Herzog - Library Edition Author:Saul Bellow Winner of the 1965 National Book Award for Fiction. Herzog is a man seeking balance, trying to regain a foothold on his life. Thrown out of his ex-wife's house after his wife leaves him for his best friend, Herzog retreats to his abandoned home in a remote village in the Berkshire Mountains. Amid the dust of the disused house, he begins scri... more »bbling letters to family, friends, lovers, colleagues, enemies, dead philosophers, ex-presidents, to anyone with whom he feels compelled to set the record straight. The letters, which are never sent, are a means to cure himself of the psychic strain of the failures of his life: that of being a bad husband, a loving but poor father, an ungrateful child, a distant brother, an egoist to friends, and an apathetic citizen. Primarily a novel of redemption, progressing from ignorance to enlightenment, Herzog is still considered one of the greatest literary expressions of postwar America.« less
Herzog was a dense read. Saul Bellow's protagonist, Moses E. Herzog, compulsively writes letters to various people as he goes through a breakdown: his second wife has cuckolded him with his best friend, leaving him holding a remote house in the Berkshires after quitting his academic job. Instead of plot, this book is propelled by frenetic mental activity, as Herzog tries to make sense of his life and espousing his views of the age. After getting used to the long passages in italics and shifts in time and place, I enjoyed witnessing Herzog's processes. An interesting read from the list of 1001 books you must read before you die from a Nobel laureate.