Bob Slocum is anxious, bored and fearful of his job. So why is it he wants nothing more than the chance to speak at the next company convention? In this darkly satirical book, Joseph Heller takes us for a turn on the maddening hamster wheel of work. Heller’s workplace is a cradle of paranoia, bravado and nauseating banter, forever shadowed by that perennial question, who’s really running the show here? In Heller’s hands, our daily grind has never seemed so absurd.
Selected from the book Something Happened by Joseph Heller
VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.
A series of short books by the world’s greatest writers on the experiences that make us human
Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Drinking by John Cheever
Swimming by Roger Deakin
Liberty by Virginia Woolf
Death by Julian Barnes
Explosive, subversive, wild and funny, 50 years on the novel's strength is undiminished. Reading Joseph Heller's classic satire is nothing less than a rite of passage.
Set in the closing months of World War II, this is the story of a bombardier named Yossarian who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. His real problem is not the enemy - it is his own army which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. If Yossarian makes any attempts to excuse himself from the perilous missions then he is caught in Catch-22: if he flies he is crazy, and doesn't have to; but if he doesn't want to he must be sane and has to. That's some catch...
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 and Columbia University and then Oxford, the last on a Fullbright scholarship. He then 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.