L'uomo in bilico
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L'uomo in bilico

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3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  1,233 ratings  ·  89 reviews
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Joseph, protagonista del romanzo, è un borghese che un giorno decide di rifiutare il proprio ruolo nella società. Per farlo chiede di arruolarsi nell'Esercito, dove la ferrea regola militare lo assolverà da qualsiasi obbligo sociale. A partire da questa decisione, quello che si apre agli occhi del lettore è un viaggio allucinato nell'alienazione del mondo contempora...more
Paperback, Oscar #50, 159 pages
Published 1976 by Mondadori (first published 1944)
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Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
The thousands of my fans here at goodreads.com must know by now that I spent a great part of my childhood and early teen years in an island facing the Pacific Ocean (see my review of "Timbuktu" by Paul Auster). when I was around ten years old, a word was invented there, most likely by a close relative of mine named Aputuy (though I'm not sure of this as he may have picked it up also from someone else). I do not know how that word is spelled, but I'll write it here by the way it sounds: POO-CHOOT...more
Fewlas
Ok, stavolta gliene do solamente quattro di stelline. Ma soltanto perché questo libro è un po’ più difficile degli altri che finora ho letto di Bellow. Ci vuole un po’ per digerirlo. Però la quinta stelletta me la tengo stretta a me perché mai, e dico mai, mi era capitato che un libro raccontasse con esatta precisione quello che stavo provando proprio negli attimi in cui lo stavo leggendo. E che manco mi ci azzardo a provare a spiegarlo. Intanto, il titolo già è abbastanza esplicativo. Poi, perc...more
Bucket
Saul Bellow wrote Dangling Man when he was about my age and as I read, I recognized some of the thoughts and realizations that Joseph is having. For example, Joseph sees a clear difference between his current self and his younger (college-age) self. There is also the struggle with society's sense that professional progress is the end-all be-all for 20-somethings and that being stalled or focusing on other things means you're "dangling."

I liked this very much about the book because it felt very...more
Trevor
Jul 16, 2007 Trevor rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people recovering from political parties
Shelves: literature
Bellow is one of the strangest writers - it would be hard to say that I really like his writing. I mean, it is beautifully put together, but as I'm reading his books I keep thinking to myself, 'I'm really not enjoying this'. It is only once it is finished and months later I'm still thinking about the damn thing that I realise just how good he is.

I've often thought this one would make a good film. Of course, it would have to be a European film and since it is set in America it simply can never b...more
Stewart
Try as I might, I’ve never connected with Saul Bellow’s prose. My first attempt was The Actual, his penultimate work, and his shortest. A few pages in and I was lost. Then, The Adventures Of Augie March, the novel that signalled his worth as a writer: after reading the opening page repeatedly, I knew I couldn’t continue through the whole book doing so, and abandoned it.

There’s something about Bellow, though, that makes me persist. It’s probably the perception of him as one of the best American w...more
Dina
The reviews of this book seem to split the readers into people who vaguely identify with the fatuous intellectual and those who react and judge from a distance. I identify with him. Joseph is a Bellow protagonist who doesn't bluster larger than life like Henderson or isn't excessively snobby and removed, an alien from another generation like Sammler. He is a dabbling intellectual who judges doers from afar and is poisoned by the intersection of his own lack of initiative or concrete movement tow...more
Justin Evans
Should've started my Bellow reading with this, I think. First I read Ravelstein, which was essentially an insult to the reader's intelligence. It took me a few years to get over that farce, and when I did, I went with 'Seize the Day,' which was okay, but not particularly memorable for any reason. This is really good, provided you liked that Dostoevsky volume that includes Notes from Underground and the Grand Inquisitor section from Brothers K. Because 'Dangling Man' is the mid twentieth century,...more
Rick
The late Nobelist’s first novel—and the first of his I’ve read—Dangling Man is a novel in the form of a personal journal. Written (by Bellow) a year or so after the period of the journal (by Joseph), the winter-spring of 1942-43, it recounts a young Chicagoan’s wait before being inducted into the Army. A technicality has thrust him into a kind of limbo of waiting and he sourly muses his way through it, behaving like an ass to his wife and acquaintances. The time is meant as a kind of gift to him...more
Perseus Q
Saul Bellow, Nobel Laureate, is best known for his masterpieces The Adventures Of Augie March and Herzog. Of course, I've read neither of those. Not just because I'm a tosser who prefers the lesser known works of respected authors, but because I only had $3 on me when I wandered into Fowlers' Second-Hand Books, Lorne, and this book, at $2.50, was the only Bellow I could afford. I did in fact read Bellow's The Victim several years ago and I recall none of it; oh, there was a scene on a subway I t...more
Mary
Have always loved Saul Bellow's intellect and quirkiness. Had to have a Bellow fix.
Salvatore
Impressive, pithy, aggressive, sharp. The narrator reminded me of a more type A version of the narrator from Notes from Underground. Joseph is a wonderful representation of someone who is caught between worlds with way too much time to think about his situation, and the means to exist without worrying about working (well, he worries quite a bit about working, but the job is always just out of reach for one reason or the other). My first reading of Bellow, his first novel, is a fantastic start. I...more
Mock29
Written in 1944 and seemingly autobiographical, the main character,Joseph, is a dissipated misanthrope who has been drafted by the Army, but is on hold until his paperwork is sorted. This lasts for several months. During that time, he writes a journal of his life on hold - hence 'dangling.'

