Read The Human Comedy by William Saroyan Online


Now the major motion picture Ithaca, directed by and starring Meg Ryan--with a cast that includes Sam Shepard, Hamish Linklater, Alex Neustaedter, Jack Quaid, and Tom HanksThe place is Ithaca, in California's San Joaquin Valley. The time is World War II. The family is the Macauley's--a mother, sister, and three brothers whose struggles and dreams reflect those of America'Now the major motion picture Ithaca, directed by and starring Meg Ryan--with a cast that includes Sam Shepard, Hamish Linklater, Alex Neustaedter, Jack Quaid, and Tom HanksThe place is Ithaca, in California's San Joaquin Valley. The time is World War II. The family is the Macauley's--a mother, sister, and three brothers whose struggles and dreams reflect those of America's second-generation immigrants...In particular, fourteen-year-old Homer, determined to become one of the fastest telegraph messengers in the West, finds himself caught between reality and illusion as delivering his messages of wartime death, love, and money brings him face-to-face with human emotion at its most naked and raw.Gentle, poignant and richly autobiographical, this delightful novel shows us the boy becoming the man in a world that even in the midst of war, appears sweeter, safer and more livable than out own....

Title : The Human Comedy
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780440339335
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 192 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Human Comedy Reviews

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-06-22 09:10

    The Human Comedy, William Saroyanعنوانها: کمدی انسانی؛ پیک مرگ و زندگی؛ نویسنده: ویلیام سارویان (سارایان)؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و چهارم ماه سپتامبر سال 1973 میلادیعنوان: کمدی انسانی، یا، پیک مرگ و زندگی؛ نویسنده: ویلیام سارویان (سارایان)؛ مترجم: سیمین دانشور؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، ابن سینا، کتابخانه دانش، انتشارات فرانکلین؛ 1333، در 320 ص، مصور، چاپ دیگر: تهران، خوارزمی، 1357؛ در 262 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، خوارزمی، 1380؛ در 291 ص، شابک: 9644810484؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، علمی فرهنگی، در 247 ص، شابک: 9786004363754؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی قرن 20 مداستان، زندگی یک خانواده ی فقیر امریکائی ست که با شرکت کردن تنها نان آور خانواده در جنگ، وضع زندگی آنها بدتر میشود. کمدی انسانی، هم برای بچه ها و هم برای بزرگترها ست. انساندوستی و همدردی، قابل تحسین است؛ و نویسنده از زبان شخصیتهای داستان، آرزو میکند: «که این دنیا پس از جنگ، دنیای بهتری شود».؛ ا. شربیانی

  • K.D. Absolutely
    2019-06-23 09:24

    The place is Ithaca, a fictional small town in California's San Joaquin Valley. The year is 1943 and World War II is on-going. The Macauley family, just like any other families, is taking the brunt of war: the father is dead, the eldest son Marcus is in the war front, the mother is working in a factory, the daughter has left the school and is looking for work, the 14-y/o Homer has taken the job as a telegraph messenger to help support the family including his younger brother, the 4-y/o Ulysses.This children's book is semi-autobiographical. I've read several children's book and this is the first one that is mostly based on real experiences of the author. William Saroyan (1908-1981) was an Armenian American dramatist and writer. Ithaca was actually Fresno, California where his parents settled upon arriving from Turkey (under Ottoman Empire). Saroyan was born in Fresno but when he and his sister lost their father when Saroyan was only 3 years old, they were placed in an orphanage in Oakland, California. Years later, when their mother Tahooki got a job in a canning factory, she got them back they were all reunited in Fresno. Saroyan dedicated this book to his mother.This 192-page book is divided into 39 anecdotal short stories told from the points of view of the family members. Since they are based on actual events, they are very engaging and interesting. Three years ago, prior to my reading of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, the image of the USA in my mind was all milk and honey. It was a shock to learn that there was a part of the American history when people experienced starvation and hopelessness. I am talking about the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression of 1939, etc. Here, in this book The Human Comedy, the setting is still California. While the Macauley family is not as poor as the Joads, they belong to the second generation of poor illiterate immigrants from Europe so they struggle to make ends meet especially because of the on-going war.Since this is a children's book, the language used is direct and simple, i.e., devoid of big words. The sentences are short and crisp. The stories are very insightful with most of them having either a moral lesson in the end or will leave something with you to ponder on. The example of the thought to ponder is the image of a black man waving at the 4-y/o Ulysses. Saroyan says that the image will be something that the small boy will remember forever. I wonder why: was it because California at the time was mostly composed of white people and a black man riding on a train waving at a 4-y/o white child was a rare event? Coming from an a non-American (I am an Asian), I am just curious.Even if the book is composed of short stories, the plot is still complete and tight. I was engaged through and through and my jaw literally dropped in the end because of the twist. Very adept storytelling. Again, another proof that we should not discount children's books since they can still be interesting for us adults. This book has a bit of history and a bunch of lessons on how to be a good human being even if it says comedy in the title.

