Him with His Foot in His Mouth

Him with His Foot in His Mouth Him with His Foot in His Mouth was the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature The story takes the form of a discursive apologia by an ageing musicologist

  • Title: Him with His Foot in His Mouth
  • Author: Saul Bellow
  • ISBN: 9780141195742
  • Page: 365
  • Format: Paperback
  • Him with His Foot in His Mouth was the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature The story takes the form of a discursive apologia by an ageing musicologist.

    One thought on “Him with His Foot in His Mouth”

    1. نصفه رهاش کردم. واقعا نویسنده اسم به جایی برای کتابش انتخاب کرده. آدم مدام دلش می‌خواست به راوی بگه ببین، واقعا دیگه وقتشه ساکت شی :)))

    2. I read perhaps only the title story and one other, so my reading and review are notably incomplete--if not irrelevant. I found the title story well within the achivement I grant Bellow, as the best fiction writer of his and my time, with Updike a close second (but only in a couple novels, like Rabbit at Rest).On the whole, Bellow breaches the common recurrence of fine writers' being better at short stories than novels: Flannery O'Connor, maybe Joyce, maybe VS Naipaul, etc. Bellow doesn't seem to [...]

    3. Though I recognize that Bellow is a unique voice and found myself interested in his writing style and quirky way of describing people, places, and situations, I had to put this book away at page 172 because I simply couldn't stand it anymore. First of all, I didn't like any of the characters and I wasn't sure that the author liked them either. Secondly, I am allergic to New Yorker-type stories that position the reader as a voyeur as he or she hears about the lives of people more accomplished/ric [...]

    4. Coaxing the reader with the loosest of epistolary forms, and hiding behind the facade of an apology to a long-distant colleague, Saul Bellow's novella is in actuality a biography of Dr Shawmutt, successful academic, musician, husband, but, above all, expert in the cutting put down. Ranging far and wide over topics including ageing, Americanism, philosophy, families, Jewishness, and Ginsberg, again and again, Ginsberg, it serves as a fast-paced jaunt over the terrain late twentieth century, and c [...]

    5. Him With His Foot in His Mouth is an epistolary tale of a man who despises hypocrisy and always tells truth while to tell the truth in the modern civilized society is a mauvais ton.“I have from time to time remembered that I long ago made a bad joke at your expense and have felt uneasy about it, but it was spelled out to me recently that what I said to you was so wicked, so lousy, gross, insulting, unfeeling, and savage that you could never in a thousand years get over it. I wounded you for li [...]

    6. Culpa e auto-comiseração - as duas forças opostas da vida judaico-cristã, são tudo o que sobra dele, o que mete o pé na boca. Não faltam, no texto falsamente epistolar, referências curiosas - como o Kaddish do Allan Ginsberg. Aliás, há um quê de Kaddish, de testamento moral, nessa carta que é um longo pedido de desculpas dirigido a uma bibliotecária, bestamente ofendida pelo narrador. E o narrador-personagem de fato mete o pé na boca - não com a graça de quem o faz sem querer (co [...]

    7. I am a 45-year-old man and I don't have to continue reading something I lost interest in a long time ago. Note that the title of the book mentions stories, but doesn't say they're SHORT stories; that's good, because there are only 5 stories in a book of about 300 pages. And each story, as long as it is, feels like it goes on even further because of Bellow's tendency to get sidetracked, and get sidetracked from the sidetrack. I swear, the title of the first story should have been "But I Digress". [...]

    8. This was another of my discoveries during our trip to Puerto Rico.My plan was to pick a book that was on our little hotel bookshelf- used second-hand books- mostly paperbacks. This one was falling apart. I picked it on our last day there. I liked it so much I asked the hotel if I could keep it and they gladly said yes. I read several stories and they were all brilliant, original, strong and fascinating in detail. I have not read Bellow in a long time. so this was a really wonderful re-discovery [...]

    9. Some of the stories are really cool and interesting. Full of juicy situations and amazing characters whilst others are utterly boring. But on the whole "Him with his foot in his mouth" is a good reading.

    10. Saul Bellow. Him With His Foot In His Mouth and Other Stories. 1984.[return][return]More than any other novelist of our time, Saul Bellow has been aware of the event that Jacques Derrida has called “the rupture.” And more than any other novelist, Bellow has crafted rich and strange mimetic confrontations with the chaos of the external, visual world, with the internal chaos it manifests. In his new collection Him With His Foot In His Mouth and Other Stories, Bellow demonstrates again his abil [...]

    11. I liked the first story, but the second story was just downright irritating. It was about a woman who chose to be a doormat in exchange for hanging with a "celebrity". It went on and on, and when I realized I was only halfway through it and that it comprised the majority of the book, I said "the hell with it!" I am quite sure Saul Bellow hasn't a clue how to write about women or from a woman's standpoint. It was all one voice throughout (Victor's, even though it as the woman reminiscing; but may [...]

    12. Fabulous! Saul Bellow is one of those rare writers who can take the mundane and through sheer strength of prose elevate it to the sublime. Here we are treated to all the usual highlights - profound, multifaceted characters rendered expertly, smart commentary on the human existence, and beautiful writing, climaxing in one of the greatest sentences I have ever read: "I am a great fish who can grant wishes and in whom there are colossal powers."Nobel prizes in literature are not always given to the [...]

