Ravelstein Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Ravelstein

Literature professor and narrator Chick talks about the life and obsessions of his good friend Abe Ravelstein, a colleague at the Chicago university where both of them have taught. Chick's marriage to a fascinating, beautiful, but distant physics professor from Eastern Europe is unraveling, while Ravelstein, a closeted gay with a devoted Chinese companion, enjoys the pleasures of money after writing a bestselling book at Chick's urging. Many powerful men in government have been Ravelstein's students, and they keep in touch with him, sharing ideas and gossip. This 2000 novel is apparently a thinly-veiled portrait, almost a memoir, of Bellow's good friend Alan Bloom, author of _The Closing of the American Mind_. It doesn't have a lot of forward plot movement, and may seem a bit aimless and gossipy, but there's a lot of fine writing and wisdom in it.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of Ravelstein

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Life of a profession:    -   teacher Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   nature of existence (heavy philosophy) Kind of sex:    -   two guys doing it Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Job/Profession/Status story    -   Yes Taboo sex story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   teacher Age:    -   60's-90's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Jewish


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   2 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest City?    -   Yes City:    -   wealthy    -   Chicago Misc setting    -   resort/hotel

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Saul Bellow Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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