  • Lauren G
    2019-05-26 09:14

    i have just reread this beautiful little masterpiece and fell in love with saroyan and this book all over again. i am now going to pick up his short stories and marvel at those. i say, do this now. you can read it in a weekend. short, sweet, tidy, and beautiful, it is a lovely novel which touches the heart and soul without being sappy, overly sentimental or unrealistic. it takes place in the fictional 'ithaca' which, if you note by the mention of Roeding Park or Gottschalks, is actually Fresno, California.

  • Oscar
    2019-05-26 15:08

    Leyendo este libro he sentido simple y pura felicidad. Hacía mucho tiempo que no tenía este sentimiento leyendo un libro. Mientras lo leía me parecía estar dentro de una de esas viejas películas de Frank Capra. Hay que tener en cuenta que 'La comedia humana' es una novela escrita a principios de los 40, en plena Guerra Mundial, y eso se nota. Lo que me ha recordado a Capra han sido los personajes, su manera de pensar y de sentir, su bondad. Y es que esta novela me ha hecho reconciliarme con el género humano, en que podemos ser mejores de lo que somos. Se trata de un libro vivo, triste, feliz y maravilloso.La historia transcurre en Ithaca, un pequeño pueblo californiano, y dos de los protagonistas se llaman Homer y Ulysses, como no podía ser menos. Se puede decir que hay un protagonista principal, Homer, aunque la novela es más bien coral, en donde vamos conociendo a algunos de los habitantes de este pueblo. Homer es un joven de 14 años que estudia de día y por la tarde trabaja como mensajero en la compañía de telégrafos. A veces ha de entregar telegramas en los que se comunica la muerte de algún soldado, y ésto lo deja cada vez más triste. Pero no puede dejar este trabajo porque necesita el dinero para su familia, ya que su hermano Marcus está en el frente y su padre falleció. También le gusta el trabajo, así como su jefe, el señor Spangler, y el telegrafista, el viejo señor Groggan. Estos dos personajes son maravillosos. Otro personaje entrañable es Ulysses, su hermano pequeño, un niño que siente curiosidad por todo y que nos ofrece algunos momentos memorables. Toda la novela está plagada de grandes personajes. Otra cosa a reseñar es que Saroyan no permanece ajeno al absurdo de las guerras y lo deja bien claro con su historia.Al igual que ya no se ruedan películas como las de antes, tampoco se escriben libros con los de antes, como éste.

  • Chrissie
    2019-06-16 08:27

    I like this book so much because it wonderfully portrays how life is a battle for young and old and the in-between, for all of us. The characters in the book are each fighting different battles, from the youngest of only four caught in a trap, losing a father, missing a brother and confused by the general state of the world around him, to an elderly telegrapher who cannot bear the consequences of war in his hometown (Ithaca, San Joaquin Valley, California) or for that matter the general state of the world, war 1942. Neither understands the incomprehensibility of life. Each battle is as important as the other. I saw and understood ALL the characters’ personal battles. Some die. Some falter. Some are strong. Just as in real life. In this book you see everyone’s battle, and I liked that very much. The common battle, that which the characters and we are all fighting, is our attempt to make sense of the craziness of the world we live in. Look at the title: The Human Comedy! We struggle; we try to reach understanding of a world that is not understandable. It is this that is the human comedy. There is a lot in this story that probably would not happen; for this reason alone I shouldn’t like it as much as I do.Faith is an integral part of the story. I would love to have faith, but I don’t. This could have been a stumbling block for my appreciation of the story, but because faith is not shoved upon the reader it is not a problem either. I loved that each individual’s battle felt real, vital and worthy of battle. A four-year- old’s, a fourteen-year-old’s, a half-wit’s, a soldier’s, the town’s ancient history teacher’s. I saw kindness, and I saw meanness.The audiobook narration is by Meg Ryan. I discovered that this story has just this month, September 2016, come out as a new film entitled Ithaca . Meg Ryan both directs and acts in the film. Her diverse intonations did not work for me, but she is easy to follow. The audiobook narration is not bad. I have read that the novel has autobiographical content, but I don’t know more than that. Neither do I understand what the author was trying to say by taking names and places from Homer’s Odyssey. Is it the draw of home? But what is “home”? Is it necessarily a place or is it more than that? Is it our need to believe in goodness and truth and kindness, the things we often associate with our earliest childhood and home? I am not sure.