Although peppered with some interesting philosophical and introspective observations - one finds the character so self-absorbed and emotionally meandering that it is difficult to muster sympathy or even under...more
Marc L
Prachtig, helemaal in de lijn van Dostojevski's Herinneringen uit het Ondergrondse en Hesse's Steppewolf. Een exploratie van de moderne menselijke conditie: to be or not to in het Chicago van 1942-43. Hoofdfiguur aarzelt om zich net als iedereen in het oorlogsgeweld te storten; krijgt zijn existentiële vertwijfeling niet opgelost, geraakt hopeloos verzuurd door het wachten en vindt tenslotte zijn (twijfelachtige) vervulling als hij naar het front mag.
David
This book shows a slightly different Bellow from the one I'm used to. It's interesting, though. You hear about the dangers of an unexamined life, but the narrator of this book might argue that the reverse is just as dangerous. If we have too much time too look at ourselves, we might not like what we see, and then things just might spread from there.
Lee
In a sort of literary refutation of Hemingway, Bellow seems determined to restore interiority, description, and garrulousness to its proper place in American fiction. "Dangling Man" is a pretty good first novel, though Bellow seems unsure of how to end his book; DM is also a fascinating document of domestic life during World War II.
Ashley Cale
5 stars for a deeply thoughtful and short piece of writing. Bellow nestles very interesting elements of what some term a "superfluous man narrative" within the journal of a man waiting for his Army enlistment call-up, living, in downtown Chicago, in the 1940's. The main crux of the book is evident within Joseph's (the main character's) discussions with an invented companion called "The Spirit of Alternatives." Engaging philosophical musings. I won't spoil them by dissecting their content, but th...more
Maryam
پس از اين مسئول كارهايم نخواهم بود.از اين بابت سپاسگزارم.در اختيار ديگري هستم،رها از تصميم گيري؛فسخ آزادي
بشتاب براي ساعات منظم
و براي نظارت بر روح
زنده باد سربازي
Jaimie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Casey
Dangling Man is about a man named Joseph who is waiting to be drafted into the military during WWII. During this time, his anticipation manifests into anger and dissatisfaction, and he takes it upon himself and others around him. His relationship with his wife, family, and friends is poor, and Joseph doesn't really appear to truly care about rectifying them. He is intensely resentful and acts on the spur of the moment without thinking of consequences.

Joseph was not a likable character. Although...more
Veronica
Opening with a diary entry dated December 15, 1942, we are privy to the inner thoughts of an idle young man awaiting his draft call. There is a reason diaries are meant to be private; much can be tiresome and the rest, way too much information about a man’s thoughts.

While many of the relationships were interesting, I, like the young man, was quite eager for the call to duty.

Joseph is the keeper of the diary and quits his job to volunteer in WWII. Much red tape causes delay in his being called an...more
Laginestra
"In questo senso Goethe aveva ragione: Una vita che continua vuol dire aspettative. La morte abolisce la scelta. Più la scelta è limitata, più è vicina la morte. La più grande crudeltà consiste nel ridurre le aspettative senza eliminare del tutto la vita".