    13. Old age (and I mean about-to-meet-your-maker-old here) is probably that stage in life where we return to how we first came into this world: stripped of pride, delusions, pretence, with the freedom to do anything your limited bodily functions would allow without harsh judgement from the world. If you're lucky, you retain your memories and the ability to express yourself beyond mere gestures and baby cries. This was where the titular character, Professor Shawmut, stood; except that his candor had [...]

    14. 10. WHAT KIND OF DAY DID YOU HAVE? (1984). Saul Bellow. ****.(This novella appears in the collection, "Him With His Foot in His Mouth and Other Stories.)Talk about a bad day! Katrina, a middle-aged suburban housewife, has just gotten a call from her boyfriend. He is in Buffalo where he is giving a lecture, and wants her to fly out to meet him for dinner and then fly back with her to Chicago when they are done. This boyfriend is an older academic and, in general, is an intellectual piece of work. [...]

    15. جايى توى ٨٠ سالگى تون گوشه اى بشينيد و نگاهى به زندگى تون بندازين و متوجّه بشين جايى از زندگى تون فردى وجود داره كه بدون دليل آزارش دادين و براش نامه بنويسيد. خلاصه ى «وقتشه ساكت شى» در يك جمله همين ه و اين ه كه غم انگيزش مى كن ه. اين كه سال ها زندگى مى كنيم و با مشكلات و اتفاقات مت [...]

    16. Memorable Quotes “ the life to come we will feel the pains that we inflicted on others. We will suffer all that we made them suffer, for after death all experience is reversed.”“If I am to believe Walish, you have trembled from that day onward like a flame on a middle-class altar of undeserved humiliation. One of the insulted and injured.”“Human beings can lose their lives in libraries. They ought to be warned.”“Miss Rose never was pretty, not even what the French call une belle la [...]

    17. I acquired this as part of the Penguin Mini Modern Classics 50-volume box set. Sadly as I write this I can see that this out of print box set is only now available via at a huge prize so don’t bother looking for it, but do watch out for future similar efforts by Penguin.It is a great way of pushing you to read outside one’s comfort zone as you feel obliged to read them all as you have bought them and their small size means they take hardly any time to read. This is the first Saul Bellow tex [...]

    18. A collection of five short stories which were engaging, but ended quite abruptly in two or three cases. All involved older Jewish intellectuals living rather melancholy lives, some because of declining health, others because of the fatique from the demands of their success. Most of these stories were engaging enough for me to want them to not end, but then similar stories at novel length are readily available in others of Bellow's numerous books. This anthology was added to my list after reading [...]

    19. I only made it 200 pages into this book, making it the first book I've willingly given up on since Wuthering Heights. Maybe I just let the ridiculous and sleazy author photo on the back jacket take over for each of the male protagonists, but I just wasn't impressed by the desperate intellectualism of the stories I read. Normally I'm a sucker for obsessive and neurotic characters, but these ones didn't really interest me. I know Saul Bellow is important, and I should probably have picked somethin [...]

    20. His writing is mostly impeccable, but I didn't care so much for his choice of subjects in this book. I'm not familiar with Bellows' work, but these stories are obsessed with analyzing (and occasionally over analyzing) the thoughts and feelings of intellectual and financial elites. It is by far most effective when one of these types actually gets down into the muck, be they a divorced Midwestern housewife or the cousin of a wannabe mobster, that this collection of stories really finds something c [...]

    21. "And listen here, I am not digressing at all."I have no idea who Saul Bellow is, but after reading this collection of five stories (novels and novellas, as the shortest is some twenty pages and the longest a hundred in length), I think I've read enough of him to last a lifetime. I liked the last three stories much more than the first two; perhaps they actually were better or I just got used to the digressing, flow-of-though, sidetracking style.

    22. Bellow's "Collected Stories" is a better buy, since it includes all five of the stories here and a bunch more, for the same sticker price. Still, somehow I ended up with this volume. The one I keep going back to is "A Silver Dish," which I've read about four times now and appreciate more every time. It's about the death of a parent, and it's full of long, lyrical passages that just make your heart ache. Required reading.

    23. Some of Bellow's finest short stories are in this short collection, including "The Silver Dish" and "What Kind of Day Did you Have?" Written between '74 and '84, Bellow's at the tail-end of his finest period with these, the earlier pieces having much of the enthusiasm and vernacular playfulness of his late-sixties novels.

    24. this was bumped from three stars to four by the last page - overall I was not taken in immensely by the title character, but he reports a really beautiful bit of theological insight at the very end which I found justified the whole novella. I definitely liked the writing enough to want to read more by Saul Bellow.

    25. Five finely written stories of mostly Jewish-American life in the second half of the 20th century. The longest, "What kind of day did you have?", is also the most memorable, even if slightly implausible. An old man's book?

    26. When this book of amazing stories came out in the late spring of 1984 it signaled the start of Bellow's second flowering, which continued right up until his last book, the magnificent, Ravelstein.

    27. Saul Bellow is an amazing writer. There is so much in his stories, so much wit, so many great turns of phrases. I laugh out loud. I thought the last story, "Cousins," was my favourite. Each one of the five stories in this set are really good. Loved it!

    28. Most exciting book ever! Intelligent, honest, not unemotional. I thought I saw him on the T once, and got really excited. I later found out he passed away in 2005, and got super sad. I'm looking forward to reading his other work.

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