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 un...more
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
With a heavy heart, I'm throwing in the towel over this book. On page 205 the 'Book 6' starts and I really can't tell you what any of the preceding 5 was about (I did have a clue on Book 1, but the subsequent ones have muddied that perception by now). I am a huge fan of Heller's (even if not of Catch-22, of that one I'm just a fan) and it is therefore I'm sad to say that he ended with this confused and inflated mess. Basically I think that all the things I didn't like about Catch-22 ...more
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
Although uneven in many aspects, I still found this "closing days" novel sharp in satire and utterly dispiriting because it's so close to truth regarding oligarchy, corrupt business practices, inept government, adulation of soulless celebrity, 1984ish "alternate facts" and desperate searches for some sort of meaningful contact between and among people.
I can't even begin to deta ...more
It has a lot things going for it; the sections with 'new' characters Sammy Singer and Lew for example, while not in the trademarked witty Heller-style ...more
Frightingly, I found the president, called The Little Prick, vaguelly ressemble our dear Trump, although I hope even he is more competent than the little prick.
The sections about the other two veterans is ...more
For some odd reason, Joseph Heller has decided to be politically as incorrect as possible and be outspoken about all prejudices and biases he might have in this book. That could be an earnest and innocent effort on his part to come out of the practice as an honest man who is, in the usual parlance of run-of-the-mill book-reviewing business, an iconoclastic author who is not a ...more
Even though I wasn't the biggest fan of 'Catch-22', at least I thought it was original and kept on reading with interest because of that. With 'Closing Time', I was just bored throughout, I couldn't get attached to any of the characters, events, nothing, it is just ...more
But life stands still for no one, and Heller's return to the darling veterans of Pianosa is tenderhearted, wistful, and (naturally) a little loony.
Yossarian exists still in a state of paralysis, caught forever in t ...more
Again, we find ourselves in a strange world of characters, with Heller's propensity to tell his tales in an order that does no ...more
If you ever got close to see R&D tendering in real life you will find extra humour in this as many things happen literally in such project nearly as it is depicted here.
In my opinion, the moral of the story is: just don't go in the way capitalism and individualism go lately - except if we want to see the destruct ...more
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