Ravelstein

Ravelstein

3.6 (2,407 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

'Abe Ravelstein is the American mind and Bellow its finest living (thank God) voice' - John Sutherland, "Sunday Times". 'Bellow's return with "Ravelstein" to an earlier, freer, more voice-driven exuberance is an astonishment to me. I have to keep reminding myself that the author was born, not in 1950, but in 1915' - Martin Amis in "Experience". 'Full of the old, cascading power...His people are embodied with souls; they wear their stretched essences on their bodies, and it is Bellow's delight to, as it were, 'read' their souls through their surfaces, as a Victorian phrenologist might have read the skull' - James Wood, "Guardian". 'A late quartet by a master' - "The Telegraph".show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 129 x 196 x 24mm | 172g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0140291555
  • 9780140291551
  • 1,287,121

Review quote

"Abe Ravelstein IS the American mind and Bellow its finest living (thank God) voice." John Sutherland, Sunday Times "Bellow's return with RAVELSTEIN to an earlier, freer, more voice-driven exuberance is an astonishment to me. I have to keep reminding myself that the author was born, not in 1950, but in 1915." Martin Amis in EXPERIENCE "Full of the old, cascading power... His people are embodied with souls; they wear their stretched essences on their bodies, and it is Bellow's delight to, as it were, 'read' their souls through their surfaces, as a Victorian phrenologist might have read the skull." - James Wood, Guardian. "A late quartet by a master." The Telegraph "America's greatest living writer" (Times)"show more

Author information

"America's greatest living writer" Times One of the leading North American writers of his generation, Saul Bellow was born in Canada in 1915. RAVELSTEIN is his thirteenth novel and he is also the author of numerous novellas and short stories.show more

Review Text

Bellow is America's greatest living novelist, and is still writing with enormous vitality in his 85th year. Ravelstein, his thirteenth novel, is written in the form of a memoir in the shifting manner of an after-dinner reminiscence, with many digressions, random opinions and jokes. Ravelstein is a distinguished, high-spending philosopher and historian, and a charismatic teacher, who has been advised by his close Chicago friend, an older writer and the book's narrator - who is called Chick, but is clearly Bellow - to put his academic widsom into print. The book has now become an intellectual bestseller and earned millions, propelling Ravelstein to celebrity status. Ravelstein is one of those larger than life intellectual heroes at which Bellow excels, a fountain of wisdom and wonderful ideas, also a figure of clownish excess. Now, as he dies of AIDS, he asks Chick to write his autobiography. When he dies, Chick is at first unable to get to work. Then, in a dramatic, dark, autobiogriphal ending, he is severely poisoned by a toxic fish eaten in the Caribbean (this happened to Bellow) and spends a long hallucinatory period in intensive care. He finally recovers - and at last this lively, engrossing and in the end personally disturbing book gets written, rescuing not just Ravelstein but its own author from the silence of the grave. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

2,407 ratings
3.6 out of 5 stars
5 20% (472)
4 37% (882)
3 31% (742)
2 10% (244)
1 3% (67)
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