  • mariam yeghiazaryan
    2019-06-01 11:15

    Գրականության շուրջ տարբեր տեսակի և տարբեր մարդկանց հետ զրույցների ժամանակ, նկատել էի, որ մի քանիսը վստահությամբ նշում էին, որ իմ սիրած գրողը հաստատ Սարոյանը պիտի լինի, սիրած գիրքս էլ հենց էս մեկը: Ընկերս` Մարկուսը, ով հույս ունեմ հեռու կլինի բոլոր տեսակի պատերազմներից, միշտ ասում էր. « էնքան դու ես, էնքան քոնն ա»: Ու քանի որ ամենը, հիմնականում, սա կարդում են դպրոցական տարիներին, զարմանում էին, որ չեմ կարդացել:Հիմա հասկանում եմ, որ հրաշալի է, որ ոչ ուսուցչի, ոչ դասախոսի ոչ էլ ինչ որ մեկի խորհրդով չեմ կարդացել, այլ որովհետև ինչ-որ կերպ հասկացել եմ, որ ժամանակն է:Դեռ ամբողջովին չեմ հասկանում, թե որքանով էին ինձ տեսնում գրքի մեջ, ու ես իրենց կարծիքով Հոմերն էի, Յուլիսեսը, թե բոլորովին այլ հերոս, բայց վստահաբար կարող եմ ասել, որ Սարոյանն էն գրողն է, ում շնորհիվ, ում միջոցով ում համար լուսավորվում ես, ավելի բարի ես դառնում, ավելի շատ ես սիրում և ձգտում ես էլ ավելի սիրելուն, մարդկանց ես սիրում ու կարևոր չի փոխադարձ կլինի,թե չէ: Ուղղակի պետք ա սիրել բոլորին ու ամեն ինչ սիրել,կամ փորձել անգամ չսիրելիներին սեր փոխանցել, բարի լինել, ինչքան էլ, որ անհնար ու անհավանական թվա:

  • Sandra
    2019-05-27 13:01

    Un romanzo che dà speranza, che diffonde ottimismo. Fa bene al cuore leggerlo, commuoversi, sorridere e piangere con i protagonisti del piccolo (di pagine) ma grande (di umanità) romanzo di Saroyan. Ad Ithaca, California, ci sono belle persone, famiglie che affrontano con il sorriso sulle labbra le difficoltà economiche dovute alla guerra mondiale che, nel 1942, è in pieno svolgimento; c’è il signor Spangler, direttore dell’ufficio postale, che con poche buone parole blocca il ladruncolo deciso a rubare per disperazione l’incasso della giornata; c’è il semplice signor Ara, un armeno che ha aperto un negozio di alimentari, il quale tristemente spiega al figlioletto come l’umanità sia sempre scontenta di quello che ha; c’è la professoressa Hicks, che insegna ai suoi alunni che sono persone uguali ma felicemente diverse per inclinazioni interiori; ci sono Homer e Ulysses Macauley, due fratelli rimasti orfani di padre, il primo è diventato anche il responsabile della famiglia da quando suo fratello maggiore Marcus è partito militare: Homer ha quattordici anni, si sente il peso della famiglia sulle spalle, è costretto a studiare e lavorare per mantenerla, diventa postino e con la sua bicicletta attraversa le strade di Ithaca per consegnare telegrammi; Ulysses, quattro anni, è un bambino stupefacente, silenzioso osservatore del mondo intorno a lui che non riesce sempre a comprendere, ma comunque è un bel mondo, divertente, in cui buttarsi a capofitto saltando di gioia. Ecco, ad Ithaca c’è entusiasmo, c’è la vita semplice di persone che non si piangono addosso, che si aiutano l’uno con l’altro, che affrontano le intemperie dell’esistenza senza disperarsi e abbattersi, ma reagendo al dolore stringendosi tra loro: “un uomo che non prova pietà non è un uomo”. Secondo me non è una visione semplicemente buonistica del mondo quella di Saroyan, è un consiglio a riflettere sul fatto che i semplici valori della vita sono una ricchezza da custodire.

  • Robert Hobkirk
    2019-06-06 10:19

    I had been meaning to read The Human Comedy for years and finally got around to it - glad I did. This was Saroyan's first novel written in 1943. William Saroyan dropped out of school in the 8th grade and worked as a telegram messenger. He used this experience for his main character's job and age. If this book were a painting it would be a Normal Rockwell. It set in a small California town in the Great Central Valley during WWII, with everyone living in a very godly manner. Hi characters are more than ordinary people; they are ordinary saints.If I had any criticism of the story, it was for Saroyan's inability to fully express how painful death is for the ones left behind. But he was only 35 when he wrote it. I would like to read a biography about Saroyan. He sounds interesting. He turned down the Pulitzer Prize for The Time of Your Life and later became a compulsive gambler, according to the book jacket.

