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Christopher HitchensI do not set up as a member of the jury in the Great American Novel contest, if only because I´d prefer to see the white whale evade capture a while longer. It´s more interesting that way. However, we do belong to a ranking species, and there´s no denying that the contest is a real one. The advantage The Adventures of Augie March, Saul Bellow´s third novel, has over The Great Gatsby (1925), which, coincidentally, was F. Scott Fitzgerald´s third novel too, derives from its scope, its optimism, and, I would venture, its principles.... Not much in Bellow´s preceding work prepared readers for The Adventures of Augie March. It´s not necessary to believe, as I do, that the novel is the summit of his career (he has published 19 books to date), but let´s call Augie his gold standard.
—The Wilson Quarterly