Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Herzog” as Want to Read:
Herzog
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Herzog

by
3.78  ·  Rating details ·  17,501 ratings  ·  1,008 reviews
This is the story of Moses Herzog, a great sufferer, joker, mourner, and charmer. Although his life steadily disintegrates around him - he has failed as a writer and teacher, as a father, and has lost the affection of his wife to his best friend - Herzog sees himself as a survivor, both of his private disasters and those of the age. He writes unsent letters to friends and ...more
Paperback, 371 pages
Published February 25th 2003 by Penguin Classics (first published 1964)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Herzog, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Herzog

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  17,501 ratings  ·  1,008 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Dave Russell
Mar 19, 2007 rated it it was ok
Dear Saul,
I'm afraid it's over. I can no longer have you on my favorite authors list.
(No, no let go of F. Scott's sleeve. You're only making this harder than it needs to be.) I want to tell you how much I loved Henderson the Rain King. One of my favorites. It was so full of wit and energy. Then I had to go and read this piece of crap, Herzog. Whereas Henderson was an adventure, this was just a big long bitch session. (Hey, give Borges back his cane.) Yes, fine maybe it's me. In fact I'm sure it
...more
Michael Finocchiaro
Herzog is one of Bellow's most enduring characters and this is one of his best books. When not screwing up his life, his letters to people real, dead and imaginary kept me laughing the entire time. I loved how despite everything, there is a feeling of exuberance about life in this book and it made me want to go back and read it again in a year. Highly entertaining, there is never a dull moment and lots and lots of humor. I would say for those that have not read Bellow that this is an excellent j ...more
Daniel
Mar 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
During the time I was reading "Herzog," NPR coincidentally ran one of its "You Must Read This" pieces, this one by Jeffrey Eugenides and touting Saul Bellow's novel. In the piece, Eugenides says:
There's a little thing I do when I can't write: When I'm feeling sleepy, when my head is in a fog, I reach across my desk, digging under the piles of unanswered mail, to unearth my copy of "Herzog" by Saul Bellow. And then I open the book — anywhere — and read a paragraph.

It always works. Right away I'm
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Herzog, Saul Bellow
Herzog is a 1964 novel by Saul Bellow, composed in large part of letters from the protagonist Moses E. Herzog. It won the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction and the Prix International. In 2005, Time magazine named it one of the 100 best novels in the English language since Time's founding in 1923.
عنوانها: هرتزوک؛ هرتسوگ؛ ؛ تاریخ نخستی خوانش: روز پنجم ماه ژوئن سال 2001 میلادی
عنوان: هرتزوک؛ نویسنده: سال بلو؛ مترجم: فرشته داوران؛ تهران، پیکان، 1379؛ در 520 ص؛ شابک: 9643281019؛
...more
AC
Nov 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book has warts – oh, does it have warts…! Like Moses Herzog himself, this book is marred and marked with warts…. But it is a book of genius nonetheless – and not just in parts, but in whole – in scope and in depth….

I rarely write reviews about fiction – I’m not a literary type. One of the very few I’ve written worth reading is that of The Sun Also Rises. Fiction is not amenable to the type of analysis that comes most naturally to me.

Besides, I’ve only been reading fiction, after a long hi
...more
Ian "Marvin" Graye
The Noble Lion

Moses Herzog is an academic, an individual who is used to seeing himself as a prince, a noble, a patrician, a patriarch. He's not a plebeian. He's not upwardly mobile. He believes he's already at the peak. He's somebody who stands out from the crowd. He has dignity.