  • Özgür Daş
    2019-06-13 08:16

    Yalın bir dille (saroyanesque) yazılmış duygu dolu, savaş karşıtı ''insan''ca bir roman İnsanlık Komedisi.Kitabın en keyifli yerleri dört yaşındaki tatlılar tatlısı Ulysses'in başından geçenler ve diyaloglarıydı. Sırf Ulysses için bile tekrar tekrar okunabilir bu kitap:"Homer, Santa Clara Caddesi'ndeki evde rüya görürken, küçük kardeşi Ulysses yatağının başına gelmiş onu dinliyordu. Karanlık evde yolunu bularak annesinin odasına gitti doğruca. Sarsarak uyandırdı onu. Annesi yatakta doğrulunca, elinden tutarak hiçbir şey söylemeden Homer'ın yatağına götürdü."

  • Marat M. Yavrumyan
    2019-06-04 14:07

    Բարի, բարի Սարոյան... Սարոյանը վարպետ է նկարագրությունների՝ առաջին հերթին՝ բարության։ Օգնո՞ւմ է դա ապրել։ Չգիտեմ, երևի օգնել է իրեն։ Հիմա պիտի կարդալ, ու հետո, ու հետո, ավելի շուտ՝ օգուտ չի տա, չնայած աղջիկս տեսնեմ ինչ տպավորություններով կվերջացնի գիրքը ։) Էլեկտրոնայինը, էլի Յավրուհրատից ու թող ներվի Սարոյանի կողմից։

  • Jim
    2019-06-26 07:06

    For some reason, I had always avoided reading he work of William Saroyan, but for some reason I picked up a copy of The Human Comedy at the local library and read it. I was enchanted by the author's vision of a small agricultural town in which the local residents are, for the most part, decent human beings who are kind to one another.At the center are the two Macauley boys, Homer and Ulysses (the name of the town is Ithaca), their family and friends. The father had died before the story begins, and the older brother is off to fight in World War Two. I have never before seen in literature such a world of wish fulfillment. Yet it is never sappy. The world of Ithaca is surrounded by the same dark clouds that surround all of us, and Saroyan never Disneyfies his work.

  • doug bowman
    2019-06-07 09:10

    I read this in high school, back in the Seventies, and it had such a profound impact. I read it every three or four year While the story develops through deceptively simple. vignettes, Saroyan writes poignantly about war, family,love, social class, and death. The characters are richly drawn, through their thoughts and interactions. Scenes and images are so touching and vividly that they remain long after you finish the book.Just a bit of literary linking: I definitely see traces of Saroyan's style in later writers like Vonnegut. "Human Comedy" is one of those classics that grows increasingly obscure and deserves to be considered classic Amercan lit.

  • Atticus06
    2019-06-14 14:07

    All'inizio lo trovavo un po' stucchevole. E a me lo stucchevole non dispiace. C'è un po' di Frank Capra qui.C'è da dire che l'ho letto in uno stato psichico particolare. Non era certo il momento adatto, personalmente, per una storia così, anche se proseguendo la lettura ho iniziato ad entrare in sintonia con i personaggi e quell'ingenuità di cui parlava qualcuno è forse voluta, per esorcizzare quei momenti, come accennato anche nella prefazione:Nella Commedia umana quindi l’autore non si propone tanto di descrivere la realtà, quanto di trasfigurarla in modo fantastico, come indica questo finale del romanzo. Gli stessi personaggi non sono realistici, ma hanno un valore simbolico...La commedia umana rappresenta quindi un mondo ideale, senza difetti e senza contrasti, dove tutti sono buoni e puri ed esprimono nobili sentimenti e grande umanità, un paradiso perduto verso cui il lettore non può non sentire profonda nostalgia. In esso ogni aspetto negativo della vita sembra scomparire o diventare comunque più leggero. Perfino la guerra che infuria nel mondo, e che porta dovunque dolore e morte, viene vista senza eccessiva tragicità.Forse sono storie così invece, e Frank Capra, che si potrebbe leggere e vedere per tirarsi su quando le cose vanno male. Anche se oggi in molti li ritengono superati: si predilige l'ambiguità dei personaggi a quelli bidimensionali. Il che è un bene nella maggior parte dei casi, ma oggi si eccede al contrario. Ogni tanto un po' di sana retorica e buoni sentimenti fa bene al cuore.Commuoversi per l'idealismo di Jefferson Smith in "Mr. Smith va a Washington" e pensare "vorrei essere così" invece di rimanere affascinati da Tony Montana e dire "Cazzo che forte! li ha sterminati tutti!"(Frase che a suo tempo, ovviamente, ho detto anche io).Leggere di personaggi dal cuore d'oro come Spangler, di ragazzini svegli come Omero e dolci come Ulisse non può non toccare il cuore.Solo i cinici rimangono indifferenti, e spesso anche infastiditi, dalla rappresentazione di un personaggio puro.Chi se ne frega se nella vita non esistono persone completamente pure e ognuno ha i suoi demoni, chi se ne frega della verosimiglianza, sognare non è vietato.E nemmeno provare nostalgia, come dice nella prefazione, penso, Anna De Palma, per un periodo che non ho mai vissuto.C'è anche una certa somiglianza con Bradbury (Un'estate incantata) nel modo di raccontare l'infanzia. Con amore e nostalgia.E poi alcuni di quei passaggi educativi, ancora oggi, non farebbero male ai giovanissimi e forse nemmeno a qualche adulto.

