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Ranking Author Saul Bellow’s Best Books (A Bibliography Countdown)

“What are Saul Bellow’s Best Books?” We looked at all of Bellow’s authored bibliography and ranked them against one another to answer that very question!

We took all of the books written by Saul Bellow and looked at their Goodreads, Amazon, and LibraryThing scores, ranking them against one another to see which books came out on top. The books are ranked in our list below based on which titles have the highest overall score between all 3 review sites in comparison with all of the other books by the same author. The process isn’t super scientific and in reality, most books aren’t “better” than other books as much as they are just different. That being said, we do enjoy seeing where our favorites landed, and if you aren’t familiar with the author at all, the rankings can help you see what books might be best to start with.

The full ranking chart is also included below the countdown on the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



The Top Book’s Of Saul Bellow



24 ) A Theft

 A Theft

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 23
  • Amazon: 23
  • LibraryThing: 22



23 ) Dangling Man

 Dangling Man

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 19
  • Amazon: 22
  • LibraryThing: 18

Expecting to be inducted into the army, 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. 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.



22 ) The Actual

 The Actual

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 22
  • Amazon: 15
  • LibraryThing: 20



21 ) The Bellarosa Connection

 The Bellarosa Connection

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 21
  • Amazon: 8
  • LibraryThing: 23



19 ) Victim

 Victim

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 20
  • Amazon: 12
  • LibraryThing: 17

Bellow’s second novel charts the descent into paranoia of Asa Leventhal, sub-editor of a trade magazine. With his wife away visiting her mother, Asa is alone, but not for long. His sister-in-law summons him to Staten Island to help with his sick nephew.



19 ) The Last Analysis

 The Last Analysis

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 24
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 24



18 ) Ravelstein

 Ravelstein

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 14
  • Amazon: 20
  • LibraryThing: 14

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Saul Bellow confined himself to shorter fictions. Not that this old master ever dabbled in minimalism: novellas such as The Actual and The Bellarosa Connection are bursting at the seams with wit, plot, and the intellectual equivalent of high fiber. Still, Bellow’s readers wondered if he would ever pull another full-sized novel from his hat. With Ravelstein, the author has done just that–and he proves that even in his ninth decade, he can pin a character to the page more vividly, and more permanently, than just about anybody on the planet. Character is very much the issue in Ravelstein, whose eponymous subject is a thinly disguised version of Bellow’s boon companion, the late Allan Bloom.



17 ) The Dean’s December

 The Dean's December

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 15
  • Amazon: 15
  • LibraryThing: 13



14 ) It All Adds Up

 It All Adds Up

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 10
  • Amazon: 24
  • LibraryThing: 8



14 ) Seize the Day

 Seize the Day

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 15
  • Amazon: 15
  • LibraryThing: 12

Deftly interweaving humor and pathos, Saul Bellow evokes in the climactic events of one day the full drama of one man’s search to affirm his own worth and humanity.



14 ) To Jerusalem and Back

 To Jerusalem and Back

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 17
  • Amazon: 6
  • LibraryThing: 19



13 ) More Die Of Heartbreak

 More Die Of Heartbreak

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 9
  • Amazon: 12
  • LibraryThing: 14

This is a humorous story of a man who leaves his native Paris to live in the USA with his uncle who has numerous romantic involvements.



11 ) Something To Remember Me By

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 12
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 21



11 ) Mosby’s Memoirs

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 17
  • Amazon: 6
  • LibraryThing: 11

In six dark tales Saul Bellow presents the human experience in all its presposterousness, poignancy and pathos.



10 ) Him With His Foot In His Mouth

 Him With His Foot In His Mouth

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 13
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 16



8 ) Herzog

 Herzog

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 8
  • Amazon: 15
  • LibraryThing: 9

A novel complex, compelling, absurd and realistic, Herzog became a classic almost as soon as it was published in 1964. In it Saul Bellow tells the tale of Moses E. Herzog, a tragically confused intellectual who suffers from the breakup of his second marriage, the general failure of his life and the specter of growing up Jewish in the middle part of the 20th century. He responds to his personal crisis by sending out a series of letters to all kinds of people. The letters in total constitute a thoughtful examination of his own life and that which has occurred around him. What emerges is not always pretty, but serves as gritty foundation for this absorbing novel.