Trovarsi ritratto così finemente in un romanzo è cosa rara e spaventevole, rivela l'incanto e il terrore di sapere che qualcun'altro ti è simile. Joseph mi assomiglia, assomiglia ad un me del passato, ad un me che a volte torna a bussare insist

...more
Perry Whitford
The dangling man of the title is Joseph, a married man in his late twenties who resigns from his job in anticipation of a quick call-up to the American army during WWII, but his enlistment is inexplicably delayed for months and he becomes afflicted with ennui, staying in his flat while his wife goes to work, arguing with neighbors and friends, growing angsty.
He begins a journal to capture his increasing disenfranchisement, though he considers that it's frowned upon to share your feelings in a s...more
Yair Bezalel
A slim novel with huge ideas, and although a great foundation is laid down and much is left undone, underdone or unsaid (to the novel's detriment I must say), it's still a more than worthwhile read, especially considering the later heights Saul Bellow reached.

The protagonist Joseph, the eponymous 'Dangling Man' is, through a bureaucratic mix up caught between American army service during world war II and his life leading up to that. He has quit his job and is simply waiting with his wife in a sm...more
Mat
Great first book from this Pulitzer Prize winning author - Saul Bellow.
The story of a man waiting to be sent off to fight in the war but his call gets delayed and in the meantime he starts to 'dangle' or finds himself with nothing to do, and no direction in which to take his life. He is a real 'nowhere man' as John Lennon may have put it.

Joseph, the main character in Dangling Man, reminded me of who I used to be and what I used to be like about 10 years ago. Scarily similar in fact.

There are so...more
Douglas Feil
Perhaps (probably), I'm to blame for not rating this higher. There's little plot and I wasn't in the mood this time. There were definitely some beautiful passages and sentences, and the quarrel with his niece was wonderfully shocking. It sort of reminded me of the psychological and philosophical musings of the great 19th century Russian writers. But, like Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, this just seems to be more of a political manifesto or a budding worldview. I think there should be a new cat...more
Matt
This is quite possibly the greatest book I've read all year. I'd been meaning to read Bellow for some time, but I doubt I would have gotten around to him anytime soon, if my wife hadn't recently acquired for me a sizable collection of Penguin Classics that someone didn't want anymore.

Dangling Man is the diary of a year in the life of a man in his mid twenties, who is waiting to be called up to fight in World War II. Due to a series of technicalities he left his job, and then the army delayed tak...more
Frederick
Saul Bellow's first published novel only bears a faint resemblance to Kafka, in that a bureaucratic problem informs the action. What this novel describes, actually, is a man forestalling a major decision. In short, Joseph, the narrator (the novel being his diary entries over the course of a few months) is waiting to be drafted into the U. S. army during World War Two, but a technicality is holding things up. Knowing that the country is involved in its biggest military moment since the Civil War,...more
Manish
Written in an autobiographical style, 'The Dangling Man' explores the ennui and lethargy that creeps into the protagonist during his agonizing wait to be drafted into the Army to fight the Second World War. The delay that comes about due to the rejection of his initial application should have left him with a lot of free time to pursue his intellectual pursuits. But the slow passage of time without a 'job' leaves Joseph all touchy and sullen resulting in the deterioration of his relations with hi...more
Katie Grainger
This small novel is low on action but high on reflection. Joseph waiting to joining WW2 in 1942 begins to keep a journal reflecting his thoughts and changing behaviour as he waits to be called into the army.

Joseph has in his own mind become a "dangling man" in limbo waiting and uses the journal to reflect on how having nothing to do but wait affects him. He becomes surly, angry and even violent and in the end unable to stands it volunteers for active army duty immediately. At the end of the dia...more
Jason
This is Saul Bellow's first novel and you get the sense he was still in the process of developing his craft. It lacks the author's usual fluid prose, charm, wit and pathos. Instead, the writing is cold, stagnant and often insufferable. The novel does have its brief moments of inspiration and philosophical insight but even at 140 pages, the prose is invariably lethargic to grind through. Nothing of real significance happens in the story, although that is Bellows intention--the protagonist is stuc...more
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Saul Bellow was born in Lachine, Quebec, a suburb of Montreal, in 1915, and was raised in Chicago. He attended the University of Chicago, received his Bachelor's degree from Northwestern University in 1937, with honors in sociology and anthropology, did graduate work at the University of Wisconsin, and served in the Merchant Marine during World War II.

Mr. Bellow's first novel, Dangling Man, was pu...more
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“Some men seem to know exactly where their opportunities lie; they break prisons and cross whole Siberias to pursue them. One room holds me.” 0 likes
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