The actual

Front Cover
Penguin, 1998 - Fiction - 103 pages
6 Reviews
"Another gem to savor from America's greatest living novelist. Love was never more tenderly celebrated than it is in The Actual, the ultimate springtime story". -- San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

In this wise and dazzling work of fiction, Nobel laureate Saul Bellow writes comically and tragically about the tenacity of first love. The story behind The Actual belongs to Harry Trellman, an aging, astute businessman who has never belonged anywhere: not in the Chicago orphanage where he was sent by his mother, not in high school (too brainy), not even on the streets, where his vaguely Asian features set him apart from the rest of the pack. As for human attachments, they are like everything else in his life, singular and irregular. But Harry has always been a keen observer -- a trait not unnoticed by billionaire Sigmund Adletsky, who retains Harry as his adviser on human affairs. The two men discuss ordinary things, but the older man is also sharp enough to realize that, behind his stoic mask, Harry harbors some intense feelings for a certain woman. That woman -- the object of some forty years' passion -- is Amy Wustrin, a twice-divorced interior designer who's walked through her share of life's ups and downs. Thanks to Sigmund, she walks unexpectedly into Harry's life. And this time he's not about to let her go.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
0
4 stars
3
3 stars
2
2 stars
0
1 star
1

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BookConcierge - LibraryThing

Harry Trellman is a man who just doesn’t belong. Raised in an orphanage (despite having two living parents), and possessed with an impassive face, he lives on the edge of society. Yes, he’s successful ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Krumbs - LibraryThing

Ok, I tried. This novella is only about 100 pages long, but I got 10 pages in and I'm just not in any way interested. He's not Chinese, but he sort of looks like he's Chinese, so he goes to China for ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1998)

Saul Bellow won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel HUMBOLDTa (TM)S GIFT in 1975, and in 1976 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature a ~for the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work.a (TM) He is the only novelist to receive three National Book Awards, for THE ADVENTURES OF AUGIE MARCH, HERZOG, and MR. SAMMLERa (TM)S PLANET

Bibliographic information