  • Alicia
    2019-06-26 11:24

    I found my grandmother's 1943 edition of this book on my dad's bookshelf. I enjoyed the story of a California family during World War 2: the dad has passed away, the older brother is fighting in the war, the teenage brother delivers telegraph messages such as messages telling mothers that their sons have been killed in the war, and the 4-year-old brother runs all over town unsupervised and observing lots of interesting things.There are lots of words of wisdom in this book (or, as Madi would roll her eyes and say, "It's PREACHY!"). Here's the mother talking to her teenage son:"There will always be pain in things...Knowing this does not mean that a man shall despair. The good man will seek to take pain out of things. The foolish man will not even notice it except in himself. And the evil man will drive pain deeper into things and spread it about wherever he goes...The evil man must be forgiven every day. He must be loved, because something of each of us is in the most evil man in the world and something of HIM is in each of us. He is ours and we are his. None of us is separate from any other. The peasant's prayer is my prayer, the assassins crime is my crime. Last night you cried because you began to know these things."p.s. I thought this was interesting: Since this edition was printed during World War 2, the title page said, "This book is complete and undabridged. It is manufactured in conformity with government regulations for saving paper."

  • Lisa
    2019-06-16 13:22

    It's more of a series of moments in the lives of the people of Ithaca, California. It didn't really have a plot but it was quite intriguing, warming and heartbreaking at times. The story revolves around the Macauley family, Homer is fourteen and works at the telegraph office during World War 2. It is heartbreaking when he has to deliver the messages to families that their son has died at war. Marcus the older brother has gone to war. He had been the man of the family since the father had died. Bess is the sister that wants to get a job to help the family and Ulysses is the quiet little brother. The story is told in an era when kids were allowed to be kids wandering the streets of the town together until all hours of night. And also when kids had to grow up fast, all of a sudden Homer at fourteen is the head of the house, working and attending school, delivering messages of death when he should be worrying about the two-twenty hurdles and the girls at school. The characters are unforgettable and it's a book that should be read in schools at about a grade seven/eight level.

  • Sergei Ter-Tumasov
    2019-06-23 13:08

    Не понравился мне William Saroyan!!!!!!! Очень не понравился!!!!!!!Очень фальшивые, ненастоящие люди населяют эту книгу. Все страшно хорошие, добрые, благородные, не страшны им никакие невзгоды!!! Получились, просто, какие-то самоотверженные коммунисты. А когда эти люди открывали рот, то ничего, кроме затасканных "мудростей" не сообщали, да и похвалить себя и собеседника тоже не забывали!!!Чтение этой небольшой книги стало для меня настоящей пыткой, рад, что она закончилась!!! Но всё же не хочется составлять мнение о писателе после прочтения одной книги (зато какой!!!), поэтому хочу как-нибудь почитать и какое-нибудь другое его произведение.P.S. Но предисловие мне понравилось, оно такое трогательное. Такое ощущение, как будто его написал другой человек.

  • Intortetor
    2019-06-03 15:12

    peccato sia già stata usato per un altro romanzo, altrimenti "l'età dell'innocenza" sarebbe stato un titolo perfetto per questo libro: in parte perchè gran parte dei protagonisti sono davvero in un'età innocente, bambini e ragazzi ancora al di fuori dei problemi della vita e vedono il mondo con occhi "diversi", e in parte perchè la città di ithaca sembra immersa in un'innocenza via via scalfita dagli echi della guerra (attraverso gli agghiaccianti telegrammi del ministero della difesa che informano le famiglie della scomparsa di un loro figlio al fronte). saroyan è una scoperta pazzesca: uno scrittore che sa indagare perfettamente l'animo umano e ne scrive con un linguaggio che potrebbe leggere anche un bambino.

