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Closing Time (Catch-22 #2)

2.97 of 5 stars 2.97  ·  rating details  ·  3,118 ratings  ·  157 reviews

A darkly comic and ambitious sequel to the American classic Catch-22.

In Closing Time, Joseph Heller returns to the characters of Catch-22, now coming to the end of their lives and the century, as is the entire generation that fought in World War II: Yossarian and Milo Minderbinder, the chaplain, and such newcomers as little Sammy Singer and giant Lew, all linked, in an

Published (first published 1994)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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David Beavers
Again, the rating system fails us. I decided to post a review for this after seeing I'd given it an arbitrary 3-stars, when in fact I recall being profoundly moved by this book. Isn't profound movement worth 5 stars? Whatever.

A lot of people have read Catch-22, which is deserving of most all the praise it gets. This is, spiritually and literally, the sequel to that book, which is a little weird, not the least because it was published more than 3 decades after. Appropriate to this lapse in time,...more
Jul 26, 2007 Martin rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Heller fans.
The comical sarcasm and wit seems to have turned rather sour in Yossarian’s old age, something which Heller is aware of and has a female character state this. But I found it to be true, in youth and being surrounded by lots of people who wanted to kill him, the sarcasm was funny and refreshing but becomes rather tedious in old age. But then he is still immature at heart, so it’s fitting he has not changed I guess. Still chasing women of course no matter his age, which I also found rather tiresom...more
Well, CATCH-22 it ain't, friends. HOWEVER it is a decent story, and there are tiny sparks and remnants of CATCH-22's brilliance throughout. Some characters return (Chaplain Tappmann, Milo Minderbender), and some don't (Orr's brief mention was something of a letdown, but I think that was sort of the point: PEOPLE MOVE ON AND ARE NO LONGER A PART OF ONE ANOTHER'S LIVES, SOMETIMES). The new characters that are introduced are perhaps less interesting, but more sympathetic, than most of those found i...more
If you have already read Catch-22, this book will utterly disappoint you. If you haven't, it will not make the slightest bit of sense to you.

That is the closest Closing Time comes to Catch-22.
Pierre Corneille
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in October 1999.

Almost thirty five years after finally finding a publisher for Catch-22, Heller wrote a sequel. Through this period, every book he has produced has suffered from comparison with his first novel. He has never managed to combine the elements of farce and tragedy so well as was made possible by his theme of helplessness in the face of official stupidity.

Many elements from Catch 22 are present, transformed, in Closing Time. In Pianosa, the charact...more
Sep 17, 2007 Nathan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Yossarian, so he could comment on what Heller did to him.
Shelves: fiction
Catch-22 is probably my favorite book of all time. Some of Heller's other work, also, stands up as classic and important. Closing Time isn't really one of those novels. It's a sequel to Catch-22, and like most sequels, it was probably unnecessary. On one level, I can see what Heller was trying to do. He parallels his own aging with the aging of Yossarian and the heroes of the original. We see them now aged, some with grandchildren. The humor from the original, however, has turned a little more b...more
It lacks EVERYTHING that made Catch 22 such a good book. It was so severe and bland that I put down the book after reading for about 150 pages. It is monotone in that all we see in the sections about Yossarian is a jaded old man who is a shell of his former self; who proves that older doesn't always mean wiser but it sure as hell can mean more banal and uninspired . And while that is definitely not Heller's intent, its what the book feels like to me.
The sections about the other two veterans is...more
Jared Tan
Like its prequel, Catch-22, it is one of the thicker books i had read, apart from the sci-fi series. A book of mean satirical goodness based mainly on war, american dream, family and old age.

