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A Sort of Columbus: The American Voyages of Saul Bellow's Fiction. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1984. Clayton, John Jacob. Saul Bellow: In Defense of Man. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1968. Cohen, Sarah Blacher. Saul Bellow's Enigmatic Laughter. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1974. Cronin, Gloria L. A Room of His Own: In Search of the Feminine in the Novels of Saul Bellow. : Syracuse University Press, 2000. , and L. H. Goldman, eds. Saul Bellow in the 1980s: A Collection of Critical Essays.

It provides a powerful sense of resolution to issues that have been present in Bellow's major fiction for more than fifty years, such as the nature of friendship, the power of memory, the connection between philosophy and life, and perhaps most importantly, the possibility that connections with others can produce genuine spiritual meaning. The philosophy of erotic desire that Bellow articulates in Ravelstein provides a vocabulary to explain Henderson's constant cries of "I want, I want" and to interpret the inarticulate sobbing at the end of both Seize the Day and A Theft.

Like Herzog, Mr. Sammler's Planet is a critique of many of the ideas at the heart of modern thought. For Herzog, though, the ideas had simply been confusing; for Mr. Sammler, they have become dangerous. Bellow's loose narrative structure allows him to turn parts of Mr. Sammler's Planet into long essays in which he marshals his arguments not only against the sexual and cultural turmoil of the sixties but also against Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, and even his Committee on Social Thought colleague Hannah Arendt, whose book Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963) had infuriated Bellow by suggesting that the Holocaust could be blamed largely on the banal bureaucratic efficiency of ordinary Germans rather than the exceptional human evil of Hitler and other Nazi leaders.

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