He displays "the pride of the peacock, the lust of the goat, and the wrath of the lion." Of these three characteristics, the most significant is that he is leonine (the ultimate compliment Saul Bellow would ever pay anyo
...more
Chrissie
This is without a doubt my favorite book by Saul Bellow. I am not sure it will speak to everybody, but it certainly spoke to ne. It captures the world of an educated, liberal, East Coast professor. He goes by the name of Moses E. Herzog, and yes, he is from a Jewish family. He is having a midlife crisis, has just gone through a second divorce and is looking back on his life. He is writing letters to friends, relatives and public figures, some dead and some alive. But these letters are NOT sent a ...more
Kemper
Nov 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Most of us have one big advantage over rich people and fictional characters when it comes to dealing with our personal issues. For example, look at Moses Herzog in this book. Herzog goes through an ugly divorce, and his circumstances allow him to wallow in his misery and behave erratically for months. I’m sure any of us in similar circumstances would like to put our lives on hold as we picked at our emotional scabs while ignoring our jobs and taking trips across Europe.

However, most of us don’t
...more
Cosimo
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ma io non ci sono più

Bellow pensa che l'anima sia un impedimento; se sei felice, nascondilo e se il tuo cuore è pieno, chiudi la bocca. Il suo protagonista, Moses E. Herzog, ama le donne con tutto l'essere; ne è attratto, affascinato, ammaliato. La sua brama del corpo femminile è tale da ingelosire gli dèi. Fare sesso è un atto da buon cittadino. Ma la sua natura gli causa dolore: ammette e nega il male nello stesso tempo, è riluttante e feroce, vuole avere tutto ma ha compassione del possesso.
...more
Kinga
Sep 14, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
To all the people that watched my brave struggle with this book; I dedicate this review to you.
I have really mixed feelings about this one. Was it an absolute struggle to read? Did I fall asleep after a page or two many times? Was I wishing I was reading something else, something were things actually happened, like, I don't know say The Dark Desires Of the Druids III: Desert and Destiny? The answer to all these questions is yes.

Now, was I reading it with a pencil in my hand underlining sentences
...more
Charles Matthews
Dec 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Considering that it's a novel with nothing you could call a plot, Herzog is an inexhaustible book. It touches on elemental human relationships (sexual, familial, social) and spins off into lofty philosophical debates, reflections on civilization, on the meaning of death, and on the American experience. It tempts a reader into close analysis while at the same time mocking such analysis. Moses Herzog is at once the most meticulously observed of characters and the most impossible to grasp as a whol ...more
SCARABOOKS
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Finita la lettura, pensavo solo che per conquistarsi una libertà di esprimersi con le parole così grande e per usarla così bene, questa libertà, bisogna essere un genio.
Herzog è il romanzo di un genio del romanzo. In fondo e semplicemente perché geniale è la trovata su cui lo ha incardinato.

Lo è tanto più se si ricorda che quella di riflettere e riflettersi rivolgendosi ad un interlocutore immaginario (in questo caso con lettere mai spedite o addirittura mai scritte) per dare un senso e un ordin
...more
Rebecca
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Moses Elkanah Herzog must be one of the most maddening protagonists in literature, but at the same time you can’t help but love him. This was my second Bellow novel, and I found it a challenging read: I kept setting the book aside, then picking it up only to read another 10 or 20 pages before setting it aside again. There were definitely moments when I thought I wouldn’t make it to the end, but then Bellow would come out with an amazing line that convinced me to give his alter ego another try.

No
...more
Steven Godin
This is impeccable writing of the highest order and a reading experience I simply will not forget.
But it was never an enjoyable read, how could it be, as the main focal point Moses Herzog is such a depressing and bewildering figure to spend time with , dwelling on the past of failed marriages and writing letters to people that he never intends to send. As Moses is a writer and teacher Herzog does take a the philosophical approach with it's narrative, and Herzog himself is such a deeply drawn cha
...more
Alex
Sep 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who want to start an annoying argument about the Canon
Shelves: 2016
For a while Saul Bellow seemed poised to become one of the 20th century's most famous authors, but he seems to have faded into the second tier nowadays. He doesn't have the visceral power of Steinbeck, Wright or Baldwin, or the technical ambition of Faulkner or Woolf; he just writes good books. Maybe that cost him. My reaction to Augie March was, well, there's certainly nothing wrong with this book, nor is it going to change my life. "That's a good book," I thought. "Moving on."

And now here's H
...more
Stela

"Pray tell me, Sir, whose dog are you?"

