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Book Title: The Bellarosa Connection|
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Reader ratings: 5.2
The author of the book: Saul Bellow
Edition: Penguin Books
Date of issue: October 1st 1989
ISBN 13: 9780140126860
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 911 KB
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The pages of calendars crumble away. They're like the dandruff of time.
I stumbled upon this novella at a book sale, thinking, "oh, I've been meaning to read Saul Bellow", so I picked it up. It's probably a bit of a random way to be introduced to this award winning, Montreal-born author, who is better known for Herzog and The Adventures of Augie March, among others. This is a lesser known novella (his 15th book) that swirls around the story of Harry Fonstein, a European Jew who is saved from being killed by the Nazis in a dramatic rescue which is masterminded by a man in New York, Billy Rose. Fonstein wants nothing more than to meet Billy Rose, to shake his hand, and thank him for saving his life. No matter what he does though, Rose (a famous Broadway producer) refuses to meet or acknowledge him. Why?
It's a fascinating mystery. The story is told from the point of view of their friend, who, many years later in old age, wants to get back in touch with the Fonsteins. As he remembers the story and makes efforts to get in contact, he waxes philosophical and ruminates on a deep intellectual level. The theme of memory comes up often ("What was there worth remembering?"). Jewish identity, particularly in America, is another ("you pay a price for being a child of the New World").
Despite being rife with thought provoking, philosophical ideas, this was only so-so for me. The mystery was ultimately unsatisfying, and the latter half of this novella was dense and surprisingly tough to plod through.
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Read information about the authorSaul 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 Marine during World War II.
Mr. Bellow's first novel, Dangling Man, was published in 1944, and his second, The Victim, in 1947. In 1948 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and spent two years in Paris and traveling in Europe, where he began The Adventures of Augie March,, which won the National Book Award for fiction in 1954. Later books include Seize The Day (1956), Henderson The Rain King (1959), Herzog (1964), Mosby's Memoirs and Other Stories (1968), and Mr. Sammler's Planet (1970). Humboldt's Gift (1975), was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Both Herzog and Mr. Sammler's Planet were awarded the National Book Award for fiction. Mr. Bellow's first non-fiction work, To Jerusalem and Back: A Personal Account, published on October 25,1976, is his personal and literary record of his sojourn in Israel during several months in 1975.
In 1965 Mr. Bellow was awarded the International Literary Prize for Herzog, becoming the first American to receive the prize. In January 1968 the Republic of France awarded him the Croix de Chevalier des Arts et Lettres, the highest literary distinction awarded by that nation to non-citizens, and in March 1968 he received the B'nai B'rith Jewish Heritage Award for "excellence in Jewish literature", and in November 1976 he was awarded the America's Democratic Legacy Award of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, the first time this award was made to a literary personage.
A playwright as well as a novelist, Saul Bellow was the author of The Last Analysis and of three short plays, collectively entitled Under the Weather, which were produced on Broadway in 1966. He contributed fiction to Partisan Review, Playboy, Harper's Bazaar, The New Yorker, Esquire, and to literary quarterlies. His criticism appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Horizon, Encounter, The New Republic, The New Leader, and elsewhere. During the 1967 Arab-lsraeli conflict, he served as a war correspondent for Newsday. He taught at Bard College, Princeton University, and the University of Minnesota, and was a member of the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.
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