Nam's Reviews > Henderson the Rain King

Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow
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's review
Apr 02, 2010

really liked it

My rooom-mate gave this edition to me as a gift a few years ago. Just got around recently to reading it. It was much better than I anticipated. Then again, although I haven't read any of Bellows work until now I always knew he was considered a great American author. The central idea that resonated for me was the main characters battle against the eternal "I want, I want, I want..." (pg, 250) The use of an African safari of sorts is an interesting device for his self-discovery. From the minute I began reading I actually believed that Henderson would end up being the new, and unwilling king. I thought the ending, seemingly ending with him "adopting" a young orphan boy, perhaps as the "re-incarnation of his Lion-king friend", unexpected and touching.

One particularly exceptional passage; "All human accomplishment has this same origin, identically. Imagination is a force of nature. Is it not enough to make a person full of ecstasy? Imagination, Imagination, Imagination! It converts to actual. It sustains, it alters, it redeems!"

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