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Download Herzog Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Herzog, by Saul Bellow Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (7,394 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Saul Bellow Narrator: Malcolm Hillgartner Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Herzog is a man seeking balance, trying to regain a foothold on his life. Thrown out of his ex-wife’s house, Herzog retreats to his abandoned home in a remote village in the Berkshire Mountains. Amid the dust of the disused house, he begins scribbling letters to family, friends, lovers, colleagues, enemies, dead philosophers, ex-presidents—anyone with whom he feels compelled to set the record straight. The letters—which are never sent—are a means to cure himself of the psychic strain of the failures of his life: that of being a bad husband, a loving but poor father, an ungrateful child, a distant brother, an egoist to friends, and an apathetic citizen.

Herzog is primarily a novel of redemption. For all of its innovative techniques and brilliant comedy, it tells one of the oldest of stories. Like The Divine Comedy, it progresses from darkness to light, from ignorance to enlightenment. Today it is still considered one of the greatest literary expressions of postwar America.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A masterpiece.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “The book is a feast of language, situations, characters, ironies, and a controlled moral intelligence that transcends the fact that we are spectators at a hard luck story. Bellow’s rapport with his central character seems to me novel writing in the grand style of a Tolstoi—subjective, complete, heroic…Eventually Moses Herzog becomes as natural an American phenomenon as the faces carved on Mount Rushmore.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • Herzog has the range, depth, intensity, verbal brilliance, and imaginative fullness…of a novel that is unmistakably destined to last.”


  • Herzog is Saul Bellow’s most famous, and perhaps best, novel—and one that translates wonderfully to audio…At first, narrator Malcolm Hillgartner’s voice seems a bit smooth for the character of Herzog, yet his presentation is highly effective. His polished tone complements the manic Herzog’s life and never distracts the listener from the focus—the inner life of an intellectual who is trying to come to grips with his own foibles.”


  • “Bellow’s National Book Award-winning 1964 novel would not seem a good candidate for audio. It is largely an interior monologue in which Moses Herzog, reeling from a divorce, rants about the nature of the universe and composes letters (never to be mailed) to all variety of persons, living and dead (‘My Dear Mr. Nietzsche’). And, yet, thanks to Hillgartner’s nuanced reading, it makes great listening. Extended monologues, after all, are best experienced like music rather than text, the words rolling along in waves of sound, with the meaning following behind. Hillgartner gives us Bellows word waves in sonorous cadences, capturing the different voices of the various individuals Herzog encounters and remembers, as well as bringing flair to the various languages that pop up from time to time (Yiddish and French, mainly). Best of all, though, is his ability to capture Herzog’s emotional intensity as he reviews his life, fires off letters, and, ultimately, finds a kind of peace where he is finally free from sending messages to anyone.”


  • Winner of the 1965 National Book Award for Fiction
  • One of Time Magazine's Best 100 English-Language Novels from 1923–2005

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tony | 2/19/2014

    " Certain novels opened doors of wonder. This is one of them. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Teresa | 2/10/2014

    " Abandoned. I hate to admit defeat. I'll give Bellow another try with a different book, but this one got me. Just coulnd't get past about 150 pages. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Roberta Marro | 2/7/2014

    " A strange, but compelling book. I'm not familiar with Saul Bellow's work, other than this book, but would like to read some more. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Lilas | 1/17/2014

    " Bellow is really into imposing the phallus. I put up with the flaccid intellectualizing until I got to the part where the Japanese lover declares herself aroused by the sight of a flasher's penis. Dammit, Bellow, "Adventures of Augie March" was such a promising start! "

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