Seize the Day

Seize the Day

3.55 (8,149 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Introduction by 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 1 business day
When will my order arrive?


Fading charmer Tommy Wilhelm has reached his day of reckoning and is scared. In his forties, he still retains a boyish impetuousness that has brought him to the brink of chaos: he is separated from his wife and children, at odds with his vain, successful father, failed in his acting career (a Hollywood agent once placed him as 'the type that loses the girl') and in a financial mess. In the course of one climactic day he reviews his past mistakes and spiritual malaise, until a mysterious, philosophizing con man grants him a glorious, illuminating moment of truth and understanding, and offers him one last hope ...
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 144 pages
  • 128 x 190 x 10mm | 117.93g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 014118485X
  • 9780141184852
  • 51,681

About Saul Bellow

SAUL BELLOW's dazzling career as a novelist has been marked with numerous literary prizes, including the 1976 Nobel Prize, and the Gold Medal for the Novel. His other books include The Adventures of Augie March, Herzog, More Die of Heartbreak, Mosby's Memoirs and Other Stories, Mr. Sammler's Planet, Seize The Day and The Victim. Saul Bellow died in 2005.

Cynthia Ozick (b.1928 ) is an American writer whose works are about Jewish American life. Ozick Her most recent novel, Heir to the Glimmering World (2004), has received much praise in the literary press. She was on the shortlist for the 2005 Man Booker International Prize
show more

Rating details

8,149 ratings
3.55 out of 5 stars
5 17% (1,391)
4 37% (2,988)
3 33% (2,694)
2 11% (868)
1 3% (208)

Our customer reviews

I've never been a fan of the Big Men of postwar American letters - Mailer/Roth/Updike, and for some reason I had put Bellow in the same basket, unread. Eventually some awareness of his cultural importance trickled down to me, and when the blurb on the back of Seize The Day screamed at me: One of the finest short novels in the language, I could resist no longer, and at 120 pages had nothing to lose. Tommy Wilhelm is the prototype of a kind of pathetic male character, infuriatingly impotent, and at whom we laugh uncomfortably, that is near-ubiquitous in modern literature, from Paul Auster to Martin Amis. He inhabits an insular milieu of upper-west Manhattan in the 50s, which I found strange and fascinating - amongst people who live in hotels and spend their days speculating on commodities. Trapped, as he sees it, between an uncaring father and a cruel ex-wife (no-one has ever understood poor Tommy), we witness him being systematically fleeced of his last savings by a metaphysically-inclined grifter, whilst getting a potted biography via his alternately self-pitying and self-loathing interior monologue. Apart from a few city vignettes, some half-baked philosophising, and lots of drinking and pill-popping, this is all we get, but it is enough. Bellow's writing has a visceral quality - of the sweaty pores and dirty sheets variety - that is a pleasing counterpoint to the gentility of his characters and setting. The pithiness of the narrative, it's tone of almost-satire, and concern with the basic pathology of the male psyche, reminded me a lot of Day of the Locust. The con-man's didactic monologues have a tacked-on feel, but overall the narrative is well-controlled and thus makes a powerful impression. So it is funny, timeless, canonical and brief - read more
by Sholto Spradbury
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X