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Seize the Day (Penguin Red Classics) Paperback – 26 Jan 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (26 Jan. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141023406
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141023403
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 1.1 x 18.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,762,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
"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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I like the films of Robin Williams and was sad when he departed this life. I found Seize the Day to be funny and yet, as so often in Robin Williams films, full of pathos. He plays the downtrodden loser so well and it is his unique facial expressions, so perfectly timed that make his films stand out. As far as I am concerned, he was an outstanding actor.
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By technoguy VINE VOICE on 18 Jun. 2015
Format: DVD
Seize the Day the Fielder Cook directed film based upon Saul Bellow’s mid-period novella, is a fraught vehicle, a roller-coaster ride of human emotions, with Tommy Wilhelm( Robin Williams) at the mercy of his father Dr Adler, who despises his lack of success, shortage of money, need for love, his helplessness; and his ex wife who is bleeding him dry, preventing him from seeing his kids. He is mostly at the mercy of a friend,conman, Dr Tampkin (Jerry Stiller), a junk dealer, who gives him therapy to deal with the stresses life throws at him, but also fraudulently enlists him to invest in profitless commodities..He tells him to “seize the day”.He’s disappointed his girlfriend ,lost his sanity. Williams gives a powerhouse of a performance, sweaty, frenzied, manic, angry, where his comic timing fuels the lability of his emotional intensity, with his face switching from despair to hilarity in a moment and his body in perpetual motion.He screams,he shouts,he cries as if on a rack. A Robin Williams film for people who don't really like Robin Williams, this edgy adaptation of Saul Bellow's novel sees the star for once submerging his overpowering comic persona inside the demands of the role - and the result is certainly the least mannered, arguably the most effective performance of his screen career to date.

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.
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