I started the book with mild reluctance due to the low ratings as compared to the prequel. The mixed reactions from readers are understandable as I feel that this book lacks flair and "mapcap mayhem" as compared. Despite that, like its title, it is a good closing for Catch-22, on what happens to soldiers/vet...more
As has been stated here, there, and everywhere, this is a sequel to Catch-22. One of the greatest and funniest books ever written. Clearly this book could never have attained those heights and it was sadly foolish to think it could have. Still, there are moments of sheer brilliance and Heller remains the master of circular reasoning and double-talk. What makes Closing Time somewhat of a disappointment is it's dour point of view. In Catch-22, no matter how much misery is heaped on Yossarian and t...more
Paul Lima
I loved his "Catch-22" and found this book so disappointing on so many level - characters, plot, satire ... I barely skimmed the last half. Oh well...
Rachel Hernandez
You know how good Catch-22 is? How it's so timeless? This book- not so much. Kind of funny, but you've probably seen better satire on South Park.
David B
This unfortunate and unnecessary sequel to the immortal "Catch-22" actually includes some very good material. These are the interludes about Sammy Singer and Lew Rabinowitz, good friends and contemporaries of Yossarian, who look back with nostalgia on their Brooklyn childhoods and with bemused horror on their WWII experiences in riveting first-person narratives. I would have been happy to read a book centered on these two, and perhaps at one time author Joseph Heller intended to write just that,...more
Michelle Pod
Closing Time has some beautifully written parts, especially the chapters with Sammy and Lew. Because of the strength of those, I am glad I read it. However, there were many sections and characters that felt unnecessary and those brought the overall rating down for me.

This is not a book you read for the plot. Do not expect great things to come from character growth and plot development.

If you start reading this and find, after 50 pages or so, that you do not like it, don't feel guilty about putt...more
I should have known better. Updike. Vonnegut. Roth. Irving. Even, so help me, Bret Easton Ellis. I read the stuff they wrote when they were young earth-shakers and fall instantly in love. Then I pick up their later work, expecting, like a dumb-ass, to be swept off my feet again, and what do I get? Old guys shuffling around in sweaters.

Maybe I had my hopes set just a little high for this one. But - how could I not? It's the sequel to *Catch 22*, fer cryin out loud, one of my desert island 5. Don...more
I liked this one a bit more than most of Heller's other's works, excluding Catch-22 of course, which is a wacky fun ride and by far his best effort. Closing Time is actually the sequel to Catch-22, and we get to see the characters in their old age, 50 years after World War II. While they were in their 20s, fighting in the war, they were afraid of being killed by the enemy. In their 70s, they are still afraid, because they believe cancer or another illness will result in instant death. I found it...more
David Bonesteel
This unfortunate and unnecessary sequel to the immortal "Catch-22" actually includes some very good material. These are the interludes about Sammy Singer and Lew Rabinowitz, good friends and contemporaries of Yossarian, who look back with nostalgia on their Brooklyn childhoods and with bemused horror on their WWII experiences in riveting first-person narratives. I would have been happy to read a book centered on these two, and perhaps at one time author Joseph Heller intended to write just that,...more
Jed L
Sad to say, I didn't make it very far through this book which is the sequel to my favorite, Catch-22. Catch-22 is a witty, satirical book placed during World War II with a cast of characters that make you laugh, cry, despair and love all at the same time. But in this book where the same characters--as well as some new ones--are placed in New York in the 70s as old men there isn't a lot of any emotion.

It seems that I am having the same frustration that many people have while reading Catch-22. Bot...more

Nigdy nie podejrzewałem, że będę czytał tak słaby sequel uwielbianej przeze mnie książki. Pewnie większość czytelników stwierdzi, że skoro oryginał posiada nazwę: Closing Time, to polska wersja z dodanym "Paragraf 22" do tytułu, to jedynie wątpliwej jakości chwyt marketingowy. Otóż nie! To jest prawdziwa kontynuacja przygód Yossariana, Mila, kapelana i kilku innych postaci z pierwowzoru.

Jeszcze przed zabawą z książką sprawdziłem opinie. Nie były one pochlebne, wytyka...more
i have the amazon kindle version. i read a number of reviews prior to starting, even one or two that warned of spoilers. wasn't it flannery o'connor that said her education had never burdened her as she was able to forgot so much? i too am blessed in that fashion.

but what strikes me immediately is the hilarity of this one. several thought otherwise, some thought only some sections were. the telling is funny, much like catch-22 and good as gold

