Saturday, February 02, 2008
Saul Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March
Saul Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March. Augie grows up in depression-era Chicago and floats from calling to calling, recruited by one than another crackpot or schemer and eventually rejecting him and drifting to the next. Something about Augie makes others want to adopt him, and all Augie knows about himself is that he is not a specialist and he has some fate to find. He is a reader (like so many Bellow heroes) and seems content to drift through life, although his defining characteristic is opposition. It's so easy be Augie - anyone who lived through adolescence should recognize the feeling of special destiny mixed with apathy and discouragement. It's not so much a "coming of age" novel, because it ends with Augie still half-formed. Bellow is becoming my favorite author.