Henderson the Rain King

by Saul Bellow

ISBN: 03804271333

Written in 1958, this novel is the tale of an eccentric millionaire’s misadventures in Africa. Henderson is a larger than life type of figure; he is bold, self-obsessed, boozy. Really, he is more of an alcoholic than an eccentric.

Impetuous, vain, and unable to fully think through the possible consequences of his actions, Henderson does things like blow up cistern, destroying a village’s water supply in an effort to kill frogs.

I found the first half of the book funny, the narrative compelling, but in the second half things bogged down, and Henderson became more grating than interesting.

I hadn’t read any Bellow before, and I probably will read more of his work in the future. Bottom line: worth getting from the library.

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