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Posted May 4, 2012
A tour de force of genres. Bellow combines a novel, a biography
A tour de force of genres. Bellow combines a novel, a biography, an autobiography, a love letter to his last, youngest and (apparently) best wife, and even a spot of travelogue (though you wouldn't want to travel, or eat while traveling, after reading this). As might be expected of a writer in his eighties, it's also an essay contemplating death. All is held together by a self-referential theme that the novel etc. is about writing the novel etc. This may appear a confusing melange, but Bellow is always in control and pulls the reader along.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 26, 2001
Bellow is back, but maybe not at his best
Before anything critical, one must tip his hat to Bellow for continuing to produce first-rate writing well into his 80's. This is amazing. Moreover, this novel seems to be one of his more readable efforts in years (though I say 'seems' because I have not read much of his recent works - mostly because they seemed tired). And, if one is interested in the central character of this story, Ravelstein -a.k.a Allan Bloom - the main portion of this novel is challenging, comical, and full of quirky juxtapositions - i.e., Bellow at his best. The novel, however, becomes less interesting when Bellow focuses on the illness and recovery of the narrator. Is he actually saying such nice things about women? Is the bitter old man turning soft?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 1, 2010
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