• RRP: £9.99
  • You Save: £0.01
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books.
Only 5 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Humboldt's Gift (Penguin ... has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Good | Details
Sold by halcyonbooksuk
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: DISPATCHED FROM THE UK. ALL OVERSEAS ORDERS SENT BY AIR MAIL.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Humboldt's Gift (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 27 Sep 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£9.98
£4.04 £5.11
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£9.98 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Frequently Bought Together

  • Humboldt's Gift (Penguin Modern Classics)
  • +
  • Herzog (Penguin Modern Classics)
  • +
  • The Adventures of Augie March (Penguin Modern Classics)
Total price: £31.35
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (27 Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141188766
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141188768
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Saul Bellow's dazzling career as a novelist has been marked with numerous literary prizes, including the 1976 Nobel Prize, and the Gold Medal for the Novel. His other books include Dangling Man, 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. Saul Bellow died in 2005.


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

By therealus TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 29 Aug. 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Around the time Bellow received the Nobel for this novel, he was the subject of my college dissertation. It was to be almost thirty years before I revisited Humboldt's Gift again as my inflight reading on a trip to the US, and when I did the experience was somewhat different.

First I noted the humour. I remembered its being an amusing book, but never as hilarious as I found it so many years on. I reflected on whether I had truly understood some of the references, and on how much more I identified with the book having travelled to some of the places mentioned - Texas, Chicago, New York, Madrid. The whole thing was so much less abstract, so I felt more able to immerse myself in the characterisation, without the need to expend energy trying to imagine what these places looked like.

It was the characterisation that really stood out, from the outwardly bullish but inwardly sheepish Charlie Citrine, and his scheming girlfriend Renata and her conspiratorial mother; the minor hoodlum Cantabile and his academic girlfriend Polly; and on to the tragic Humboldt himself, long deceased by the time of the book's opening but a constant, spectral presence throughout. Finally, the roguish Thaxter, Citrine's "business partner", a man who may well have inspired the leadership of Enron.

In addition, some of the vocabulary surprised me. For example, "leveraged". Had I registered the word back in the seventies? I guessed not. It's a word I'd associated with management consultants, financial derivatives and the eighties.
Read more ›
Comment 36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
In one of the 20th-century masterpieces of literary fiction, a puzzled American genius, grizzled and passionate, on the edge of spiritual and erotic revelation, is hounded by old memories, lawyers, a disgruntled wife, financial troubles and manic characters. A charismatic second-rate hoodlum, a zany literary partner and a would-be-wife threaten, cajole and provoke him through his all too human odyssey through spiritual recollection, mindfulness and vision. Throughout, the evocative memories and deeds of his deceased lifelong poet friend, collaborator and rival twist him this way and that. The esoteric philosophy of Rudolf Steiner provides the foundation. This is a stunning pyrotechnic of erudition, muscular style, and tragicomic narration. If you like Shakespeare you will like this. Humboldt is a 20th-century Hamlet, possibly crossed with Goethe’s Faust.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Brilliant and funny, this is only the 2nd book I've read by Bellow,I don't think any writer I have read covers so much history and so many ideas so gently and with such rich mixture of pathos and hope.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This novel won a Pulitzer prize and contributed to Saul Bellow winning the Nobel Prize for literature many years ago. The novel charts the artistic relationship between Charlie Citrine, an economically successful writer, and his mentor Von Humboldt Fleisher - an alcoholic, mentally ill poet with aspirations to cultural and spiritual greatness. Von Humbolt is dead and Citrine is reflecting back on Von Humbolt’s aspirations. Meanwhile Citrine is being pestered and advised by a petty gangster called Cantabile and is also having to deal with his girlfriend and his ex-wife. Apparently Citrine represents Saul Bellow to some degree and Von Humbolt, again to some degree, represents Delmore Schwartz who, to me at least, is famous for having been a mentor of Lou Reed.

I read this novel because of a quotation from it that prefaces an excellent book by Stan Cohen and Laurie Taylor called “Escape Attempts: The Theory and Practice of Resistance to Everyday Life”. This is a quotation:

“For me the self-conscious ego is the seat of boredom. This increasing, swelling, domineering, painful self-consciousness is the only rival of the political and social powers that run my life (business, technological-bureaucratic powers, the state). You have a great organised movement of life, and you have a single self, independently conscious, proud of its detachment and its absolute immunity, its stability and its power to remain unaffected by anything whatsoever-by the sufferings of others or by society or by politics or by external chaos. In a way it doesn’t give a damn. It’s asked to give a damn, and we often urge it to give a damn but the curse of none caring lies upon this painfully free consciousness. It is free from attachment to beliefs and two other souls. Cosmologies, ethical systems?
Read more ›
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Antenna TOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Aug. 2015
Format: Paperback
A prize-winning author whose creative life is stagnant while his personal life is in a mess, Charlie Citrine is haunted by memories of his former friend and mentor, the brilliant but manic poet Humboldt Fleischer. Humboldt is based on the real-life poet Delmore Schwartz, a one-time colleague of Saul Bellow, to whom Charlie himself bears quite a strong resemblance.

The rambling plot which switches back and forth in Charlie’s mind is mainly a framework for Saul Bellow’s astonishing prose, a mind-blowing stream of consciousness, with punctuation (minus commas between adjectives, an interesting technique). This is leavened by many very funny descriptions and dialogues, which may atone for any irritation over yet another novel by a writer about writers, and for Bellow’s casual cultural references which require everyone who is not an American with an encyclopaedic general knowledge to either break the rhythm of reading to look them up, or remain in ignorance.

The humour also serves as an antidote to Citrine’s philosophical musings about the state of the soul, the existence of an after-life and the decline of American society by the 1970s into consumerism and banality. Citrine’s monologues, which tend to be made more digestible for the reader by frequent mocking or teasing interruptions, generally from female lovers past and present, suggest that his ideas are underdeveloped, even confused. Yet this may be intentional, since Bellow himself seems to have changed his opinions substantially over his long life spent reflecting on the meaning of life.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback