BN.com Gift Guide

The Human Comedy

( 19 )

Overview

The place is Ithaca, in California's San Joaquin Valley. The time is World War II. The family is the Macauley's—a mother, sister, and three brothers whose struggles and dreams reflect those of America's second-generation immigrants…In particular, fourteen-year-old Homer, determined to become one of the fastest telegraph messengers in the West, finds himself caught between reality and illusion as delivering his messages of wartime death, love, and money brings him face-to-face ...

See more details below
Paperback (Mass Market Paperback - Revised)
$7.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (114) from $1.99   
  • New (23) from $4.11   
  • Used (91) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

The place is Ithaca, in California's San Joaquin Valley. The time is World War II. The family is the Macauley's—a mother, sister, and three brothers whose struggles and dreams reflect those of America's second-generation immigrants…In particular, fourteen-year-old Homer, determined to become one of the fastest telegraph messengers in the West, finds himself caught between reality and illusion as delivering his messages of wartime death, love, and money brings him face-to-face with human emotion at its most naked and raw.

Gentle, poignant and richly autobiographical, this delightful novel shows us the boy becoming the man in a world that even in the midst of war, appears sweeter, safer and more livable than out own.

Read More Show Less

What People Are Saying

Edmund Wilson
"He achieves the feat of making and keeping us busy without the use of alcohol and clearly by the action of art."
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440339335
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/28/1966
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 245,354
  • Lexile: 760L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.17 (w) x 6.88 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

William Saroyan was one of America’s major twentieth century writers. In his prize-winning play, “The Time of Your life,” and in his celebrated fictional works such as “The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze,” he displayed a fantastical imagination and irresistible charm that is still fresh and entertaining today.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2002

    I thought it was horrible

    The Human Comedy by William Saroyan was a very boring book. I almost couldn't finish the book. I usually get into a books that I love but this book i did not get into. This was a bad book. Why does it go to another person each chapter? Also the chapters are so short. I will definitely mot recommend this book to anyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2013

    I get that this is a classic book that is really touching, but,

    I get that this is a classic book that is really touching, but, as somebody has already said, it is sooooooooooooooooo boring. It has almost no plot or conflict, and actually could have been good if the conflict between the main character and his track coach had continued, and there was a random chapter about some chinese guy and his kid and 
    I thought "oh some new characters, they might have an impact on the story." Nope. They are never mentioned again. Also, the end feels rushed and not very detailed, and is also painfully predictable. Overall, I got about as much enjoyment out of this book as eating a bowl of that really dry Fiber One cereal without any milk. I would not recommend this book to anyone who wants a book with any kind of conflict o plot.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    It is an amazing book overall, showing hope of different charact

    It is an amazing book overall, showing hope of different characters and how they treat different situations, it basically shows the way humans make mistakes and how they fix them. You basically just follow all the different characters around with no story, just them and their lives.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Gem Rediscovered

    Fifty years after reading The Human Comedy in high school English class, I rejoiced to find it still in print.

    Once again, I was awed by the people of Ithaca, California, as they encountered the hilarity, the tragedy, the contradictions of life. Once again I followed Ulysses and Homer as they sought to understand the mystery of ineptitude and inconsistency, as well as heroic acceptance of loss, in their fellow humans.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 14, 2009

    The Human Comedy, a hard hard book

    Wow, The Human Comedy. I mean its a moderate hard book, but I think that everyone should read it who is high school and beyon. This book doesn't really have a plot of a conflict, but I think that that was exactly the point. You just have to get through it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2008

    Not your typical ending

    I absolutely love this book. It is easily one of my favorites. It has a point to it, which I would consider a good quality. I wouldn't recommend it to someone who is super happy or perky.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2006

    One of the Classics...

    No one should go through life with out reading this book. I read in in sixth grade and will never forget it. It teaches us... well it teaches us the human comedy, the life we live. One of the most important and touching chapters in this book is the one where Lional takes Ulissies to the lybrary. Though not very important in the sceme of things, it really shows us what wonder and innocence is. To put it into one sentance I give you when four year old Ulissys gives his mother and egg, ¿He looked at it a moment, picked it up, brought it to his mother and very carefully handed it to her, by which he meant what no man can guess and no child can remember to tell.¿ The secret to life. The egg.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2005

    Inspiring...

    I think that this simple book is an inspiring and enthralling title because of its warm feeling you get. This is a book, that if you dig deeper into its meaning, is about the way humans react with life, death, and love. Therefore it is called the Human Comedy for it shows the way we react to things. However, the portion of this title named 'Comedy' should be titled Comedy of Errors for the dramatic feel of the piece. However, this actually made me feel a tad sad and teary toward the end of the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2005

    Drama not comedy

    I do not like the title of this book. This book is not a comedy. It is the drama of a war and how war ruins peoples lives. This author tells a lot in this simple story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2004

    The Best Book Every

    Personally I think that this book was very touching it made me look at life different because there's no such think as not struggling in life because everyone goes through it.And I'm in high school and I'm not a reader I hate reading and I absolutely loved this book and I would recommend it to anybody else.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2003

    Awesome!

    when i first read this book, i was in high school, and we all know how they make us read the most boring books even if we dont want to. but this was one of the very few books that i actually enjoyed, and finished(!) reading. its a very interesting story of a young boy who learns about life when he gets a new job delivering newspapers. i would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes to read the not-so-grown-up-yet-readable books. i personally enjoyed it very much.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2003

    Not so humorous

    This novel was a very touching story. This book has a lot of messages through out the story. After reading this book you may learn a few more values and concepts. The only down point to this story would be the ending. The ending to this novel is definatley not a happily ever after.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2003

    Better than the movie

    This was the first 'grown up' book I read as a kid. I really felt a kinship to the characters. Felt that I knew them personally. Sad, happy, jubliant feeling abound throughout the story. Great lines that have been used elsewhere, although in different respects; 'This is Texas, he's from New Jersey'. Book is much better than the movie, although the movie closely follows the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2003

    Excellent

    A great book. Would recomend it to everyone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2002

    incredible

    This author, William Saroyan, has the most incredible mind and literary skill known to me. His ability to use characters as symbols is amazing, and for them to be complex enough to be puzzling, yet simple enough for a 14 year-old like myself to grasp. However, the best thing about this book is the messages that are delivered in the long passages spoken by Mrs. Macauley, Mr. Grogan, and Mr. Spangler. These messages help Homer realize that he can be anything, that the potential for greatness is out there, and all he needs to do is go for it. It certainly inspired me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2001

    Reviewing a Human Comedy

    This book was a pleasure to read, it took me back to the olden days were me and my buddies would go around the town all peped-up about the war. This showed me many different aspects I had not considered before about the war. I found in many ways that Homer was a reflection of my childhood in the olden days back in the farmin¿ fields of Missouri. This book opened numerous passageways in my mind and made me wish to revisit Missouri, and just leave my oxford professorship.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2000

    A great book by my third cousin

    This is a great book! I encourage you to read it. I read it for a high school project.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2000

    GREAT BOOK!!!

    this was a great book that everyone would enjoy reading!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)