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Sintesi dell'editore

Augie is a poor but exuberant boy growing up in Chicago during the Depression. While his friends all settle into chosen professions, Augie demands a special destiny. He tests out a wild succession of occupations, proudly rejecting each as too limiting - until he tangles with the glamorous perfectionist Thea.
©1949 Saul Bellow (P)1993 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Totali
    5 out of 5 stars
  • AmazonCustomer
  • 07/02/2011

Wonderful story, wonderful reader

What a fabulous novel, and so well read by Tom Parker. I ended up buying the book as well, to reread some chapters and have the opportunity to ponder the philosophical musings expressed by the various vivid characters in this story. I found myself thinking of Dickens so often as I was listening to and reading this novel--the rich teeming life of a city, the wildly improbable yet wholly believable one-of-a-kind characters, the comic antics, the sorrow, the crazy business of living and trying to find any meaning in it at all. I've been listening to lots of Dickens on Audible, and now I'll add Bellow to my wish list. These are great books to listen to and live with, and think about long after you've read or heard the last word. One line I love from Augie's tale: "I refuse to live a disappointed life."

18 su 18 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

  • Totali
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Darwin8u
  • 09/05/2012

THAT part of the Universe visible from Chicago!

I knew from the first couple paragraphs of this novel that it was fantastic, amazing, like a well-built Italian or German sports car. However, once Bellow jumps into Augie's flight to Mexico with Thea (where they try to to catch Mexican lizards with a wussy eagle) it was equivalent to discovering the sports car you are driving actually has 7 gears and your radio goes to 11. Anyway, this is one of those books where sentences seem likely to escape the gravity of English, the characters are as big as planets, and the plot is as big as Eternity or at least the Universe or at least that part of the Universe visible from Chicago.

31 su 32 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

  • Totali
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Yennta
  • 17/08/2010

My favorite book in the world

I have read this over and over and now I can listen to it.
The characters are all interesting and knowable, but the thing about it is the language.
The rich rich American language. The descriptions of things and places and people and emotions and confusions are all-encompassing. There is no book you ever get inside of like you get inside of this one.
Saul Bellow was a great writer, and I've enjoyed all his books, especially "The Dean's December," but this is his youthful outpouring, just a flood of words and characters and situations, each as engaging as the last.
My favorite. All-time.

13 su 13 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

  • Totali
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rebecca Lindroos
  • 28/03/2010

Different but good

This is a really peculiar book, a very American picaresque bildungsroman, about a young Jewish man growing up in Depression Era Chicago and traveling a bit - to Mexico. What makes it peculiar is that Augie just seems to tumble from one escapade to another always managing to land on his feet and continue the journey. He goes from one group of people to another, one woman to the next, times of money and no money, etc. His basic employment seems to be that of book thief, but he's open to much of what comes along although some troubles he just lands in though his own life mismanagement. His survival skills, physical, emotional and material, are certainly well-honed. The message seems to be that "Local boy can never quite get it together and stays lost."

A lot of it is quite funny and Augie is certainly an engaging protagonist. Bellow is an excellent stylist and the dialogue is top-notch. The reader, Tom Parker, was a bit irritating at first but after I got used to it his voice was perfect - the accent of young Chicago 50 years ago.

6 su 6 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

  • Totali
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chris Reich
  • 28/11/2014

Odd, Dated and Excellent: Don't Miss It

This book is like On the Road: The Original Scroll - Jack Kerouac. Tone it down a bit and you've got a pretty similar story. In fact, I'd be very surprised if there wasn't an influence of one upon the other though I couldn't specify the direction of flow.

If you haven't experienced Bellow, I'd start with Henderson the Rain King. This book is brilliant but might drag on you if you're not used to the style. Bellow gives a little story and then injects a bit of philosophy or insight. These sparks are beautiful, like having your way lit through a wooded path in the night with the flicking of a lighter that never lights. But that's not a criticism, it's the bright flashes that give snap shots that a steady lighting would only blur.

And there it is. You get this series of flashes of this guy's life. It's a wonderful, flawless romp.

I loved every minute.

5 su 5 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

  • Totali
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Barry
  • 24/08/2012

So this is why people like Saul Bellow

I know I'm on dangerous ground criticizing a classic like this, but I really liked the growing up years better than the adult years in this book. Partly I guess that's because it was like a window into the world of my grandparents, partly because the adult Augie just seemed too wishy-washy about taking charge of his own life. Not that that's unusual but it makes for a mixed bag as far as literature is concerned. I did love the narrator's voice throughout. I miss the big city accents out here on the west coast. For that matter, I love Saul Bellow's 'voice' throughout. He is a keen observer of humanity and his characters are always interesting even when they're annoying or aggravating or just being stupid.

