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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The truth is one parent can support ten children but ten children can't support one parent
It would appear Amazon have placed all the book reviews for Seize the Day on this page. So here is a review for the DVD, and I should perhaps mention that I have never read the book by Saul Bellow.

Robin Williams gives a fantastic, manic performance here in one of his few serious roles. He is in almost every scene of the film bursting with energy and in an...
Published on 8 July 2011 by oooo Candy Davis

versus
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An easy read, but not all that satisfying
To say, as it does on the back cover, that this is 'Bellow at his most brilliant', is to risk putting us off reading other books of his, which is probably unfair, as this is not generally considered to be his best work. 'Seize The Day' is a short novel about one day in the life of a loser, a man who has lost his job and his family and is in the process of losing what's...
Published on 28 Feb 2010 by Phil O'Sofa


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The truth is one parent can support ten children but ten children can't support one parent, 8 July 2011
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This review is from: Seize The Day [DVD] [1986] (DVD)
It would appear Amazon have placed all the book reviews for Seize the Day on this page. So here is a review for the DVD, and I should perhaps mention that I have never read the book by Saul Bellow.

Robin Williams gives a fantastic, manic performance here in one of his few serious roles. He is in almost every scene of the film bursting with energy and in an over-excited state as his problems mount and his rejection increases. Set in the 1950s and for the most part in New York, attention to period detail is good, as is the acting of the supporting cast. However, watching this film left me drained, it was quite depressing to witness a life spiral ever downwards. The ending is abrupt and for me at least, one of the most devastating ever committed to film.

Special mention for Jerry Stiller (father of Ben) playing a sleazy con-artist who almost steals the scenes he shares with Williams. No easy task. The lovely Glenne Headly has a minor part looking wonderful when this was made back in 1986. She still looks good now though, twenty-five years later.

The DVD itself is completely bare bones. Nothing. No subtitles, no restoration, no extras. Sound is 2.0 Stereo and picture is full frame 4:3, although I beleive this is the correct ratio as it was made for PBS television in the US.

