Saul Bellow, 'Humboldt's Gift,' published by The Viking Press, 1975.
Humboldt's Gift is a 487 page hardcover measuring 9 1/4" x 6". The dust jacket has some minor chipping to the top edge. Inside, there is foxing present to the outer upper page edges. The pages are clean and unmarked.
For many years, Von Humboldt Fleisher and Charles Citrine were the best of friends--Humboldt a grand erratic figure, a great poet; Charlie a young man of frenzied and noble longings, straight out of the Middle West, his heart inflamed with literature. But by the 1970s Humboldt has died a failure in New York and Charlie's success-ridden life in Chicago has taken various turns for the worse when Humboldt acts from the grave to change Charlie's life. He has left Charlie something in his will. Charlie comes into a legacy.
Now Charlie is middle-aged and a bit shaky and it's high time that his life came to something. His days are cluttered with comic absurdities and his destiny seems obscured. Himself a thinker, he longs to come from left field and knock them all dead, to make intellectuals as clearly superfluous as they seem to him to be. But his ex-wife has him enmeshed in law suits; he is held in thrall by the young sexually beguiling but expensive Renata; he has fallen into the hands of a neurotic mafioso called Rinaldo Cantabile; and his career seems to have ground to a halt.
How the gentle but resilient Charlie comes to know what he must do and how he triumphs over his ever more ridiculous tribulations is the great discovery of Humboldt's Gift.