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The Adventures of Augie March (1953)
de Saul Bellow
» 37 més
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This is a tough read. There's probably a hundred different characters in this book. i thought several times that I couldn't believe kids in high school have to read this. ( )
This story starts off in Chicago and is set mostly during the 1920s, Great Depression, and World War II. It is a coming-of-age story for the titular Augie. We get to know his family, including his practical elder brother, Simon, slow brother, George, and overbearing grandmother. He drifts through life not knowing what he values or wants. He forms a number of relationships, jumps from job to job, and gets involved in a series of escapades, largely at the request of his relationship du jour.
This picaresque book has been touted as a contender for the “Great American Novel.” It is a must-read according to the Boxall List. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but I do not think it has aged well. I like parts of it, especially Augie’s adventures in Mexico, but the story feels antiquated, especially it is depiction of women. It was published in 1953, so perhaps it is representative of its time, but young women are the described by their body parts and older women are said to be shrewish. It was hard for me to get past these segments. It is long and detailed. It meanders. The writing is fine, but reading it felt like a chore.
The plot, if that’s the term, isn’t exactly linear, its parts aren’t always connected, and the language is angular, usually not flowing and sometimes awkward, which often works but sometimes doesn’t. I realize it’s partly an early Jewish-American cultural position, but the language in a work of literature has to stand on its own. Not that it’s a bad story or that there isn’t some excellent writing, but the former’s a pretty random sequence and the latter’s uneven. Still, there’s a strange depth and an odd, world-weary optimism that are compelling, with more than a few insightful moments that make you stop and reflect. These form a glue and purpose and maybe even a structure that substitute for the equivalents you’d usually expect to come more from plot and language. It ends up working pretty well. I also like the fact that, while it seems everything today is either nihilistic or in denial, or just dumb, and while this unfortunate situation was well advanced when the book was written, it isn’t nihilistic, it’s plenty aware and it's anything but dumb.
This book is a classic piece of American literature, the breakout novel by Saul Bellow. But I didn't like it.
The book follows Augie March, told in the first person, through his childhood in depression-era Chicago and eventually elsewhere, though I didn't get that far.
The book is characterized by lengthy paragraphs of description of characters being introduced, but there are so many, and some of the characters so peripheral, that I found it hard to follow. The writing style just didn't grab me, and the story moves too slowly.
I can't help comparing Bellow to Philip Roth, a fellow Jewish-American novelist from a similar era. Roth is much more readable, funny, and poignant.
Actually only about 200 pages and then I stopped. I loved it but it was for a book club and the book club voted it down mid book! ack- dumb book club.
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The Adventures of Augie March is for me the great creation myth of twentieth century American literature.
Pertany a aquestes col·leccions editorials
Romanzi 1: 1944-1959 (Danglng Man; The Victim; The Adventures of Augie March; Seize the Day; Henderson the Rain King) de Saul Bellow
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This grand-scale heroic comedy tells the story of the exuberant young Augie, a poor Chicago boy growing up during the Depression. While his neighborhood friends all settle down into their various chosen professions, Augie, as particular as an aristocrat, demands a special destiny. He latches on to a wild succession of occupations, proudly rejecting each one as too limiting. It is not until he tangles with a glamorous perfectionist named Thea, a huntress with a trained eagle, that his independence is seriously threatened. Luckily, his nature, like the eagle's, breaks down under the strain. He goes on to recruit himself to even more outlandish projects, but always ducks out in time to continue improvising his unconventional career.
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Classificació Decimal de Dewey (DDC)813.52Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1900-1944
LCC (Clas. Bibl. Congrés EUA)
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Una edició d'aquest llibre ha estat publicada per Penguin Australia.