Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Actual

Well I have mixed feelings about The Actual.  I sort of felt like I kept waiting for the story to start, and then it was suddenly over.  It wasn’t that it’s a short book so much as the characters never really came into their own for me, and at the same time, the plot never really took off.  So, for me the whole novella read like the beginning of a novel, except I would need to read the rest to know how I feel about it.  I do think there was some good writing here, and good ideas as well.  I love the descriptions of Chicago, and Bellow is clearly someone who can capture Chicago.  I also like the idea of regret in this book, the idea of being haunted by missed opportunity in particular is an interesting exploration.  All in all, this book has be curious to read more Bellow and compare, so overall I think I’d give it a thumbs-up.   However, I thought the ending was silly.

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