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The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow

The Adventures of Augie March (1953)

by Saul Bellow

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,036572,815 (3.87)2 / 199
  1. 11
    Middlesex: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These sprawling novels feature an irrepressible and memorable protagonist. The Adventures of Augie March is set in the 1920s and Depression-era America; Middlesex tells the family history -- spanning the 20th century -- of a hermaphroditic main character.… (more)
  2. 00
    This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Young men coming of age in different eras of 20th Century America.
  3. 00
    David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Bildungsroman: the education of a young man.

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English (54)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (57)
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
This novel was decent, but I felt the scope was a bit too wide and the prose not clear enough to give it a higher rating. The story was in the style of the Bildungsroman style that appeared, much earlier in Europe, except it was set in the United States instead. It is a novel of growth and self-exploration- as much for Bellow as for the reader themselves. Overall, a satisfactory book, but one that I only enjoyed in moderation.

3 stars. ( )
  DanielSTJ | Jun 16, 2019 |
One of those books that’s easier to appreciate afterwards than during! It’s understandably a classic given where it slots into the timeline of Great American Novels, its influence on Roth and the more recently wave of non-Jewish immigrant stories etc, but I’m not a huge fan of picaresque generally, or this one in particular. The eagle passage in Mexico was a particulate drag. One for the English students... ( )
  alexrichman | Aug 29, 2018 |
Like an awful lot of American novels too long by half. Some credible characters and good scenes , such as the hunting with eagles, losing his rich fiancée because of helping a neighbour with her abortion. But great screeds of philosophising, well opinionated ranting describes it better. Events are a pretty random chain, no plot or sense of direction; you could stop reading at any point; the author seems to have done the same - the ending comes as a surprise: it just stops. Has the feel of a Bildungsroman as he starts out as a bright naive youngster, but doesn't get much Bildung, just more opinions! ( )
  vguy | Aug 19, 2018 |
This book was a bit of a "mix"....very good writing and some nice/funny stories about Augie's youth and early adulthood. Some very nice insights. However, I felt that the episodes failed to hang together and progress into an integrated whole. As I've experienced with other award-winning books, I 've concluded that the award of for the "author" rather than for the specific book being honored. ( )
  JosephKing6602 | Mar 21, 2018 |
Another Bellow, another fellow. This time it’s Augie, a Jewish kid from the ghetto who we follow entirely randomly as he grows and flows out into the world and all it has for him.

Now, I know very well that Bellow won a Nobel prize and that this is regarded as one of the best novels of the 20th century. However, I remain to be convinced that anyone actually regards this as one of the best novels they’ve read.

Augie is a tempestuous figure and events come at him thick and fast once he leaves home. There’s no real rhyme or reason. He ends up with various women on various continents doing things as varied as being a salesman and hunting iguanas with an eagle.

But this is a Bellow novel; the events are simply stimulus for the psychotherapy. As is typical, you, the reader, are trapped inside Augie’s head. You don’t feel as claustrophobic as you do in Herzog‘s

head. And there isn’t as much angst to battle with as in Henderson‘s head. In fact, at times, it’s darkly comic.

But overall, and as is typical with Bellow, it’s exhausting. It never rests and, for as much retrospection and reflection as Augie makes, you wonder where on earth he finds the time to act on it all. ( )
2 vote arukiyomi | Dec 28, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
The Adventures of Augie March is for me the great creation myth of twentieth century American literature.

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Saul Bellowprimary authorall editionscalculated
Trilling, LionelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my father
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I am an American, Chicago born–Chicago, that somber city–and go at things as I have taught myself, free-style, and will make the record in my own way: first to knock, first admitted; and sometimes an innocent knock, sometimes a not so innocent.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143039571, Paperback)

As soon as it first appeared in 1953, this gem by the great Saul Bellow was hailed as an American classic. Bold, expansive, and keenly humorous, The Adventures of Augie March blends street language with literary elegance to tell the story of a poor Chicago boy growing up during the Great Depression. A "born recruit," Augie makes himself available for hire by plungers, schemers, risk takers, and operators, compiling a record of choices that is-to say the least- eccentric.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:07 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Augie's nonconformity leads him into an eventful, humorous, and sometimes earthy way of life.

» see all 8 descriptions

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Average: (3.87)
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2 29
2.5 10
3 88
3.5 23
4 122
4.5 25
5 130

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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