What is the world for the intellectual? The playground of his ideas or the hell of his emotions? For Moses Hezog, a forty-seven-year old former Professor in a mid-life crisis it is certainly both. Recently gone through a messy divorce and the tragi-comedy of a marital triangle, the hero looks for the cathartic liberation from this emotional ballast in two ways: by writing letters to acquaintances and strangers, to the living and the dead, and by remembering
...more
Paul
Jun 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-novels
This is rightly perceived to be a classic (4.5 stars), published in 1964. Written well before Bellow became the curmudgeonly conservative of his older age, when he attacked multiculturalism and post-modernism, it was a joy to read.
It concerns the mid-life crisis of Moses Elkanah Herzog; when his second wife Madeleine elects to end their marriage and start a relationship with Herzog’s best friend Valentine. Moses writes letters to and about all those involved (letters that are never posted) and a
...more
FotisK
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Ο Μόουζες Χέρτσογκ δεν είναι κάποιος θετικός ήρωας. Δεν είναι ιδιαίτερα συμπαθής, δεν προσφέρει περιθώρια ταύτισης. Θεωρούμενο ως αυτοβιογραφικό, το αριστουργηματικό μυθιστόρημα του S. Bellow δεν απευθύνεται στο σύγχρονο "εγγράμματο" κοινό που απαιτεί από τον "συγγραφέα" να θωπεύει τις ανασφάλειές του, να επιβραβεύει την ημιμάθειά του και να δίνει απαντήσεις στα κενά νοήματος ερωτήματά του.
Δεν "κομίζουμε Γλαύκα" υπενθυμίζοντας πως η πλειονότητα των σύγχρονων αναγνωστών προσεγγίζει την τέχνη -κα
...more
lorinbocol
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
sintomo/commento 1:
l'opera struggente di un formidabile genio
il genio struggente di una formidabile opera
l'opera geniale di un trascinatore formidabile
la struggente opera di un genio errante
l'ebreo errante è uno genio all'opera

sintomo/commento 2:
caro moses, ti scrivo questa lettera con molto ritardo. qualcuno avrebbe dovuto avvisarmi. sia di quello che mi perdevo, sia dei suoi effetti compulsivi a catena. spero tanto che per la sindrome non esista una cura. ricordami di ringraziare il signor dav
...more
Evi *
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Moses Herzog epistolomane, emailomane perseguita tutti con la sua memoria.
Scrive, scrive a tutti Herzog ai vivi e ai morti, al suo psichiatra al suo avvocato al medico, ai fratelli finanche al presidente degli Stati Uniti, agli amici d'infanzia e gioventù, scomoda anche i filosofi prediletti Nietzsche, Freud Spinoza Kierkegaard.
Lettere che non vengono spedite che restano nel cassetto, le scrive per se stesso per organizzare i suoi pensieri ma servono a Bellow per ricostruire, in un flash back c
...more
david
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I believe this is the third Saul Bellow book, that I have read, after Augie March and Henderson.

Say what you might about the man and his stories, but of all the great writers that this country produces, Saul Bellow, remains among its’ top tier.

Few can write as well as he can.

The story is about his doppelganger, Moses Herzog, originally from Canada, with much of his life spent in Chicago and New York, the Berkshires.

It takes place during the mid-nineteen sixties. Herzog is a good-looking man and
...more
Fergus
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was the book that started me reading everything this Nobel Prize-winning American had written till then...

It was one gorgeous summer in the sixties, in the back yard, sprawled lazily in the bright blue and red plastic hammock, oblivious to work, mosquitoes and rain clouds!

Just riveted to the story - as it should be.

Don’t know Bellow?

Sure you do!

He’s your uncle Sid, who grabs you by the lapel and snickers, ‘Listen up, kid! This is a real doozy. Have I got a story to tell YOU, son!’