another thing: i enjoy the narration. in the 1st, sam...more
While Closing Time is ostensibly the sequel to Catch-22, it is a remarkably different book in tone and style. Catch-22 was brimming with satire and absurd persons and situations. This style of writing is still present in Closing Time, particularly in those chapters about Yossarian, Chaplain Tappmann, and Milo Minderbinder, but it is significantly less noticeable there and almost completely absent from the sections of the book about Sammy Singer, Lew Rabinowitz, and their compatriots. The remaind...more
Mar 22, 2009 Jonathan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoyed Catch-22
Recommended to Jonathan by: Bob S.
Shelves: general-fiction
Simply put, this is the sequel to Catch-22. Or rather, the cover advertises it as a sequel, but it might be more accurately described as a continuation, set towards the end of the 20th century. Heller possesses the knack for adopting an indelible style for each of his books, and the aesthetic here mirrors the preceding novel exactly. Most of the main characters return, and not one of them has changed either. Yossarian is still immature and cynical, Tappman is the still the butt of some cosmic j...more
Scott  Breslove
Oh boy, what to say about the sequel to one of my favorite books... nothing too great. Closing Time was far inferior to Catch 22. I can't even compare them, it's just not fair, but unfortunately it's the easiest way for me to review it. Closing Time was an ok book, that had occasional spurts of comedy, which Heller did so well with Catch 22. The characters were just kind of thrown at you, mostly by getting their own chapter, instead of being introduced in another chapter and getting some backgro...more
The sequel to Catch-22 shows the same cast of characters 40 years later. John Yossarian, Lew Rabinowitz, Milo Minderbender, Sam Singer, and the chaplain weave their way through an equally ridiculous plot, ultimately involving an accidental nuclear war during which the select few are taken to an underground world composed of replicas of the founders favorite sites, including Coney Island and an ice cream plant. Preceding the retreat is the culmination of the wedding-to-end-all-weddings in the New...more
Дълго отлагах "Залезът" заради опасенията си (съвпадащи с повечето срещнати мнения), че като продължение на "Параграф 22" ще е негово слабо подобие. Романът обаче ми хареса, макар и с една идея по-малко от първата част. Четенето му е като паралелно прелистване на две книги от различни автори, с едни и същи герои и събития. Може би това е причината за разочарование у някого - че не намира точно Хелър. Но: всеки автор има своите периоди, а и съвсем не е задължително да бъде еднакъв във всичките си...more
I have long been hesitant to read this book. I'd known Catch-22 had a sequel even since I read it during the summer of 2000. Heller mentioned it in the preface to the edition I had, spoiling me (Yossarian lives!) and I even knew that my beloved Chaplain Tappman was in it. But I loved Catch-22 so and was afraid of being disappointed... after all if this book lives up to the prior's standards wouldn't I have heard it acclaimed by others? I decided never to read it. My brother had other ideas thoug...more
I loved catch-22, just loved it. But closing time was a bit difficult to read. It didn't really feel like a sequel. i suppose Mr. Heller changed as a writer and as a person between writing the two books. There were many times that i had that "ah,so" moment reading this, moments when his narrative skipped the time track and lurched onto a different rail. That wasn't the least bit disconcerting when i read catch-22 but somehow it didn't work as well for closing time.
still a decent book, it explor...more
I went in expecting more Catch-22, which in some ways it was, but not in the way(s) I wanted it to be. I really enjoyed the hilarious absurdity and contradictions so common in Catch-22, which were here, but much less so, and at least to me, not so hilarious generally. Most of the best stuff, in my opinion, centered around Yossarian, and I didn't really enjoy so much the other characters. Dealt with the subject of looming (and sometimes more than looming) death as in Catch-22, which was handled w...more
Not really a sequel.: If you're looking for a zany follow-up to Catch-22, don't get your hopes up with this one.

Closing Time is a wonderful take on life. I was rarely bored while reading it, but some of Heller's stabs at politics (George Bush) felt a little forced and unnecessary. I first read samples from this book in Catch As Catch Can, a collection of Heller's short stories, and I was a little put-off at first.

This book is just exquisite; it really captures (what I perceive will be) old age...more
This sequel to Heller's "Catch 22" is a fitting summation to the lives and characters from that novel. It finds Yossarian, the chaplain, Milo Minderbender, and several new characters dealing with the approaching ends of their various lives and reminiscing about the twists and turns, triumphs and failures that have brought them to the end of their worlds--and perhaps to the end of ours. There is plenty of laugh-out-loud humor, pathos, and tragedy here, just as there was in "Catch 22", and there i...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Joseph Heller was the son of poor Jewish parents from Russia. Even as a child, he loved to write; at the age of eleven, he wrote a story about the Russian invasion of Finland. He sent it to New York Daily News, which rejected it. After graduating from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1941, Heller spent the next ye...more
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“For war there is always enough. It's peace that's expensive.” 19 likes
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