Saul Bellow’s American masterpiece The Adventures of Augie March includes an introduction by Christopher Hitchens in Penguin Modern Classics . A penniless and parentless Chicago boy growing up in the Great Depression Augie March drifts through life latching on to a wild succession of occupations including butler thief dog-washer sailor and salesman. He is a ‘born recruit’ easily influenced by others who try to mould his destiny. Not until he tangles with the glamorous Thea a huntress with a trained eagle can he attempt to break free. A modern day everyman on an odyssey in search of reality and identity Augie March is the star of star performer in a richly observed human variety show a modern-day Columbus in search of reality and fulfilment.