An essential masterwork by Nobel laureate Saul Bellow Expecting to be inducted into the army during World War II, Joseph has given up his job and carefully prepared for his departure to the battlefront. When a series of mix-ups delays his induction, he finds himself facing a year of idleness. Written in diary format, Bellow's first novel documents Joseph's psychological reaction to his inactivity while war rages around him and his uneasy insights into the nature of freedom and choice.
Dangling Man is very short, to the point that it can be read in
On the other hand, you'd be perfectly justified in saying: "This is the maudlin and pathetic ravings of a man who believes himself to be better than everyone else. We all have those thoughts, but he seems to be unaware that we all have those thoughts; he also seems to be unaware that he's a shitbag."
The narrator, Joseph, is a Canadian, married to an American citizen, and living in Chicago. Because of his citizenship, his
At first, it seemed to be about alienation. He's an alien, and that status initially prompts rejection by the army. People endeavor to commiserate, and they offer suggestions and even financial assistance, which he chooses to view as insults. His reactions to people mystifies them and, pushed a little more, angers them. More alienation. But it's really about his indecision, his reluctance to commit himself one way or another. Contrarian.
But it's a short book.