  • Tahereh
    2019-06-21 12:14

    من می دانم که دشمن مردم نیستند.زیرا اگر مردم می توانستنددشمن باشند پس من هم دشمن خود بودم.مردم دنیا همه مثل یک فرد واحدند.اگر از همدیگر نفرت داشته باشندوبه خودشان نفرت ورزیده اند.بشر نمی تواند از دیگران نفرت داشته باشد.در این صورت خودش را هم منفور داشته است.p282

  • Moshtagh ghurdarvazi
    2019-05-28 11:01

    من دشمنی انسانی نمیشناسم زیرا هیچ انسانی نمیتواند دشمن من باشد .دشمن،هر که هست،از هر نژاد و به هر رنگی که هست،اصول و عقایدش هر چقدر که خطاست،باز دوست من است نه دشمن من،.زیرا متفاوت از من نیست.جنگ من با او نیست بلکه با خاصیتی،با خویی که در اوست و من باید اول با چنان خویی اگر در خود من هم هست بجنگم.

  • Alberto
    2019-06-13 08:14

    Un libro publicado en 1943 por un premio Pullitzer que narra las vivencias de un cartero de un pequeño pueblo de EEUU encargado de notificar la muerte de soldados a sus familiares. Una visión de la guerra desde norteamerica muy diferente a la acostumbrada. Muy bueno.

  • R.
    2019-06-06 12:12

    As is often the case with reading, one book plants a big fat Wile E Coyote roadsign arrow as to where you should turn next - and my arrival at The Human Comedy began (in part) thanks to a short story ("Literary Encounter") in Bradbury's We'll Always Have Paris. In the Bradbury tale, a wife, displeased with how her husband's personality changes with each new book he reads (he becomes quite an ass, a tough guy, during The Maltese Falcon, for example) decides to buy for him the books he was reading when he courted her and was, presumably, full of romance and longing and amber-hued happiness etc. She quietly buys and leaves a stack of books for him by his easy chair and, come morning, he is the man she fell in love with: the man who was reading and quoting and feeling...Saroyan. Now, Saroyan wasn't exactly off my radar: the title of this book, with its own nod to Balzac (Honore de), has occasionally stirred my interest. But heavens: The paperback (which I ended up reading) has a horrendous, off-putting appearance: it looks exactly like the type of book a teacher would assign to test your resolve to be in this course: beige, trees. I would've probably gone many more years before giving it a go, but I found the hardback (see the thumbnail representation I selected to honor the reading of this fine novel) at an antique store. I didn't buy it: six dollars a bit steep for a book that looked like it had been chew-toyed, the dustjacket tattered and torn in spots - but the cover was far more whimsical and inviting and suggestive of treasures within. So, saving six dollars, I read the library's copy and, let me just say: wow. What a great portrait of a time gone by. Gone. Vanished. An America no more, let's say. And the ending (for me) was a gut punch - not dissimilar to how I felt when I closed up Mrs. Bridge (Connell).

  • Mary Ronan Drew
    2019-06-21 08:24

    This is not a book I would have kept reading beyond Nancy Pearl's Rule of 50 but it's for the Heart of Spirituality book group at the library, so I slogged through it. The problem is the book is terribly dated, and not in a good way.Saroyan was originally writing a movie script with the title, The Human Comedy, and based on Saroyan's youth in Fresno, but he had a disagreement with the studio and although they went on to produce a movie, he took the title and the idea and created this book, intended to lighten hearts during World War II. My friend, Kate, says she is convinced it was small size with illustrations and very short chapters which are short moral tales so that soldiers could carry it with them. She may be right.Saroyan was a playwright and his novels were never approved of by the critics. After WW II he was seen as sloppy and sentimental (I would have to agree) and his work went out of favor.The story is about 14-year-old Homer Macaulay, who is on a voyage to maturity in his fictional home town of Ithaca. His father is dead and his older brother, Marcus, is fighting in the war. Homer has lied about his age and is working as a delivery boy for a telegraph company and some of the telegrams he delivers are from the war department announcing the death of a son overseas. The manager of the office, Mr Spangler, who becomes a father figure to Homer, is wise, loving, forgiving, understanding, and all-in-all, angelic. There's a little too much fatherhood of God, brotherhood of man for my taste.2011 No 37

  • Temz
    2019-06-23 12:00

    Макар „Човешка комедия“ да ми се стори твърде идеализирано четиво и да не се класира като номер едно в любимите ми антивоенни романи, със своето послание и дълбок психологизъм повестта със сигурност оставя траен отпечатък в съзнанието. Защото описва свят, който дори изправен пред трудности, се стреми да надскочи ...

  • Chrystal
    2019-06-16 08:16

    I read this book 30 years ago and it made absolutely no impression on me whatsoever, so I thought I should read it again, in case I missed something. It still makes no impression on me today, other than being very preachy and brimming with naive sentimentality. I hope I remember not to read it again 30 years from now.

