Abe Ravelstein - ferocious intellectual, bestselling author, confident of presidents and prime ministers and possessor of tastes that would bankrupt a king - is celebrating his success in Paris. He and his friend Chick trawl the Parisian streets in search of haute couture, fine foods and fresh arguments. But Ravelstein is dying and, in challenging Chick to record his life, he sets in motion their last great debate. A tale of philosophy, love, friendship, ancient Greek recipes, mortality, vaudeville routines and $4,500 suits ensues as the two old rogues come to scrutinize their very existence. Saul Bellow's first novel for 13 years is an insightful, brave and funny funeral song to friendship and life.