Seize the Day (Penguin Red Classics) Paperback – 26 Jan 2006
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About the Author
Saul Bellow is recognized as one of the most important American writers of the twentieth century. He was born in 1915 to Russian immigrant parents in Quebec, Canada. His first two novels, Dangling Man (1944) and The Victim (1947), attracted a small following, but it was his next novel, The Adventures of Augie March (1953), that put Bellow on the literary map. Bellow's other works of fiction include Herzog (1964), and Humboldt's Gift (1975, winner of the Pulitzer Prize), Ravelstein (2000). Bellow was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1976. He died in 2005.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
This is made-for-TV feature which uses a broad brush stroke treatment set in the success-driven 50s, where failure was not an option and heartlessness is everywhere. His father a successful doctor is disappointed his son didn’t follow in his footsteps.Back in New York,the power
group are crusty old Jewish men who play cards and hang out at the steam baths,where there are evocative scenes. People seem to live out of hotels.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie Robin Williams shows us the desperate man "how close to seeing the real man" if only we knew his real torture" Now sadly we do, this film shows us a glimpse... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Carol Mackenzie
Tommy Wilhelm will strike lots of chords with lots of people because he's failed to do what so many of us fail to do - see the title. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mike Collins
Dreadful film. Awful ending. Not one of Robin Williams best!!Published 14 months ago by Joanne Perkins