8 ) Mr Sammler’s Planet

 Mr Sammler's Planet

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 10
  • Amazon: 15
  • LibraryThing: 7

Mr. Artur Sammler, Holocaust survivor, intellectual, and occasional lecturer at Columbia University in 1960s New York City, is a “registrar of madness,” a refined and civilized being caught among people crazy with the promises of the future (moon landings, endless possibilities



7 ) Henderson and The Rain King

 Henderson and The Rain King

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 7
  • Amazon: 12
  • LibraryThing: 9



6 ) There Is Simply Too Much To Think About

 There Is Simply Too Much To Think About

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 2
  • Amazon: 20
  • LibraryThing: 1

A sweeping collection and a tribute to one of the most influential, daring, and visionary minds of the twentieth century The year 2015 marks several literary milestones: the centennial of Saul Bellow’s birth, the tenth anniversary of his death, and the publication of Zachary Leader’s much anticipated biography. Bellow, a Nobel Laureate, Pulitzer Prize winner, and the only novelist to receive three National Book awards, has long been regarded as one of America’s most cherished authors. Here, Benjamin Taylor, editor of the acclaimed Saul Bellow: Letters, presents lesser-known aspects of the iconic writer. Arranged chronologically, this literary time capsule displays the full extent of Bellow’s nonfiction, including criticism, interviews, speeches, and other reflections, tracing his career from his initial success as a novelist until the end of his life.



4 ) Humboldt’s Gift

 Humboldt's Gift

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 4
  • Amazon: 10
  • LibraryThing: 6



4 ) The Adventures Of Augie March

 The Adventures Of Augie March

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 11
  • LibraryThing: 4

As soon as it first appeared in 1953, this gem by the great Saul Bellow was hailed as an American classic. Bold, expansive, and keenly humorous, The Adventures of Augie March blends street language with literary elegance to tell the story of a poor Chicago boy growing up during the Great Depression. A “born recruit,” Augie makes himself available for hire by plungers, schemers, risk takers, and operators, compiling a record of choices that is-to say the least- eccentric.



3 ) Great Jewish Short Stories

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 6
  • Amazon: 8
  • LibraryThing: 5



2 ) Collected Stories

 Collected Stories

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 3
  • Amazon: 5
  • LibraryThing: 3

Saul Bellow’s Collected Stories, handpicked by the author, display the depth of character and acumen of the Nobel laureate’s narrative powers. While he has garnered acclaim as a novelist, Bellow’s shorter works prove equally strong.



1 ) Bellow

 Bellow

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 1
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 2



Saul Bellow’s Best Books



Saul Bellow Review Website Bibliography Rankings

BookGoodreadsAmazonLibraryThingOveral Rank
Bellow 1 1 2 1
Collected Stories 3 5 3 2
Great Jewish Short Stories 6 8 5 3
Humboldt’s Gift 4 10 6 4
The Adventures Of Augie March 5 11 4 4
There Is Simply Too Much To Think About 2 20 1 6
Henderson and The Rain King 7 12 9 7
Herzog 8 15 9 8
Mr Sammler’s Planet 10 15 7 8
Him With His Foot In His Mouth 13 4 16 10
Something To Remember Me By 12 1 21 11
Mosby’s Memoirs 17 6 11 11
More Die Of Heartbreak 9 12 14 13
It All Adds Up 10 24 8 14
Seize the Day 15 15 12 14
To Jerusalem and Back 17 6 19 14
The Dean’s December 15 15 13 17
Ravelstein 14 20 14 18
Victim 20 12 17 19
The Last Analysis 24 1 24 19
The Bellarosa Connection 21 8 23 21
The Actual 22 15 20 22
Dangling Man 19 22 18 23
A Theft 23 23 22 24

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