Worth your time, but be prepared to experience a downer.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A short novel, representative of Bellow's work, 23 Nov 2005
By 
Dennis Littrell (SoCal/NorCal/Maui) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
"Seize the day, put no trust in the morrow" is what Horace wrote at the end of his first book of Odes a couple of thousand years ago. And ever since, youth has been urged to make hay while the sun shines since the bird of time is on the wing--to toss in a couple more homilies. But what Saul Bellow has in mind here is entirely ironic since his sad protagonist, Tommy Wilhelm Adler has never seized the day at all, much to his unfeeling father's disgust.
This then is a tale of failure (one of Bellow's recurring themes) and the shame and self-loathing that failure may bring; and yet there is a sense, or at least a hint--not of redemption of course--but of acceptance and understanding at the end of this short existential novel by the Nobel Prize winner.
The way that Bellow's drowning, existential man experiences the funeral as this novel ends is the way we should all experience a funeral, that is, with the certain knowledge that the man lying dead in the coffin is, or will be, us.
And we should cry copious tears and a great shudder should seize us and we should sob as before God with the full realization that our day too will come, and sooner than we think--which is what big, blond-haired, handsome Jewish "Wilkie" Adler does. And in that realization we know that he has seen the truth and we along with him. An existential truth of course.
The structure of the novel, like James Joyce's Ulysses, begins and ends in the same day. Through flashbacks from Adler's nagging consciousness, the failures and disappointments of his life are recalled. When he was just a young man he foolishly thought because of his good looks and the assurance of a bogus talent scout that he might become a Hollywood star; and so he spurned college and instead went to the boulevard of broken dreams as it runs toward Santa Monica.
And so began the failure and dissolution of his life. As Bellow tells it, Wilhelm has slipped and fallen into something like a watery abyss. He can't catch his breath. He is drowning. He reaches out to his father, who turns away from him. He reaches out to Dr. Tamkin, the mysterious stranger, the clever fox of a man who swindles him and then disappears into the crowd of the great metropolis. He reaches out to his wife, who will also not extend a helping hand. Meanwhile, the waters about him have grown, and he is lost.
We are all lost, more or less, except those who delude themselves, who have their various schemes and delusions to distract them, is what Bellow seems to be saying. Those of us who have not seized the day, a day that is fleeting and subtle, indefinite and hard to grasp, become so much water-logged driftwood.
With resemblances to Albert Camus' The Stranger and Arthur Miller's Willy Loman, Bellow's Wilhelm is the essence of the anti-hero, literature's dominate strain of the mid-twentieth century. Such men have no firm or deep beliefs. They exist for the day, like butterflies, tossed about by circumstance all the while wondering why, but without any ability to rise above their predicament, a predicament that is so ordinary, so banal, so patently unheroic to be that of Everyman.
And what is the answer? For Bellow and Camus and Miller, the answer is the finality of death. A man lives, goes about craving--"I labor, I spend, I strive, I design, I love, I cling, I uphold, I give way, I envy, I long, I scorn, I die, I hide, I want"--and for what and because of what? Like the tentmaker, Omar Khayyam, we wander willy-nilly without a clue, and then become so much dust in the wind.
For life IS a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying in the end, nothing. All our labors are like those of Sisyphus pushing the stone up the hill only to watch it roll back down again.
We cannot help but feel in reading this novel both a sense of empathy for the man who has failed, but at the same time, we might feel like his father and want to give him a kick and say, "Wilkie, get a grip on yourself. Quit making the same mistakes over and over again."
But we know that for Wilhelm it is already too late. He cannot change his nature anymore than the leopard can change its spots. We sense the great hand of fate upon him, and we shudder. For in some respects--different respects of course--we could be him. And we straighten up our frame, we return to our duties and responsibilities, to our work and the rhythms of our lives secure in the knowledge that we are stronger that Wilhelm, that although the waves may toss us about, we will not sink. At least not yet.
In reading this for the first time now half a century after it was written, I am struck with how different the zeitgeist is today. We have wildly successful heroes and larger-than-life murderous villains, and nowhere is there the existential man.
This short work is a splendid representative of one of my favorite genres, the short, sharply focused American novel from the early or middle 20th century. Other--widely differing--examples are John O'Hara's Appointment in Samarra, Nathanael West's Miss Lonely Hearts, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, John Steinbeck's Cannery Row and Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, to name a few.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Novella Ever Written, 1 Feb 2002
By A Customer
One of the best short works of fiction ever, this stands alongside the Beckett trilogy as the great novel of failure - yes, what a decade the 50's were. Brevity is everything where a writer such as Bellow is concerned and other, more expansive books such as Augie March suffer from excessive passions. Read this and you will not be disappointed: wise, tidy and above all with a descriptive dexterity that is a match for anyone (including Dickens), Seize the Day has its hands on the gold. Note the last paragraph of this and compare with the first paragraph The Information. For anyone without perfection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A poetic, introspective view of a man who believes himself a failure, 10 Jun 2008
This astounding novella pounces on your attention from the first lines. It used a language of alienated introspection, with a self deluded failure of a man, bitter about everything and harbouring a particular grudge against his father.

As Tommy Wilheim's story unfolds, we begin to see the parts of him that put him in this position. He is a proud dreamer of a man, too fond of good intentions to get much done. The book follows his defeats and defiances, seeing him fall helpless from one mess to another. Its ending is a poignant comment on the man's state of mind, and had a lasting effect on me when I first read it. 12 years later I read it again, and even though I knew what was coming I felt the same thing.

