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.
A masterpiece. --New York Times Book Review
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
The book is a feast of language, situations, characters, ironies, and a controlled moral intelligence that transcends the fact that we are spectators at a hard luck story. Bellow s rapport with his central character seems to me novel writing in the grand style of a Tolstoi subjective, complete, heroic....Eventually Moses Herzog becomes as natural an American phenomenon as the faces carved on Mount Rushmore. --Chicago Tribune