Saul Bellow's American masterpiece, The Adventures of Augie March includes an introduction by Christopher Hitchens in Penguin Modern Classics.
A penniless and parentless Chicago boy growing up in the Great Depression, Augie March drifts through life latching on to a wild succession of occupations, including butler, thief, dog-washer, sailor and salesman. He is a 'born recruit', easily influenced by others who try to mould his destiny. Not until he tangles with the glamorous Thea, a huntress with a trained eagle, can he attempt to break free. A modern day everyman on an odyssey in search of reality and identity, Augie March is the star of star performer in a richly observed human variety show, a modern-day Columbus in search of reality and fulfilment.
Saul Bellow (1915-2005) was a Canadian-born American writer who enjoyed a dazzling career as a novelist, marked with numerous literary prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature. His books include The Adventures of Augie March, Herzog, More Die of Heartbreak, Mosby's Memoirs and Other Stories, Mr. Sammler's Planet, Seize The Day and The Victim.
If you enjoyed The Adventures of Augie March, you might like John Updike's Rabbit, Run, also available in Penguin Classics.
'The Adventures of Augie March is the Great American Novel. Search no further'
Martin Amis, Guardian
'Funny, poignant, crowded with carnivalesque types and yet narrated by a voice that is lonely and simple, it is Bellow's fat comic masterpiece'