Humboldt's Gift

Humboldt's Gift

Book - 1975
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Baker & Taylor
Charlie Citrine, suffering from steadily worsening troubles with women, career, and life in general, receives unexpected aid and comfort in the form of a belated bequest from his onetime friend and mentor, the poet Von Humboldt Fleisher

Publisher: New York : Viking Press, 1975
ISBN: 9780670386550
Characteristics: 487 p. ; 24 cm


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Aug 17, 2012

Beautifully written, one of the defining books of my life. Is it long-winded in parts? Yes. Are you going to learn more about "Theosophy" than you ever, ever wanted to learn? Yes. But are you going to bear witness to an author pushing the boundaries of what someone can accomplish with the English language, and do so with humor, and warmth, and intelligence? Yes. I can't abide by the fact that this novel has a two-star rating because someone criticized its "slow plot." I can understand where that person comes from because sometimes I want a book which is more plot-focused and less "literary," but come on. It's Saul Bellow. Giving this novel two-stars? Do you have any idea what it would take to write something like Humboldt's Gift? And then to give it two stars? Goodness. At least give it three? I mean, that is "above average." Surely you can give one of the greatest modern novelists an "above average" on one of his singular works. If not, why rate it at all. Why am I getting all up set about this? I don't know.

May 02, 2011

I had a tough time with this one - I felt like the story didn't really get interesting until about three-quarters of the way through. It wrapped up nicely, but in my opinion, the ending was not worth the effort of plodding through the very slow plot.


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