'The Adventures of Augie March is the Great American Novel. Search no further' Martin Amis
A penniless and parentless Chicago boy growing up in the Great Depression, Augie March drifts through life latching on to a wild succession of occupations, including butler, thief, dog-washer, sailor and salesman. He is a 'born recruit', easily influenced by others who try to mould his destiny. Not until he tangles with the glamorous Thea, a huntress with a trained eagle, can he attempt to break free. A modern day everyman on an odyssey in search of reality and identity, Augie March is the star of star performer in a richly observed human variety show, a modern-day Columbus in search of reality and fulfilment.
The Adventures of Augie March includes an introduction by Christopher Hitchens in Penguin Modern Classics.
'Funny, poignant, crowded with carnivalesque types and yet narrated by a voice that is lonely and simple, it is Bellow's fat comic masterpiece' Observer
An amazing read, worth all the effort
The monologue approach in the first third, I found hard to get through, but overall Augie is a very rewarding read, I'm tempted to go back immediately and read it again. Probably the one true great American novel.