  • Arpine Grigoryan
    2019-06-02 11:21

    beautiful, moving and very kind

  • Michelle
    2019-06-06 14:25

    Innocence and simplicity-both in the characters and in the writing.

  • Amir Mojiry
    2019-06-08 14:12

    از بهترین کتاب هایی که خوانده ام همین کتاب است که کشف یکهویی من بود در نوروز 1384. وقتی که دنبال «کیمیاگر» پائولو کوئلیو می گشتم و اتفاقی این کتاب را در یک دست دوم فروشی دیدم و با قیمت بالا خریدم و بعد بی پول شدم و دیگر نتوانستم کتاب کوئلیو را بخرم و بعدش خوشحال شدم از این اتفاق خوب!آن زمان (در شانزده سالگی) به وضوح مذهبی تر از الانم بودم. و همین است که پاورقی های مذهبی نوشته ام بر کتاب:در صفحه ی 75، پاورقی «در یک کشور دموکراسی هر فردی با فرد دیگر برابر است» را نوشته ام: «همه ی موجودات سنگین و سبک، بیزرگ و کوچک، نیرومند و ضعیف، در اصول حیات و هستی یکسانند. (نهج البلاغه، خطبه ی 185)».در صفحه ی 211، پاورقی «یولیسس گفت: «تخم مرغ» و طوری این کلمه را بر زبان راند که انگارم عنای دیگر همین کلمه خداست.» نوشته ام: «خدا به همه چیز نزدیک است. نه آن که به اشیا چسبیده باشد؛ از همه چیز دور است نه آن که از آن ها بیگانه باشد. (نهج البلاغه، خصطبه ی 197)».آخر کتاب هم نوشته ام: «کتاب خیلی زیبایی بود. از خواندنش لذت بردم. خیلی از مواردش با عقاید دینی ما هماهنگ بود و خیلی هایش هم نبود.» نقدی هم همان سال (هفت تیر 1384) بر کتاب نوشتم که این است:انسانیِ انسانیکتاب کمدی انسانی نوشته ی ویلیام سارویان و به سبک واقع گرایی است. این کتاب در اوج زیبایی نوشت هشده است. کتاب ماجراهای خانواده ی مکالی را بیان می کند. مارکوس پسر بزرگ خانواده به جنگ رفته است. هومر 14 ساله با نامه بری مخارج خانواده را تامین می کند و یولیسس نیز کوچک ترین عضو خانواده است. بس خواهر هومر و ماری نامزد مارکوس با هم دوست هستند. پدر هومر مرده است و مادر او از آن ها مراقبت می کند. و در انتهای داستان دوست مارکوس نیز به داستان افزوده می شود. داستان هیچ ماجرای خاصی را بیان نمی کند اما بسیار جذاب است. نکات زیر درباره ی این داستان است:1- ماجرای داستان فقط چند روز را بیان می کند. و به دلیل ماجرایی نبودن آن این عشق است که داستان را پیش می برد. در جای جای داستان عشق نشان داده می شود و از اخلاقیات غربی ها نیز فراتر نمی رود. این عشق به عشق زمینی محدود می شود. اما می توان گفت از والاترین عشق های زمینی -البته در چارچوب دین نویسنده- برخوردار است. به عقیده ی نویسنده مهم ترین نکته در زندگی عشق است. همه ی شخصیت های داستان به نوعی از عشق برخوردارند. عشق یولیسس به زیبایی ها، عشق ماری و مارکوس به هم، عشق مادر هومر به شوهرش و بچه هایش. و نمونه های فرعی بسیار دیگر. 2- در کتاب شخصیت بدی وجود ندارد. حتی معلم ورزش که در بخشی از کتاب تصور می شود شخصیت منفی است بد نیست. این را در گفته های هومر می توان یافت. شخصیت های منفی کتاب جنگ و غم هستند. همین.3- گفتگوهای افراد با هم مطمئنا واقع گرایانه نیستند. اما آن قدر خوب توصیف شده اند که آن ها را قابل باور می کنند. مانند گفتگوهای شاگردان در کلاس تاریخ. و یا گفتگوی معلم تاریخ با هومر. بخش قابل توجهی از کتاب به این گفتگوها می پردازد. و همین از ماجرایی شدن کتاب به شدت می کاهد. اما نویسنده قصد ندارد ماجرایی را بیان کند.4- بسیاری از بخش های کتاب با دین ما تشابه عمیق و مفهومی دارد. این تشابه شاید به خاطر اخلاق -گرایی نویسنده باشد که متناسب با اخلاق گرایی دین ما اسلام است.این کمدی انسانی با کمدی انسانی اونوره دو بالزاک فرق می کند. آن را نخوانده ام.حالا که کتاب را ورق می زنم، نکته ی دیگری هم به ذهنم می رسد و آن رنگ صفحه ها است که به خاطر کاهی بودن کتاب را خوش خوان تر می کند. رنگ سفید چشم را اذیت و خسته می کند و نمی دانم چرا ناشران ما هنوز اصرار دارند کتاب ها را این طوری منتشر کنند (آیا کاغذ کاهی گران تر است؟ نمی دانم).

