Everything You Know About the Japan
The Adventures of Augie March
by Saul Bellow
Really good and, ultimately, enjoyable.

I could tell from the start that this was really Good Writing, but it was really hard for me to get into. I didn't find myself enjoying it for the first three hundred pages, in fact. Ultimately, however, I think I liked it.
This is partially because the novel is a dialogue between naivete and cynicism--Augie March is always seeing the good in people, and always trying to do the right thing (well, not always, but often) and everyone else is trying to convince him to be a bastard and to give up on his dreams, or whatever.

At any rate, I haven't actually finished it. He survived a shipwreck and a prison camp, and came home. his loving wife rushed down the stairs. There are 40 pages left in the novel. I figure either he learns that by being true to himself he can find happiness, and he buys a farm with his wife. Either that, or he finds out that she's been cheating on him while he was away, and he kills himself in the gutter.

I asked Katya to skim the last chapter for me so I know whether I ever want to read it.
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posted by Maritza Fox on October 14th 2008.
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