Abe Ravelstein - ferocious intellectual, bestselling author, confidant of presidents and prime minister and possessor of tastes 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.