11-20-09

15hrs 37min

Abridgement

Unabridged

Genre

Fiction

As low as $0.00
Play Audio Sample

11-20-09

15hrs 37min

Abridgement

Unabridged

Genre

Fiction

Description

“A masterpiece.” New York Times Book Review

Winner of the 1965 National Book Award for Fiction
One of Time Magazine's Best 100 English-Language Novels from 1923–2005

Herzog is a man seeking balance, trying to regain a foothold on his life. Thrown out of his ex-wife’s house, Herzog retreats to his abandoned home in a remote village in the Berkshire Mountains. Amid the dust of the disused house, he begins scribbling letters to family, friends, lovers, colleagues, enemies, dead philosophers, ex-presidents—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.

Herzog is primarily a novel of redemption. For all of its innovative techniques and brilliant comedy, it tells one of the oldest of stories. Like The Divine Comedy, it progresses from darkness to light, from ignorance to enlightenment. Today it is still considered one of the greatest literary expressions of postwar America.

Praise

“A masterpiece.” New York Times Book Review

“The book is a feast of language, situations, characters, ironies, and a controlled moral intelligence that transcends the fact that we are spectators at a hard luck story. Bellow’s rapport with his central character seems to me novel writing in the grand style of a Tolstoi—subjective, complete, heroic…Eventually Moses Herzog becomes as natural an American phenomenon as the faces carved on Mount Rushmore.” Chicago Tribune

“Herzog has the range, depth, intensity, verbal brilliance, and imaginative fullness…of a novel that is unmistakably destined to last.” Newsweek

“Herzog is Saul Bellow’s most famous, and perhaps best, novel—and one that translates wonderfully to audio…At first, narrator Malcolm Hillgartner’s voice seems a bit smooth for the character of Herzog, yet his presentation is highly effective. His polished tone complements the manic Herzog’s life and never distracts the listener from the focus—the inner life of an intellectual who is trying to come to grips with his own foibles.” AudioFile

“Bellow’s National Book Award-winning 1964 novel would not seem a good candidate for audio. It is largely an interior monologue in which Moses Herzog, reeling from a divorce, rants about the nature of the universe and composes letters (never to be mailed) to all variety of persons, living and dead (‘My Dear Mr. Nietzsche’). And, yet, thanks to Hillgartner’s nuanced reading, it makes great listening. Extended monologues, after all, are best experienced like music rather than text, the words rolling along in waves of sound, with the meaning following behind. Hillgartner gives us Bellows word waves in sonorous cadences, capturing the different voices of the various individuals Herzog encounters and remembers, as well as bringing flair to the various languages that pop up from time to time (Yiddish and French, mainly). Best of all, though, is his ability to capture Herzog’s emotional intensity as he reviews his life, fires off letters, and, ultimately, finds a kind of peace where he is finally free from sending messages to anyone.” Booklist

Details
More Information
Language English
Release Day Nov 19, 2009
Release Date November 20, 2009
Release Date Machine 1258675200
Imprint Blackstone Publishing
Provider Blackstone Publishing
Categories Literature & Fiction, Classics, Literature & Fiction
Author Bio
Saul Bellow

Saul Bellow (1915–2005), author of numerous novels, novellas, and stories, was the only novelist to receive three National Book Awards. He also received the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize in Literature, the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Fiction. During the 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict, Bellow served as a war correspondent for Newsday. He taught at New York University, Princeton, and the University of Minnesota and was chairman of the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.

Narrator Bio
Malcolm Hillgartner

Malcolm Hillgartner is an accomplished actor, writer, and musician. Named an AudioFile Best Voice of 2013 and the recipient of several Earphones Awards, he has narrated over 250 audiobooks.

Overview

Winner of the 1965 National Book Award for Fiction
One of Time Magazine's Best 100 English-Language Novels from 1923–2005

Herzog is a man seeking balance, trying to regain a foothold on his life. Thrown out of his ex-wife’s house, Herzog retreats to his abandoned home in a remote village in the Berkshire Mountains. Amid the dust of the disused house, he begins scribbling letters to family, friends, lovers, colleagues, enemies, dead philosophers, ex-presidents—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.

Herzog is primarily a novel of redemption. For all of its innovative techniques and brilliant comedy, it tells one of the oldest of stories. Like The Divine Comedy, it progresses from darkness to light, from ignorance to enlightenment. Today it is still considered one of the greatest literary expressions of postwar America.

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