Jared Logan's Reviews > The Adventures of Augie March

The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow
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's review
Aug 16, 2012

it was amazing
Read in August, 2012


This is one of those big sprawling novels that follow the life of a single character from youth to adulthood. Bellow's prose is simultaneously poetic and plain-spoken. His characters are hilarious and sad and real. It's a 600 page book that never drags, never bores.

It's about a guy named Augie March growing up in Chicago in the 1920s and 30s. Over and over again I was struck by how much that era is similar to the age we're living in now. It was a time of economic upheaval, when a lot of young people had no direction.

Cool/thought-provoking/surprising things in this book include: pool hall politics, two-bit criminals, paralyzed entrepreneurs, a french dog nanny, tycoons, three or four love affairs, discount abortions, a trip to Mexico and a bald eagle trained to hunt lizards.

This is primarily, in my view, a book about surviving your 20s. Most of the action takes place when Augie is in his twenties. His story is very relatable. It's a story about that time in your life when you get into trouble, when you fall in love with people who are wrong for you, when you put off deciding who you are. This is the perfect book for that brilliant slacker you know who can't quite decide who they want to be when they grow up. It's a book about an idealist coming to terms with the real world and learning to live in it.

I give my highest recommendation.
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