And ho
...more
Franco  Santos
"Pero ¿cuál es la filosofía de esta generación? No que Dios ha muerto. Eso ya ha dejado de decirse desde hace mucho tiempo. Quizá deba decirse ahora que la Muerte es Dios. La generación actual cree -este es un gran pensamiento- que nada que sea fidedigno, vulnerable y frágil puede durar ni tener verdadera fuerza. La Muerte espera estas cosas lo mismo que un suelo de cemento espera a una bombilla que está a punto de caerse. El brillante caparazón de cristal pierde con un estallido su pequeño vací ...more
Gorkem
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Herzog'da bu yıl okurken beni şöyle bir çarpan sonra kendisine has anlatamı ile hayran bırakan bir anti-hero klasiği. Saul Bellow, benim amerikan yazarları sevebileceğimi hissettiren bir yazar oldu.

Yorumu gelecek...
Parastoo Ashtian
شاید که تخفیف درد، جزو کوچکی از شادی بشر باشد.

از متن کتاب
marco_izner
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tante, troppe cose ci sarebbero da dire su un libro come questo, e tante di queste saranno state di sicuro già dette. Io, nel mio piccolo, mi limito a tirar giù le mie due o tre impressioni, quelle che vanno al di là della primissima constatazione, ossia che "Herzog" è un capolavoro; o almeno lo è per me, ma so di non esser solo.
Ecco, uno, quando scrive un'affermazione del genere, è poi costretto a doverla spiegare; e io, che in questo caso non riesco ad argomentare con chiarezza, mi limiterò a
...more
Perry
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Untruth in her
troth sallowed
the language, sullied
a certain conjugation:
how she lied
as she lay with me.
Apparently her
monogamy was too
close to monotony.

From "Cuckoldom," B.J. Ward

"A man is only as good as what he loves." Saul Bellow

While Herzog doesn't center on the misdeeds of Moses Herzog's second ex-wife and his former colleague/friend/her now-husband, Herzog's being shamelessly cuckolded by them has played a significant role in who Moses Herzog has come to be: an unstable college profe
...more
pink pills and paper
Novels without chapters bug me.
Herzog had some sort of dissection; sometimes the prose would be cut, only to be continued a couple spaces below. It still seemed vague and disorganized to me, having been for so long used to chapters and clear division.

I read a measly 18% of this book, and this is what I have to show for it:
This book was extremely hard for me to review. I’m still not completely sure I have a finished opinion on it. It had been on my to-read list forever. And it’s long been on the
...more
Jan Rice
Feb 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The plot is slight. Basically, Moses Herzog, a 47 year old man living in the early 1960s in New York and Chicago, an academic, a grandson of immigrants, has done okay, as long as he was in a stable marriage while having affairs whenever opportunity and desire presented itself. He is not doing okay now, though, because he fell into love and infatuation and married the object of them, ditching the first wife. Now wife no. 2 has manipulated, used, and left him for a best friend. In the course of th ...more
Nelson Zagalo
Li até meio, com muita calma mas sem convicção, daí em diante li na diagonal. Não estou no modo certo para esta leitura, talvez noutra altura, ou noutra vida!

Bellow tem todas as qualidades de um Nobel: erudito, denso, entrosado, rico e bastante resistente. O tema deste livro até é interessante, e a abordagem à introspeção questionadora também, mas enreda-se demais, perde-se em descrições não fornecendo propriamente motivação narrativa.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Field of Vision
  • Falconer
  • Dog Soldiers
  • A Crown of Feathers
  • The Assistant
  • The Waters of Kronos
  • Blood Tie
  • Call It Sleep
  • Ten North Frederick
  • Octobriana and the Russian Underground
  • At Swim-Two-Birds
  • The Sot-Weed Factor
  • A Dance to the Music of Time: 1st Movement (A Dance to the Music of Time, #1-3)
  • Paco's Story
  • David Bomberg
  • The Recognitions
  • Morte D'Urban
  • Loving
See similar books…
1,236 followers
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 Marines during World War II.

Mr. Bellow's first novel, Dangling Man, was p
...more
“Unexpected intrusions of beauty. This is what life is.” 1780 likes
“One thought-murder a day keeps the psychiatrist away.” 185 likes
More quotes…