A viral Kindle Something Happened published Bob Slocum was living the American dream He had a beautiful wife three lovely children a nice housed all the mistresses he desired He had it all all that
A viral Kindle Something Happened published Bob Slocum was living the American dream He had a beautiful wife, three lovely children, a nice housed all the mistresses he desired He had it all all, that is, but happiness Slocum was discontent Inevitably, inexorably, his discontent deteriorated into desolation untilmething happened Something Happened is Joseph Heller s wonderfully inventive and controBob Slocum was living the American dream He had a beautiful wife, three lovely children, a nice housed all the mistresses he desired He had it all all, that is, but happiness Slocum was discontent Inevitably, inexorably, his discontent deteriorated into desolation untilmething happened Something Happened is Joseph Heller s wonderfully inventive and controversial second novel satirizing business life and American culture The story is told as if the reader was overhearing the patter of Bob Slocum s brain recording what is going on at the office, as well as his fantasies and memories that complete the story of his life The result is a novel as original and memorable as his Catch 22.. Popular Books Something Happened This is an amazingly great book...and I generally recommend against reading it.This book takes place entirely inside the head of a middle-aged, upper middle-class, middle manager. He is not a nice person. He is not a unique person. He is not a particularly interesting person...except for the stunning detail in which we get to know him. We see--no--we live through his insecurities, his sex drive, his job, his nostalgia, his insecurities, his wife, his sex drive, his humor, his insecurities, his daughter, his nostalgia, his insecurities, his son, his sex drive, his neuroses, his other son, his humor -- and yes, like a real person his thoughts often return to the same tracks they have covered before. I fully believe that 99% of readers will want to yell "Let Me Out Of This Man's Skull!" within the first hundred pages because it is such a cramped and uncomfortable place to be in.However, for the other 1% let me give two reasons for why I liked the book. (Hmm, I don't think I "liked" this book and I certainly didn't "enjoy" it, but in the absence of a more nuanced verb let it stay as "liked".)The first reason is the multi-layered portrayal of the character. Consider the instance when Bob visits his son's gym teacher because his son hates some of the activities. Bob is intimidated by the gym teacher because he himself wasn't very good at sports. He feels superior because he is a business manager and not a mere gym teacher. He feels love for his son. He feels his son is right not to enjoy gym because he himself didn't. He feels his son is a wimp because he isn't competitive in sports. He wants to get his way to help his son. He wants to get his way because that proves he is a more powerful man than the gym teacher. This mixture of the good, bad, and banal is ever present in the descriptions of Bob's thoughts and actions.The second reason is that Heller created an unsympathetic character and made him fully human. The man is despicable. His is an adulterer, a liar, a manipulator, and a betrayer. Yet somehow for me instead of repulsion and denial ("Thank God I am not a sinner like him") Bob evoked repulsion and empathy ("There but for the grace of God go I"). Because as the reader I am so enmeshed in Bob's insecurity and despair, I understand where his impulse to lash out comes from at the same time as I cringe at his behavior. And aren't I a little bit of Bob, speaking thoughtlessly and selfishly just because I feel clever or I feel hurt?