Something Happened Audio Cassette – Feb 1 1981
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"It is splendidly put together and hypnotic to read. It is as clear and hard-edged as a cut diamond. Mr. Heller's concentration and patience are so evident on every page that one can only say that "Something Happened" is at all points precisely what he hoped it would be" -- New York Times Kurt Vonnegut --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Joseph Heller was born in 1923 in Brooklyn, New York. He served as a bombardier in the Second World War and then attended New York University, Columbia and Oxford University, the last on a Fullbright scholarship. He taught for two years at Pennsylvania State University, before returning to New York, where he began a successful career in the advertising departments of Time, Look and McCall's magazines. It was during this time that he had the idea for Catch-22. Working on the novel in spare moments and evenings at home, it took him eight years to complete and was first published in 1961. His second novel, Something Happened was published in 1974, Good As Gold in 1979 and Closing Time in 1994. He is also the author of the play 'We Bombed in New Haven'. Joseph Heller died in 1999. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
I read through some of the previous Amazon reviews and am baffled by those who panned this book and said it was tedious. On the contrary, I found it a real page-turner. The writing is fresh and moves right along. Perhaps those reviewers who hated it were expecting another Catch 22, or in some way approached it with pre-set ideas as to what a novel should be and were therefore disappointed. The 'repetitiveness' that some complained about was neither sloppy writing on Heller's part, nor careless work by his editor. It serves the purpose of getting inside the character's mind and portraying his life, and it held my attention throughout. Is every thought or feeling that each of us have day in and day out always startling and fresh, and do we never repeat ourselves? I think not. The portrait Heller creates is masterful.
Next to some of the post-modern, magic realism dreck that passes for fiction these days, Something Happened is incomparable. By all means, pick this book up; you won't be disappointed, unless you're expecting it to be something else.
In many ways, this novel is a more scholarly, literary, and philosophical precursor to Fight Club in that it chronicles a man who is, by any common standard, a very successful person in Corporate America. He has an excellent and well-paying job. He has a wife. He has children. He has a lovely house.
Yet he finds his life shallow and empty of purpose. He finds himself indulging in self-destructive behaviors. He finds himself completely unable to communicate with his family. He finds himself completely unable to connect in any genuine sense with any other person in his work or social life.
He examines every facet of his life from his job, to his marriage, to his children, and he finds that a strange sort of cowardice pervades his life. He realizes that "something happened" in his life to change everything he knew and every way he behaved and made him the ineffectual, pompous, and empty coward that he and all the people around him have become.
For those people in the business community who have pondered their own existence and the true results and purpose they will have on the world, this novel will read like a kick in the groin. Something Happened is a completely unsettling and unflinching look at the kind of life that is derivative of one spent in the service of a business. It will teach you why you fear everyone you work with and why they fear you. It will teach you why you so often feel so alone. And it will teach you why you learn to break free and why you may be so unable to do it.
Most recent customer reviews
"Really, I ask myself every now and then, depending on how well or poorly things are going with Green at the office or at home with my wife, or with my retarded son, or with my... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Vlad Stankaninets
This book was one of the most difficult I've read in recent memory. It can truly be considered literature rather than pop fiction. Read morePublished on May 13 2003 by Locopelli
Something Happened was not a terrible book...it just didn't fit my expectations of it. When I pick up a Heller book to read, I look forward to enjoying the wit displayed in it. Read morePublished on Feb. 16 2003
Easily one of the most frustrating books I've read, Something Happened is a lengthy monologue about life given by an assumedly prototypical middle-class, mid-range executive in... Read morePublished on Feb. 12 2003 by Jeff Pariser
This book is simply one of the most amazing, unsung works of modern american fiction.Published on Aug. 23 2002 by Gordon Mcdonald
Many of us, I'm sure, at one point or another in time have lived a life very similar to that of Heller's main character, Bob Slocum. Read morePublished on May 21 2002 by BDH
The second chapter of this book, The Office In Which I Work, begins as follows:
"In the office in which I work, there are five people of whom I am afraid. Read more
As others before me noted, a more accurate title for this 500 page novel would be "Nothing Happened. Read morePublished on Sept. 3 2001