- Series: Penguin Classics
- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Classics; unknown edition (February 25, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0142437298
- ISBN-13: 978-0142437292
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 135 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Herzog (Penguin Classics) unknown Edition
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A novel complex, compelling, absurd and realistic, Herzog became a classic almost as soon as it was published in 1964. In it Saul Bellow tells the tale of Moses E. Herzog, a tragically confused intellectual who suffers from the breakup of his second marriage, the general failure of his life and the specter of growing up Jewish in the middle part of the 20th century. He responds to his personal crisis by sending out a series of letters to all kinds of people. The letters in total constitute a thoughtful examination of his own life and that which has occurred around him. What emerges is not always pretty, but serves as gritty foundation for this absorbing novel. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
"A feast of language, situations, characters, ironies, and a controlled moral intelligence . . . Bellow’s rapport with his central character seems to me novel writing in the grand style of a Tolstoy—subjective, complete, heroic." —Chicago Tribune
"Herzog has the range, depth, intensity, verbal brilliance, and imaginative fullness—the mind and heart—which we may expect only of a novel that is unmistakably destined to last." —Newsweek
"A masterpiece" —The New York Times Book Review
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The chief character is Moses Herzog. Herzog possesses a PH.D in English Literature and is noted for his work on Romanticism as a literary movement. He is recently divorced from his mercurial and sexy wife Madeline. She was his second spouse. He has two children by first wife Daisy and a girlfriend named Ramona. Ramona is a kind woman who owns a flower shop in New York.
The novel is set in New York City, the Berkshires of Massachusetts and Chicago were Moses grew to manhood during the Great Depression. Herzog grew up in an immigrant Jewish family mired in poverty and interfamilial conflicts. Throughout the nonlinear novel we see him musing upon people and family members from his past; old flames and remembrances of his World War II service. We also are invited in to his musings upon his failed marriages and difficulties with children.
Bellow reads slowly. He jumps from one situation and time frame with ease making the reader sit up and pay attention. This style is difficult as there are so many characters to follow. The novel is character rathern than plot driven. The novel is most famous for the letters Herzog writes to famous people such as Adlai Stevenson, Nietzche, Spinoza and even God! Herzog is a liberal academic who has a rough private life culminating in a car crash and an arrest for carrying a loaded gun. The novel ends hopefully as the middle aged Herzog returns to the loving arms of the fetching Ramona.
Bellow is a challenging novelist who deals with the hassles, heartaches and challenges of modern living. He is able to probe with insight into the mind of a brilliant man Moses Herzog. The book is autobiographical as are all of Bellow's major fictions. Herzog is one of his best novels.