Seize the Day

Seize the Day

3.5 11
by Saul Bellow
     
 

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Seize the day. Be in the present. Grasp the hour, the moment, the instant. This is the dubious advice given by outlandish Dr. Tamkin—part psychologist, part stockbroker—to poor Tommy Wilhelm. Unemployed, at the whim of his ex-wife and two children, and hurt by his proud and callous father, Wilhelm is disgusted with himself, yet forever hopeful that his…  See more details below

Overview

Seize the day. Be in the present. Grasp the hour, the moment, the instant. This is the dubious advice given by outlandish Dr. Tamkin—part psychologist, part stockbroker—to poor Tommy Wilhelm. Unemployed, at the whim of his ex-wife and two children, and hurt by his proud and callous father, Wilhelm is disgusted with himself, yet forever hopeful that his suffering is purposeful. When he decides to entrust the last of his money to a mysterious commodities venture with Dr. Tamkin, he unwittingly sets in motion the most eventful day of his life. The journey that follows takes him across the length of New York City, from his hotel room at the Gloriana to the floor of the stock exchange, bringing him ever closer to "his heart's ultimate need."

Editorial Reviews

Alfred Kazin
It is the special distinction of Mr. Bellow as a novelist that he is able to give us, step by step, the world we really live each day -- and in the same movement to show us that the real suffering of not understanding, the deprivation of light. It is this double gift that explains the unusual contribution he is making to our fiction.
— The New York Times, 1956

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781623730208
Publisher:
Odyssey Editions
Publication date:
09/26/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
193,742
File size:
142 KB

Meet the Author

A fiction writer, essayist, playwright, lecturer, and memoirist, Saul Bellow was born in Lachine, Quebec, in 1915, and was raised in Chicago. He received his Bachelor's degree from Northwestern University in 1937 and did graduate work at the University of Wisconsin before serving in the Marines during World War II. Later, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict, Bellow served as a war correspondent for Newsday. Throughout his long and productive career, he contributed fiction to several magazines and quarterlies, including The New Yorker, Partisan Review, Playboy, and Esquire, as well as criticism to The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, The New Leader, and others.

Universally recognized as one of the greatest authors of the twentieth century, Bellow has won more honors than almost any other American writer. Among these, he received the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Humboldt's Gift and the B’nai B’rith Jewish Heritage Award for “excellence in Jewish literature.” He was the first American to win the International Literary Prize, and remains the only novelist in history to have received three National Book awards, for The Adventures of Augie March, Herzog, and Mr. Sammler's Planet. In 1976, Bellow was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work.” Saul Bellow died in 2005 at age 89.

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Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
June 10, 1915
Date of Death:
April 5, 2005
Place of Birth:
Lachine, Quebec, Canada
Place of Death:
Brookline, Massachusetts
Education:
University of Chicago, 1933-35; B.S., Northwestern University, 1937

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Seize the Day 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was extremely dull. A struggle to read that was only completed as a project for school.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i thought that Saul Bellow did an amazing job with writing this novel. It was hard to read some of the things Tommy's father would say, because even though that deep down we know some father's say that stuff it does happen. I also loved the ending of this book because it summed up everything in the book. Beyond everything i just mentioned i love love love his choice for the title. It just makes the book amazing. That you should live life to the fullest because in a split second it could be taken from you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this short but very complex tale. Bellow writes with a zest that no postmodern writer has acheived. He captures city life in his romantic realism that is far beyond Sandburg. This is neither a postmodern novel or modernist novel. In fact, it refutes both ideals. It engages the character of Wilhelm as a Jewish character in the middle of urban America, a place that Bellow feels comfortable. Bellow's ultimate vision is that humanity can only learn through experience and not ideology. Wilhelm constantly finds bad characters and financial mishandlings that put him on the verge of destruction. Also in this myriad is his very troubled relationship with his father. Live in the moment. Carpe diem or 'seize the day,' is the motto of Dr. Tamkin, the malevolent trickster or stranger myth encountered in Judaism. I'd recommend it thoroughly. Shows the appreciation of Judaism, although Bellow's obviously masculine character could not delve to be observant.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I tried to read this book and couldn't get interested. It was so slow, and seemingly pointless that I could not remember what I was reading. Only read this book if you must.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is arguably Bellow's most profound and moving work. It captures the world of West Side New York , and is filled with remarkable portraits of stunning minor characters. Its hero,Wilky,is a failed salesman, the poor losing- his- last- cent- son of the prosperous Dr. Adler. He is the hippotamus- like failed actor whose contradictory and broken heart fails him in his struggle to make sense of his life.The book is written with a precise Yiddish- English and rare humor.The final scene in which Wilky comes to a funeral cortege and weeps copiously ,but not for the dead person but for himself is tremendously painful and poignant. This is a great book, a book about failure and success , the American dream in one Jewish version of it. I believe anyone who cares for Literature will love this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read Seize the Day by Saul Bellow for an AP English book critique and found it mesmerizing. It makes one discover that throughout life's ups and downs, and there's always that silver lining. Because life is a precious thing to behold and to LIVE, live every day to the best of your ability, because you never know when it will be taken from you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Last year I was given an English assignment where we were to choose between several books and write a literary analysis. I chose 'Seize the Day', intrigued by it's title. It sounded like a fairly uncomplicated story about how you should, well, seize the day. Boy, did I underestimate this novel! It has become one of my favorite books- thought provoking, meaningful, mournful and uplifting all at the same time. The story of a man who is desperate to succeed in a harsh, unrelenting business world is unforgettable. I suggest this book to any intelligent person who enjoys exploring the gray areas in life. This book will change you!