Saul Bellow

Henderson the Rain King

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The most exuberant and funny of all Bellow’s novels, Henderson the Rain King remained the author’s personal favorite. Its outsized hero, Eugene Henderson, a mountain of a man, a millionaire, the father of many, remains adrift. Aggrieved, worn-out, all but defeated he longs to set things straight. Following the promptings of his unforgettable inner voice—“I want, I want, I want”—our hero finds himself in Africa. Henderson makes his way into a mythic sun-baked interior, where among exotic tribes he finds fellow seekers, teachers and soulmates. Whether blowing up a cistern full of frogs or learning to walk without fear among the lions, soulful, zany Henderson intends to burst his “spirit’s sleep.”
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424 printed pages
Original publication

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    julianwilliams3702has quoted2 years ago
    The world may be strange to a child, but he does not fear it the way a man fears. He marvels at it. But the grown man mainly dreads it. And why? Because of death. So he arranges to have himself abducted like a child.
    isabellademorihas quoted3 years ago
    I said to myself, “I knew that this place was of old.” Meaning, I had sensed from the first that I might find things here which were of old, which I saw when I was still innocent and have longed for ever since, for all my life—and without which I could not make it. My spirit was not sleeping then, I can tell you, but was saying, Oh, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho!
    idemorihas quoted3 years ago
    age of fifty-five

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