The Actual

The Actual

Book - 1998
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In this wise and dazzling work of fiction, Nobel laureate Saul Bellow writes comically and tragically about the tenacity of first love. The story behind The Actual belongs to Harry Trellman, an aging, astute businessman who 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, where his vaguely Asian features set him apart from the rest of the pack. As for human attachments, they are like everything else in his life, singular and irregular. But Harry has always been a keen observer--a trait not unnoticed by billionaire Sigmund Adletsky, who retains Harry as his adviser on human affairs. The two men discuss ordinary things, but the older man is also sharp enough to realize that, behind his stoic mask, Harry harbors some intense feelings for a certain woman. That woman--the object of some forty years? passion--is Amy Wustrin, a twice- divorced interior designer who's walked through her share of life's ups and downs. Thanks to Sigmund, she walks unexpectedly into Harry's life. And this time he's not about to let her go.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 1998, c1997.
ISBN: 9780140274998
Characteristics: 103 p.


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Dec 17, 2013

"With my Chink or Jap looks, I am seldom taken for a Jew." A slim book that was one of Nobel laureate Bellow's last. Not very good.

Nov 23, 2010

Another fantastic work from the rich Saul Bellow collection. The portrait of a middle age man is painted beautifully from the inside out. His attachments can be played off easily but cannot be completely removed, as the end will show.

I really enjoyed this novella, however it's a shame it's so short.

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