Mr Sammler's Planet

Mr Sammler's Planet

3.75 (3,051 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Mr. Artur Sammler, Holocaust survivor, intellectual, and occasional lecturer at Columbia University in 1960s New York City, is a "registrar of madness," a refined and civilized being caught among people crazy with the promises of the future (moon landings, endless possibilities). His Cyclopean gaze reflects on the degradations of city life while looking deep into the sufferings of the human soul. "Sorry for all and sore at heart," he observes how greater luxury and leisure have only led to more human suffering. To Mr. Sammler-who by the end of this ferociously unsentimental novel has found the compassionate consciousness necessary to bridge the gap between himself and his fellow beings-a good life is one in which a person does what is "required of him." To know and to meet the "terms of the contract" was as true a life as one could live. At its heart, this novel is quintessential Bellow: moral, urbane, sublimely humane.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 128 x 194 x 16mm | 200g
  • PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0142437832
  • 9780142437834
  • 97,941

Review quote

By the Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature
Winner of the National Book Award in Fiction "The most important writer in English in the second half of the twentieth century...Bellow's oeuvre is both timeless and ruthlessly contemporary." -Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times (London)
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About Saul Bellow

Saul Bellow was born in 1915 to Russian emigre parents. As a young child in Chicago, Bellow was raised on books - the Old Testament, Shakespeare, Tolstoy and Chekhov - and learned Hebrew and Yiddish. He set his heart on becoming a writer after reading Uncle Tom's Cabin, contrary to his mother's hopes that he would become a rabbi or a concert violinist. He was educated at the University of Chicago and North-Western University, graduating in Anthropology and Sociology; he then went on to work for the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Bellow published his first novel, The Dangling Man, in 1944; this was followed, in 1947, by The Victim. In 1948 a Guggenheim Fellowship enabled Bellow to travel to Paris, where he wrote The Adventures of Augie March, published in 1953. Henderson The Rain King (1959) brought Bellow worldwide fame, and in 1964, his best-known novel, Herzog, was published and immediately lauded as a masterpiece, 'a well-nigh faultless novel' (New Yorker).

Saul Bellow's dazzling career as a novelist was celebrated during his lifetime with an unprecedented array of literary prizes and awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, three National Book Awards, and the Gold Medal for the Novel. In 1976 he was awarded a Nobel Prize 'for the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work'.

Bellow's death in 2005 was met with tribute from writers and critics around the world, including James Wood, who praised 'the beauty of this writing, its music, its high lyricism, its firm but luxurious pleasure in language itself'.
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Rating details

3,051 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 26% (784)
4 37% (1,139)
3 26% (791)
2 8% (258)
1 3% (79)
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