Books

Work

Joseph Heller

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

For the full list of books visit vintageminis.co.uk

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Drinking by John Cheever
Swimming by Roger Deakin
Liberty by Virginia Woolf
Death by Julian Barnes

Good As Gold

Joseph Heller

On paper, Bruce Gold seems to have carved a comfortable niche for himself. But in the flesh, he's not so impressive. His ancient father thinks he's a fool, his children fail to notice him and even his wife doesn't realise he's no longer living with her. Gold's been promised a prestigious government post in Washington - only he's never been told what the position actually is. Hugely funny and sweetly sad, Good as Gold is the story of children grown up, parents grown old, anad lovers grown apart.

Catch-22: 50th Anniversary Edition

Joseph Heller

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...

Catch-22

Joseph Heller (and others)

At the heart of Joseph Heller's bestselling novel, first published in 1961, is a satirical indictment of military madness and stupidity, and the desire of the ordinary man to survive it. It is the tale of the dangerously sane Captain Yossarian, who spends his time in Italy plotting to survive.

Catch 22

Joseph Heller

A burlesque epic in the tradition of THE GOOD SOLDIER SCHWEIK, CATCH-22 exposes the absurdity of war by applying its own demented logic to America's involvement in Korea. The 'catch' is that soldiers have to claim to be mad in order to get out of fighting - but being capable of making such a claim automatically proves them sane. With a cast of magnificently larger-than-life characters who are rushed along at a breathless pace, for once this really is a novel it's hard to put down. CATCH-22 was made into a film.

Something Happened

Joseph Heller

Bob Slocum was a promising executive. He had an attractive wife, three children, a nice house, and as many mistresses as he desired. His life was settled and ordered; he had conformed and society demanded he be happy - or at least pretend to be, But the pretence was becoming more and more difficult, as Slocum's discontent grew into an overwhelming sense of desolation, frustration and fear. And then something happened. . .

Biography

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.