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Book Title: Niečo sa stalo|
The author of the book: Joseph Heller
Date of issue: 2001
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 993 KB
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Loaded: 2041 times
Reader ratings: 7.3
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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?
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Read information about the authorLibrarian 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 year working as a blacksmith's apprentice, a messenger boy, and a filing clerk. In 1942, at age 19, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. Two years later he was sent to Italy, where he flew 60 combat missions as a B-25 bombardier. Heller later remembered the war as "fun in the beginning... You got the feeling that there was something glorious about it." On his return home he "felt like a hero... People think it quite remarkable that I was in combat in an airplane and I flew sixty missions even though I tell them that the missions were largely milk runs."
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