An astounding book, please check it out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable small novel, 28 Oct 2007
By 
HORAK (Zug, Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The main character in Saul Bellow's novel is Tommy Wilhelm. He now lives with his father at the Gloriana Hotel in New York. Everything he has ever undertaken has gone wrong. He never managed to complete his studies. He was dragged to Hollywood by an old friend, Maurice Venice, who promised him a career as a film star with Kaskia Films. But then it turned out that Venice was simply a pimp and Wilhelm ended up by working in a restaurant in California. Later he married Margaret, he had two sons Paulie and Tommy and found a job with a company called Rojax Corporation. When he was dismissed his marriage broke up and Wilhelm's father's wrath reached the point when he refused to give his son a single penny.
When Wilhelm meets psychologist Dr Tamkin, he is drawn into speculation in commodities at one of the branches of a good Wall Street house. Wilhelm clings to the hope that his luck is about to turn - he has given the last of his money to Dr Tamkin. Is Tamkin ripping Wilhelm off or is he offering him one last chance to make it out of his mess?
A moving portrait of a man with sensitive feelings, a soft heart, a brooding nature and a tendency to be confused under the many pressures of life.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An easy read, but not all that satisfying, 28 Feb 2010
To say, as it does on the back cover, that this is 'Bellow at his most brilliant', is to risk putting us off reading other books of his, which is probably unfair, as this is not generally considered to be his best work. 'Seize The Day' is a short novel about one day in the life of a loser, a man who has lost his job and his family and is in the process of losing what's left of his money. He is also rapidly losing his faith in humanity, as you might expect.
I'd say that as a work of existentialism this falls short of Camus' 'Outsider' and as a novel about failure and disappointment it is not in the same league as Yates' 'Revolutionary Road', though it's still worth reading if you like downbeat stories about the hopelessness of life. It's well written, though some of the characters' ramblings are a bit obscure. I can't say I cared too much about anyone in the book, but I doubt that we're supposed to really.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An unenjoyable classic, 15 Jun 2014
By 
hfffoman (Kent) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This is regarded as a classic. I won't say it isn't a good book but I didn't enjoy reading it. The lead character is one of the most unlikeable characters I have encoutered in a novel, but he is unlikeable in a dull way, not actually bad, just pathetic and annoying. The rest of the characters aren't much better. It is actually something of an achievement to cram so many character flaws into one short account. Perhaps it is an achievement to show the twisted attitudes of New Yorkers in a past age who lived in hotels even as their money ran out - but it isn't inspiring.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Mid-century Misery Lit, 18 Jan 2013
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Seize the Day, a short novel by Saul Bellow first published in 1956, describes twenty four hours in the life of Tommy Wilhelm. Wilhelm is, as the author puts it, 'nearly at the end of his rope'. His hopes of making a living as an actor in Hollywood have been disappointed, and he has left a sales job in New York. Meanwhile, his wife, from whom he is separated, is pressing him for money to support their two kids.

Will his father, an eminent doctor, offer any support? Will his wife moderate her financial demands? And should he have trusted Dr. Tamkin, who has persuaded him to invest his life savings in a scheme involving lard and rye?

Bellow's novel has received the highest laurels from the literati. The critic John Carey considered including it on his list of the twentieth century's most enjoyable books; James Wood said it is one of the great works of the century; for V.S. Pritchett it is a 'small gray masterpiece'.

You can see why it has inspired such superlatives. The language of the book is very unusual: a strange, poetic style which evokes the busyness and bustle but also the loneliness of a great city. And Dr. Tamkin, the dubious psychologist with equally dubious investment schemes, is a fine creation.

Yet somehow it wasn't for me. The message Bellow conveys is that life is a series of unfortunate events followed by death. Expect no sympathy. Trust no one. All true enough, and good advice no doubt, but the gloom is oppressive. You long for some warmth, colour and comedy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars an agony to read about a loser losing, 28 Aug 2011
By 
rob crawford "Rob Crawford" (Balmette Talloires, France) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This is Bellow's paean to failure, the slow slide of a good-hearted though dumb and self-destructive man. He is heading to his doom, and is a sucker the whole way. Reading this is hard, much like the inexorable decline of people in a Balzac novel, but it is a peculiarly American brand of failure with the post-war culture and Hollywood dreams in tow. It is a masterpiece.

Recommended, but keep the valium handy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars sieze the day - readable classic, 27 Aug 2011
seize the day is a suitable read for serious readers written by Saul Bellow who has obtained several literature prizes including the Nobel prize for literature in 1976 and National Medal of Arts. Seize the Day gives the reader an insight into an imperfect man with pieces of humour and reality. I
t is found to be slightly disjointed going from one subject to another making it confusing to follow at times. Nonetheless, a good read
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Seize the Day (Penguin Red Classics)
Seize the Day (Penguin Red Classics) by Saul Bellow (Paperback - 26 Jan 2006)
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