Agathafrye's Reviews > Seize the Day

Seize the Day by Saul Bellow
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's review
Nov 09, 08

bookshelves: downer, literary
Recommended to Agathafrye by: nobody
Recommended for: Ayn Rand lovers and Republicans
Read in November, 2008

I had to mull this one over for a while. For such a short book, it really packs a wallop. I ultimately decided I didn't like it, but it was an interesting and fairly realistic look into the mind of a terminal loser. I thought Bellow did a pretty good job of getting inside the mind of someone who blames their misery wholly on external factors rather than their own failure. I felt manipulated by all of the characters in this book- none of them were likable, and it was frustrating to watch Tommy get duped repeatedly by the obvious scam artist Tamkin, even as he acknowledged that he was allowing himself to be manipulated. I also thought Tommy's father was a jerk. I thought the ending was pretty excellent, starting when Tamkin ran with Tommy's money and ending with Tommy sobbing at a stranger's funeral. Tommy's emotions seemed authentic and resonated with me for the first time in the last few pages of the book.

Side note: I read a little more about Bellow as a person after reading this book, and he sounds like kind of an asshole. I didn't find this terribly surprising after reading "Seize the Day."
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