More Die of Heartbreak

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Overview

Kenneth Trachtenberg, the witty and eccentric narrator of More Die of Heartbreak, has left his native Paris for the Midwest. He has come to be near his beloved uncle, the world-renowned botanist Benn Crader, self-described "plant visionary." While his studies take him around the world, Benn, a restless spirit, has not been able to satisfy his longings after his first marriage and lives from affair to affair and from "bliss to breakdown." Imagining that a settled existence will end his anguish, Benn ties the knot ...

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Overview

Kenneth Trachtenberg, the witty and eccentric narrator of More Die of Heartbreak, has left his native Paris for the Midwest. He has come to be near his beloved uncle, the world-renowned botanist Benn Crader, self-described "plant visionary." While his studies take him around the world, Benn, a restless spirit, has not been able to satisfy his longings after his first marriage and lives from affair to affair and from "bliss to breakdown." Imagining that a settled existence will end his anguish, Benn ties the knot again, opening the door to a flood of new torments. As Kenneth grapples with his own problems involving his unusual lady-friend Treckie, the two men try to figure out why gifted and intelligent people invariably find themselves "knee-deep in the garbage of a personal life."
 

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Put simply, Bellow's new novel is about a distinguished botanist who in middle age is driven by his libido into making a bad marriage. Put thematically, it's about the pursuit of happiness, which all too frequently results only in the acceptance of unhappiness. As in all Bellow's novels since Herzog , philosophical speculation is as important as plot, if not more so. Here Bellow dwells on the cult of sex in contemporary culture, as well as such soul-diminishing demands as the drives for power, wealth, and prestige. For him this entails an ordeal of desire from which the West is suffering as surely as the East suffers from an ordeal of privation. Serious stuff, certainly, but it is Bellow's genius that he can present a provocative novel of ideas as a riotous comedy. Ample proof that Bellow remains one of our most significant writers, the comic sage of American letters.Charles Michaud, Turner Free Lib., Randolph, Mass.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142437742
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/31/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 703,618
  • Product dimensions: 5.24 (w) x 7.94 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Saul Bellow

Saul Bellow, the only novelist to receive three National Book Awards, is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and short stories, including The Adventures of Augie March and Humboldt's Gift.

Martin Amis is a bestselling author whose many works include Time's Arrow, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and, most recently, Yellow Dog.

Biography

Praised for his vision, his ear for detail, his humor, and the masterful artistry of his prose, Saul Bellow was born of Russian Jewish parents in Lachine, Quebec in 1915, and was raised in Chicago. He received his Bachelor's degree from Northwestern University in 1937, with honors in sociology and anthropology, and did graduate work at the University of Wisconsin. During the Second World War he served in the Merchant Marines.

His first two novels, Dangling Man (1944) and The Victim (1947) are penetrating, Kafka-like psychological studies. In 1948 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and spent two years in Paris and traveling in Europe, where he began his picaresque novel The Adventures of Augie March, which went on to win the National Book Award for fiction in 1954. His later books of fiction include Seize the Day (1956); Henderson the Rain King (1959); Mosby's Memoirs and Other Stories (1968); Mr. Sammler's Planet (1970); Humboldt's Gift (1975), which won the Pulitzer Prize; The Dean's December (1982); More Die of Heartbreak (1987);Theft (1988); The Bellarosa Connection (1989); The Actual (1996); and, most recently, Ravelstein (2000). Bellow has also produced a prolific amount of non-fiction, collected in To Jerusalem and Back, a personal and literary record of his sojourn in Israel during several months in 1975, and It All Adds Up, a collection of memoirs and essays.

Bellow's many awards included the International Literary Prize for Herzog, for which he became the first American to receive the prize; the Croix de Chevalier des Arts et Lettres, the highest literary distinction awarded by France to non-citizens; the B'nai B'rith Jewish Heritage Award for "excellence in Jewish Literature"; and America's Democratic Legacy Award of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, the first time this award has been made to a literary personage. In 1976 Bellow was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature "for the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work."

Bellow passed away on April 5, 2005 at the age of 89.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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    1. Also Known As:
      Solomon Bellow (real name)
      Saul Bellow
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 10, 1915
    2. Place of Birth:
      Lachine, Quebec, Canada
    1. Date of Death:
      April 5, 2005
    2. Place of Death:
      Brookline, Massachusetts

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