  • Craig
    2019-06-15 11:10

    What a great and touching read. A slice of Americana during the 1940s. I highly recommend this book for older children and teenagers (ages 10 -16). Families should read this book together. The story-line has no plot but is a series of vignettes in the lives of the Macauley family: a widowed mother (truly the heart and soul of the family - the children key off of her stability), older brother Marcus (serving as an American soldier in WWII), middle brother Homer (a 14 year-old who is discovering life) and young brother, 4 year-old Ulysses (the quiet but ever-observant child). The three boys have a teenage sister, Bess. They live in fictional Ithaca, California (San Joaquin Valley - probably meant to be Fresno where the author was born and lived). While the novel focuses principally on young Homer and his coming of age, it takes a three-pronged approach, looking at American life during the war years through the eyes of the young child Ulysses, the teenager Homer and the soldier Marcus. Homer has taken a job as a telegraph office messenger. He delivers not only messages of joy and hope, but more frequently of death to the families of Ithaca whose sons were killed in action. Each vignette is a separate episode, each episode evoking questions or experiences common to us all. When taken together, the collage of vignettes portrays the universal human experience. Though Saroyan focuses on the stark realities of life, his characters have a goodness, hope and nobility about them and the virtues of humanity are extolled. Human dignity and interpersonal supportive relationships in a small town are major themes. The book is very up-beat and stirring. Few books cause me to shed tears, but this one did on more than one occasion. Perhaps some of the sentimentality for me stems from the fact that I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley (born in Stockton, raised in Modesto). Had I been born 10 years earlier, I might have been young Ulysses. Saroyan's play on the classic "The Odyssey" is interesting. Homer and Ulysses are brothers. They live in Ithaca (the island home of Ulysses of the Odyssey). Teenage Homer is in love with his beautiful classmate Helen Eliot (referring perhaps to Helen of Troy). Again, for me a very delightful and moving read. I highly recommend it to all.

  • Shushane Yesayan
    2019-05-29 07:28

    When my dad saw that i was looking for a book t o read, immediately recommended this book to me. He had always been a fan of William Saroyan, so he really wanted me to read one of his books. The plot is about the experiences Homer Macauley and his siblings Ulysses, Bess, and Marcus. Homer is a teenage boy who got a job as a telegraph messenger. As he delivers the telegraphs, he encounters pretty weighty subjects that he is perhaps too young for. As he is taking on all these adult responsibilities, Homer is still just a little boy who goes to school and is determined to win the track race. Then there's his little brother, Ulysses. He is an innocent young boy who runs around town unsupervised and observes lots of interesting things, which are brilliantly interpreted through a young child's point-of-view. Next, there's their older sister Bess, who is trying to find love as a young woman. Shes bored of going to college and wants to find a job. Finally, there's Marcus, the oldest child, who is off at war. He often dreams of his beloved homeland and writes many letters to his family.He is a brave, but frightened at the same time. All he wants is to finish the war and get home. His only companion in this dangerous journey is Tobey, a good friend. There are many words of wisdom in this book, but my favorite quote happens to be,"There will always be pain in things...Knowing this does not mean that a man shall despair. The good man will seek to take pain out of things. The foolish man will not even notice it except in himself. And the evil man will drive pain deeper into things and spread it about wherever he goes...The evil man must be forgiven every day. He must be loved, because something of each of us is in the most evil man in the world and something of HIM is in each of us. He is ours and we are his. None of us is separate from any other. The peasant's prayer is my prayer, the assassins crime is my crime. Last night you cried because you began to know these things." I loved Saroyan's writing style. The book focuses on the realities of life and all of the characters have a sense of hope and nobility to them. I would for sure recommnend this book. It was by far the best book that I have ever read.

  • Garnik
    2019-06-21 11:23

    Հինգից 6 ու ավելի կգնահատեի)): [Նկարա]Գրելը չի օգնի, պետք է կարդալ, մտածել, տխրել... Գուցե որոշներին սենտիմենտալ թվա, բայց ինձ համար Սարոյանի ամեն մի նոր գործը կարդալը ավելի է մոտեցնում ինձ իրեն: