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Bellow: A Biography
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Bellow: A Biography

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  77 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
With this masterly and original work, Bellow: A Biography, National Book Award nominee James Atlas gives the first definitive account of the Nobel Prize–winning author’s turbulent personal and professional life, as it unfolded against the background of twentieth-century events—the Depression, World War II, the upheavals of the sixties—and amid all the complexities of the J ...more
ebook, 32 pages
Published August 8th 2012 by Modern Library (first published 2000)
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Paul Bryant
Is it really cool for a grown man to be poking and prodding around in another man’s sex life, I ask you? And another man to be reading about it? Huh? Is biography just gossip with footnotes? This has been the year of literary biographies for me, and I do feel a bit of a sleazehound reading about Mailer stabbing his wife & getting off the charge, and Barthelme’s 2nd wife defenestrating herself, and so on. Doesn’t stop me reading though. Well, I have a shelf of books called "Verysleazyfun" so, ...more
Jesse
Jul 31, 2011 Jesse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading James Atlas’s biography “Bellow”, about the life of the quintessentially assimilated American writer, forced me to confront a darker side of literary creation. Much as the moon shines her bright face down upon us bringing much needed luminescence to the dark night, writers give us novels, stories, prose and poems that act as a bright human connection in the dark worlds we inhabit within our skulls. But the moon has a side she hides from us – a flash-frozen surface lacking light and heat, ...more
Tom
Mar 05, 2016 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“If I am out of my mind, it’s all right with me, thought Moses Herzog.” Thus muses the hero of Saul Bellow’s sixth novel in that book’s memorable opening line. It would not surprise me in the least to learn that James Atlas ever wondered if he was out of his mind, and whether that was all right with him, in the years that he labored to produce this splendid biography of arguably the most accomplished and the most acclaimed author in American literary history.

For, as it turns out, Bellow, a thre
...more
Jesse K
Jun 04, 2013 Jesse K rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
This is definitely not going to end up being the definitive Ellmannesque biography of Bellow, but it was passable, in some regards. It gave the reader a skeletal outline of Bellow's life and works, and served well as a key to who was based on who in his novels, for the sort of people who like that thing. However, I have four complaints, two of which were likely out of the authors control, one of which could barely be helped, and the last of which was a rather unfortunate tactical error: (1) Ther ...more
Yeti
Jun 16, 2009 Yeti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant biography that provides valuable insight into the complex writer. A great book that would prove an invaluable resource to anyone who is hesitant to try reading Bellow's own work.
Corey
Jun 16, 2014 Corey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not as magisterial as Ellmann's 'James Joyce' or Ian Hamilton's 'Robert Lowell' but still a grand life befitting its subject. Lucid, intelligent and enlightening.
Mauricio
May 04, 2007 Mauricio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Como dice Lee Siegel:
"The Bellow we meet in the pages of Atlas's book must have been given the Nobel Prize by by a Jewish charitable organization."
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