3 su 3 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

  • Totali
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Betsy
  • 18/03/2017

Why Some Authors Win Nobel Prizes


I have read other books by Saul Bellow but somehow missed this one. To say that I loved it is an understatement. Such beautiful prose to describe hard lives in an ugly time!.This was a joy all the way through. My thanks to Mr. Parker for his wonderful narration.

2 su 2 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

  • Totali
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nancy tomlinson
  • 14/02/2015

Exceptional

So pertinent even after all this time.
Amazing complex but accessible prose - doesn't seem as dated as it should - also - funny!

2 su 2 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

  • Totali
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew
  • 16/03/2018

In my opinion - very disappointing

This book won the National book award. Bellow was awarded the novel prize in literature. So who the heck am I writing a review on my phone to disagree. With that said, I really wanted to like this. I enjoyed Henderson a lot. This was incredibly underwhelming. Augie is one of the most empty characters I’ve ever encounters in a book. The moronic flip flopping from one far fetched endeavor to another and from one love to another is frustrating and dull. Stupid professions of love for people he has barely even spoken to. Awkward weird description of one woman after the next - always a description of her breasts. All done with zero hint of humanity. If the alien reptile people ever wrote a novel to impersonate human literature, this is it. I understand that the connection between Chicago street talk and the classics is meant to be the books main achievements. But that feels forced and wasted given what a stupid story it is all pasted onto.

The narrator isn’t terrible. Maybe he is perfectly suited to the book. He never really resonated with me. I sometimes had the suspicion that a better narrator would help me enjoy this more and perhaps see something good in this book. The weird stilted way he read didn’t help - but maybe that is how Augie would talk. His accents were awful, but I can forgive that.

1 su 1 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

  • Totali
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kerryn
  • 10/02/2017

Horrible distortion in background of audio

The story and performance were fine, however throughput the entire book there is a very distracting feedback or background noise to the audio. It is not in the silent spaces between sentences but it is constant throughout the recording, which was very distracting. A bit disappointed:(

1 su 1 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

Ordina per:
  • Totali
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Philip
  • 20/06/2013

Did Feminism Liberate Men?

There are two aspects to this book that are very stark to the modern reader. The first has to include a tribute to its author Saul Bellow's talent for compelling the reader at all times to think. Every paragraph is punctuated with wonderful insights into the human condition.

The second aspect probably only seems obvious to modern eyes with their qualification of contemporary political and social condescension.

For the awful truth is that Augie is not a likable character despite him having been written in that genre that compels the reader to find him somehow agreeable and beguiling. Ditto his family.

To the modern reader however, his needy and selfish materialism never at any stage leads to feelings of remorse or guilt and one is compelled to ask is this actually how men thought before the actuality of feminism and was this at any stage acceptable to men, so demeaning is it by today's standards.

If it were, then as a man, I owe more to the suffragettes and the 1960's feminism than I could have imagined.

But it is a decent enough book for all that despite a few "as if" moments. (It is truly remarkable how often you can bump into people you know on a continent the size of America, and that includes hidden parts of Mexico). The enjoyable parts are Bellow's lyrical flourishes and they certainly abound here.

Samuel Johnson once said of the Giants Causeway on the north coast of Ireland that it was worth seeing but not worth going to see. On making my final assault onto the upper slopes of The Adventures of Augie March I have to say I felt pretty much the same way.

5 su 5 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

  • Totali
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Patrick
  • 27/03/2015

Great novels don't always make good audiobooks

What did you like best about The Adventures of Augie March? What did you like least?

Saul Bellow's language is superb. Often a phrase or a sentence was so striking that I would stop my listening and replay it. The reader is excellent but the story is so rambling and filled with so many characters that it was hard to keep up interest.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Augie's childhood and early years were really captivating. His numerous love affairs were so self indulgent that it was hard to be interested and the Mexico sequence seemed endless.

What does Tom Parker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Tom Parker is an excellent reader. He did his best to breath life into the characters. I'm sure even he must have been fed up with Augie towards the end of the book but it never showed.

Was The Adventures of Augie March worth the listening time?

No. I persevered because of the language and the reader but kept looking at how much time was left ....wishing it was shorter!

Any additional comments?

I feel this book would work better being read (at least you could check back more easily on who was who!) It is a remarkable novel but doesn't really work as an audiobook.

4 su 4 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

  • Totali
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Steven Wallace Bambrough
  • 04/05/2018

The great American novel.

A great novel. It has a majestic use of words, ideas and characters. A book of shear brilliance.