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Download Humboldt’s Gift Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Humboldt’s Gift, 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 (3,408 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Saul Bellow Narrator: Christopher Hurt Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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For years, they were the best of friends: Humboldt, a grand, erratic figure, and Charlie, a young man of frenzied and noble longings. But by the 1970s, Humboldt has died a failure, and Charlie’s success-ridden life has taken various turns for the worse. Then Humboldt acts from the grave to change Charlie’s life by leaving him something in his will.

Now Charlie is middle-aged and his days are cluttered with comic absurdities. A thinker, he longs to come from left field and knock them all dead. But his ex-wife has him enmeshed in lawsuits; he is held in thrall by a sexually-beguiling but unsuitable young woman; he has fallen into the hands of a neurotic mafioso; and his career seems to have ground to a halt. How the gentle but resilient Charlie comes to know how to triumph over his ever more ridiculous tribulations is the great discovery of Humboldt’s Gift.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A crazy mess of a novel and an abiding testament to the vital exuberance of Saul Bellow’s genius…Life bursts from the page.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Sharp, erudite, beautifully measured…[Bellow] is one of the most gifted chroniclers of the Western world.”

    Times (London)

  • “Bellow at his best…funny, vibrant, ironic, self-mocking, and wise, a thoroughly delightful novel on every score.”

    San Francisco Examiner

  • “This production is exceedingly well narrated by Christopher Hurt, whose narrator’s voice conveys the various moods of the main character, Charles Citrine, an aging Lothario, battling the aging process and his writer’s block.”


  • “[Hurt’s] expression and inflection and his congenial voice make this book easy to listen to.”


  • “Energized chaos…The novel sprawls in picaresque fashion.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Christopher Hurt’s reading of Humboldt’s Gift is close to perfection, and he deserves an award for his splendid performance. Listening to this recorded book enhances our appreciation of this masterpiece.”

    Allan Chavkin, Southwest Texas State University

  • Winner of the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 1976 National Book Award Finalist
  • A 1975 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Matt Dietrich | 2/8/2014

    " Chicago is as much the protagonist of this story as is Saul Bellow's semi-autobiographical narrator, a successful writer whose multiple marriages are slowly depleting the trappings of his success. A great introduction to Bellow's work, "Humboldt's Gift" will have extra appeal for those with Chicago roots, who will appreciate his presentation of that city circa the early 1970s. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Rianna | 2/5/2014

    " eh, it was ok. Yada yada, life sucks sometimes and all that, uh huh. It evoked my frustration at the main character so I guess it deserves something for that. However several times I fell asleep reading it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Justin | 2/2/2014

    " The main character is from Appleton, Wisconsin. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Roxanne Russell | 1/20/2014

    " I enjoyed this story the same way I enjoy Dave Eggers- the absurdity of the narrator is both entertaining and my inner monologue familiar. The narrator is a Pulitzer Prize winner plus and his mentor is a manic depressive poet. The plot covers only a short period of contemporary time but relies on much reflection to times with the poet Humboldt in the past. A debt-ridden, business dealing, easy target for rip-off artists, Charles Citrine ponders his way through some strange and self-inflicted tortures. A very interesting character and great read. "

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