Who is Mr. Sammler? A Jewish intellectual educated in Western philosophy, a one-eyed Holocaust survivor, the future author of the greatest biography ever written of H.G. Wells ... or merely the trusted confidant of countless eccentric New Yorkers, a "e;registrar of follies"e;? Through the chaotic streets of the Upper West Side old Artur Sammler paces, meditating on the human condition; attentive to everything and appalled by nothing; haunted by his past, present, and future. His world seems on the brink of apocalypse; both the recent moon landing and the death of his beloved benefactor have him furiously speculating on the end. With his inimitable tragicomic mastery Saul Bellow delves once again, and the reader with him, into a contemporary and chaotic universe in which the most profound reflections on the meaning of life mingle with the absurd, histrionic, endless minutiae of the every day.