Book Reviews of The Actual : A Novella

The Actual : A Novella
The Actual A Novella
Author: Saul Bellow
ISBN-13: 9780140274998
ISBN-10: 0140274995
Publication Date: 5/1/1998
Pages: 112
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.

3 stars, based on 7 ratings
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Book Type: Paperback
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3 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Actual : A Novella on + 88 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Thought provokingly written love story between two very unlikely individuals: a genius with trivia and a lower-class interior designer. The prose was very tightly written and beautiful to read. Reading it in one sitting would be ideal.
reviewed The Actual : A Novella on + 813 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Typical Bellow novel in the vein of modern Jewish writers. Splattered with multiple divorces, and sexual innuendo, but tastefully done. The plot is about relatively nothing: the narrator and his long-time heartthrob take on (separately) Chicago billionaires as clients, meet, dig up and rebury her last spouse, andwell, you have to fill in the ending. With a little tweaking, this could make a great Seinfeld episode. There is enough latitude in the character development to twist the serious into comic. I felt that the author has his narrator wander back and forth in time too frequently, often in short bursts. At times I had difficulty discerning who was narrating at any point. He also repeats facts about the characters, often several times. In a 103 page novelette, do I need a constant refresher?
reviewed The Actual : A Novella on + 255 more book reviews
In this dazzling work of fiction, Nobel laureate Saul Bellow writes comically and wisely about the tenacious claims of first love. Harry Treilman, an aging, astute businessman, has never belonged anywhere: not in the Chicago orphanage where he was sent by his mother, not in high school (too brainy), not even on the streets. AS for his human attachments, they are like everything else in his life, singular and irregular. But Harry's ovservational talents have not gone unnoticed by billionaire Sigmund Adletsky, who retains Harry as his advisor on human affairs. Soon the old man discovers behind Harry's stoic mask as intense foty-year passion for a twice-divorced interior designer, Amy Wustrin. At the exhumation and reburial of her husband, Harry is provided, thanks to Sigmund, the means, perhaps the final means, for discolsing feeling amassed over a lifetime.