62 pages 2 hours read

Saul Bellow

The Adventures of Augie March

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1953

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Chapters 11-15Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 11 Summary

While living in student accommodation, Augie pays his rent by acting as a secretary for his housemates. In doing so, he learns many details about their lives. He meets Clem Tambow often, who hassles Augie over why he seems to be “postponing” everything in his life. Clem claims that his own ambition is to have sex with Mimi Villars, who is one of Augie’s neighbors. Augie has heard a great deal about Mimi’s personal life by listening to her while she is on the phone. She is dating a graduate student named Hooker Frazer, who is married but separated from his wife. Augie’s honest, frank relationship with Mimi makes them good friends. Mimi tells Augie how she once shot a man who tried to rob her and felt “wretched” for using the thief’s gun against him. She sent him mail when he went to prison.

Augie reunites with Sylvester, the theater owner who once hired him to hand out flyers. Mimi is Sylvester’s ex-wife’s sister, and she refuses to help him repair his marriage. Sylvester is a communist who has been ostracized from most social groups. He once preached the benefits of communism to Simon, who is continuing his relationship with the wealthy Charlotte.