Monthly Archives: April 2011

Review: ‘Herzog’ by Saul Bellow


Herzog; Img from:

A couple of months ago, I was asked to write a review of Nobel Prize winner Saul Bellow’s book ‘Herzog’ for a Jewish website. The book is ridiculously funny and sad and deep. I absolutely recommend it if you haven’t read it. However, I will warn you that it’s a bit of a slog simply because it’s heavy with philosophy.

Click here to read my review and below is a short excerpt:

“Herzog, a 1964 novel for which Saul Bellow won the National Book Prize, is possibly the funniest book about the saddest man: Moses E. Herzog. An academic by profession and a philosopher at heart, Herzog finds himself suddenly in limbo when his wife Madeline, who unbeknownst to Herzog has been having an affair with his best friend Gersbach, throws him out of their new Chicago home and estranges him from their daughter, June. This is Herzog’s second divorce and one that leaves him in a considerable amount of pain. Daisy, his first wife with whom he has a son Marco, appears benign in contrast to the manipulative and demanding Madeline. It is for Madeline that he quits his position as a lecturer in New York and it is for her that he spends his entire inheritance on a cottage in the Berkshires in an attempt to return to his more intellectual pursuits. The crumbling Berkshire cottage mirrors at first Herzog’s crumbling marriage and then his crumbling psyche. Facing financial ruin, Herzog flits between New York, Chicago and the Berkshires, often borrowing money from his wealthy brothers even as Madeline continues to send him her credit card bills.”