and furthermore he was desperate. And furthermore, Wilhelm had always known it about him. But he appeared to have worked it out at the back of his mind that Tamkin for thirty or forty years had gotten though many a tight place, that he would get through this crisis too and bring him, Wilhelm, to safety also. And Wilhelm realized that he was on Tamkin's back. It made him feel that he had virtually left the ground and was riding upon the other man. He was in the air. It was for Tamkin to take the steps.The story of a day in the life of a man who sees himself as having failed at life, on the day his precarious financial situation comes to a head. Having left his wife and children and given up his job, he is living in the same residential hotel as his widowed father, who is entirely unsympathetic to his plight.Tommy Wilhelm's life has been one long series of bad decisions, starting with leaving university for Hollywood even though the agent who gave him a screen test was discouraging about his chances. He never seizes the day, but passively waits and hopes for someone, whether his father or Dr. Tamkin, to save him from himself.

Also by Saul Bellow   |  View all

Also in the Penguin Modern Classics series   |  View all