Humboldt’s Gift

By Saul Bellow
Read by Christopher Hurt

18.08 Hours 11/19/2007 unabridged
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For years, they were the best of friends: Humboldt, a grand, erratic figure, and Charlie, a young man of frenzied and noble longings. But by the 1970s, Humboldt has died a failure, and Charlie’s success-ridden life has taken various turns for the worse. Then Humboldt acts from the grave to change Charlie’s life by leaving him something in his will. Now Charlie is middle-aged and his days are cluttered with comic absurdities. A thinker, he longs to come from left field and knock them all dead. But his ex-wife has him enmeshed in lawsuits; he is held in thrall by a sexually-beguiling but unsuitable young woman; he has fallen into the hands of a neurotic mafioso; and his career seems to have ground to a halt. How the gentle but resilient Charlie comes to know how to triumph over his ever more ridiculous tribulations is the great discovery of Humboldt’s Gift.

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times Bestseller

Winner of the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

A 1975 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist

A 1976 National Book Award Finalist

For years, they were the best of friends: Humboldt, a grand, erratic figure, and Charlie, a young man of frenzied and noble longings. But by the 1970s, Humboldt has died a failure, and Charlie’s success-ridden life has taken various turns for the worse. Then Humboldt acts from the grave to change Charlie’s life by leaving him something in his will.

Now Charlie is middle-aged and his days are cluttered with comic absurdities. A thinker, he longs to come from left field and knock them all dead. But his ex-wife has him enmeshed in lawsuits; he is held in thrall by a sexually-beguiling but unsuitable young woman; he has fallen into the hands of a neurotic mafioso; and his career seems to have ground to a halt. How the gentle but resilient Charlie comes to know how to triumph over his ever more ridiculous tribulations is the great discovery of Humboldt’s Gift.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A crazy mess of a novel and an abiding testament to the vital exuberance of Saul Bellow’s genius…Life bursts from the page.” Los Angeles Times
“Sharp, erudite, beautifully measured…[Bellow] is one of the most gifted chroniclers of the Western world.” Times (London)
“Bellow at his best…funny, vibrant, ironic, self-mocking, and wise, a thoroughly delightful novel on every score.” San Francisco Examiner
“This production is exceedingly well narrated by Christopher Hurt, whose narrator’s voice conveys the various moods of the main character, Charles Citrine, an aging Lothario, battling the aging process and his writer’s block.” AudioFile
“[Hurt’s] expression and inflection and his congenial voice make this book easy to listen to.” Kliatt
“Energized chaos…The novel sprawls in picaresque fashion.” Kirkus Reviews
“Christopher Hurt’s reading of Humboldt’s Gift is close to perfection, and he deserves an award for his splendid performance. Listening to this recorded book enhances our appreciation of this masterpiece.” Allan Chavkin, Southwest Texas State University

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Saul Bellow

Saul Bellow (1915–2005), author of numerous novels, novellas, and stories, was the only novelist to receive three National Book Awards. He also received the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize in Literature, the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Fiction. During the 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict, Bellow served as a war correspondent for Newsday. He taught at New York University, Princeton, and the University of Minnesota and was chairman of the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction
Runtime: 18.08
Audience: Adult
Language: English