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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 uneasy peace and old age, fighting not the Germans this time, but The End. Closing Time deftly satirizes the realities and the myths of America in the half century since WWII: the absurdity of our politics, the decline of our society and our great cities, the greed and hypocrisy of our business and culture -- with the same ferocious humor as Catch-22.
Closing Time is outrageously funny and totally serious, and as brilliant and successful as Catch-22 itself, a fun-house mirror that captures, at once grotesquely and accurately, the truth about ourselves.
Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read.
Now a Hulu limited series starring Christopher Abbott, George Clooney, Kyle Chandler, and Hugh Laurie.
Fifty years after its original publication, Catch-22 remains a cornerstone of American literature and one of the funniest—and most celebrated—books of all time. In recent years it has been named to “best novels” lists by Time, Newsweek, the Modern Library, and the London Observer.
Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But 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. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to excuse himself from the perilous missions he’s assigned, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.
This fiftieth-anniversary edition commemorates Joseph Heller’s masterpiece with a new introduction by Christopher Buckley; a wealth of critical essays and reviews by Norman Mailer, Alfred Kazin, Anthony Burgess, and others; rare papers and photos from Joseph Heller’s personal archive; and much more. Here, at last, is the definitive edition of a classic of world literature.
Un clásico moderno absolutamente rompedor sobre el sinsentido de la guerra en una nueva edición con prólogo de Laura Fernández.
Trampa-22 es uno de los mejores libros del siglo xx y ha sido recientemente adaptado como miniserie televisiva protagonizada por George Clooney y Christopher Abott.
Durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial, en el hospital de la base norteamericana de una minúscula isla italiana, un piloto de bombardero llamado Yossarian finge estar loco. Quiere evitar a toda costa perder la vida en su próxima misión aérea y regresar a casa. ¿Por qué demonios intentan todos matarle desde abajo?, se pregunta cada vez que lanza una bomba. Yossarian intenta demostrar que está loco pero cae en la «trampa 22»: una absurda y perversa regla militar que afirma que aquellos que alegan locura para no ir a la guerra son los más cuerdos. Y si estás cuerdo, estás sano, así que... ¡no te queda otra!
Publicada originalmente en 1961, Trampa 22 es sin lugar a dudas una de las obras maestras más divertidas y celebradas de todos los tiempos y una piedra angular de la tradición literaria norteamericana, que le ha valido estar en las listas de los mejores libros del siglo xx. El lector se sumergirá en una ráfaga de situaciones absurdas y diálogos delirantes que subrayan la estupidez de la guerra y del ser humano. Y es que «el infierno somos, y hemos sido siempre, nosotros», apunta Laura Fernández en el prólogo. «Si iba a describir un infierno, sería uno rabiosamente divertido. Porque así de ridículo es el mundo. [...] para que esta humanidad trate de aprender algo de sí misma.»
«No hay ningún libro como este [...] sorprendentemente poderoso.»
Norman Mailer, Esquire
«Trampa 22 es la única novela bélica que he leído que tiene sentido.»
«Novela bomba [...]. Heller no solo descubrió "el lado gracioso" de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, sino que, además, anticipó las horriblemente hilarantes alucinaciones de Vietnam abriendo paso y escotillas para soltar absurdistas y entrópicos como Vonnegut, Berger, Kesey, Barthelme, Brautigan, Pynchon, Elkin, Friedman y Hunter Thompson y, más cerca, Wallace, Saunders y Palahniuk.»
Rodrigo Fresán, Babelia, El País
«Una de las obras más terriblemente divertidas en el uso del lenguaje [...]. Explosiva, implacable, subversiva, brillante.»
Robert Brustein, The New Republic
«Trampa 22 es una novela que nos recuerda una vez más todo aquello que hemos dado por supuesto en nuestro mundo y que no deberíamos, la locura que intentamos que pase desapercibida, las decepciones y las mentiras que no tenemos la voluntad de discernir de la verdad.»
John W. Adridge, The New York Times Review
«A mi parecer, en los últimos cincuenta años ha habido dos grandes novelas nort
Closing Time deftly satirizes the realities and the myths of America post WWII: the absurdity of their politics, the decline of their society and their great cities, the greed and hypocrisy of their business and culture – with the same ferocious humour as Catch-22.
This novel is a stunning achievement; a chilling, darkly funny depiction of the moral collapse of the Western world.
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.
Novelist Eugene Pota is a cultural icon of the twentieth century, struggling to write what will be the last novel of his career. But what to write about when, like so many noted authors before him, all of Pota's output since that first, landmark novel has been scrutinized and dissected - and found wanting?
PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST, AS AN OLD MAN follows Pota's efforts to settle on a subject for his final work. In his search, Heller - through Pota - pays homage to his favourite authors and discusses the problems that have plagued so many writers whose later works failed to live up to the successes of their first: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, Jack London, Joseph Conrad, to name but a few. It is a rare and enthralling look into the artist's search for creativity, a search that comes at a point in life when impotence - both sexual and spiritual - has become a frustrating fact. Joseph Heller must have known that this would be his final novel; it stands as a fitting testament to the life and works of a leading light in modern literature.
Here is his Coney Island childhood, down the block from the world's most famous amusement park. It was the height of the Depression, it was a fatherless family, yet little Joey Heller had a terrific time--on the boardwalk, in the ocean (dangerously out of his depth), playing follow-the-leader in and out of local bars, even in school. Then a series of jobs, from delivering telegrams (on his first bike) to working in a navy yard-until Pearl Harbor, the air force, Italy. And after the war, college (undreamed-of before the G.I. Bill), teaching, Madison Avenue, marriage, and-always-writing. And finally the spectacular success of Catch-22, launching one of the great literary careers.
The strengths of Now and Then lie in the energy, humor, and mischief that have characterized all of Heller's work, along with the dark undertones that lie beneath them. He brings back a Coney Island that is not only a symbol of fun and fantasy around the world but a vision of what seems today to have been a golden age of carefree innocence. For the first time, he writes about the people and the events, both tragic and hilarious, he was eventually to translate, in Catch-22, into such memorable characters as Hungry Joe, Orr, Major--de Coverley, Natel's whore, and (of course) Yossarian, and such moving and frightening scenes as the death of Snowden. Now and Then is both an account of a remarkable life and a glimpse into the creative process of a major American writer.
It all began one typical day in the life of Joe Heller. He was jogging four miles at a clip these days, working on his novel God Knows, coping with the complications of an unpleasant divorce, and pigging out once or twice a week on Chinese food with cronies like Mel Brooks, Mario Puzo, and his buddy of more than twenty years, Speed Vogel. He was feeling perfectly fine that day—but within twenty-four hours he would be in intensive care at Manhattan's Mount Sinai Hospital. He would remain hospitalized for nearly six months and leave in a wheelchair.
Joseph Heller had Guillain-Barré syndrome, a debilitating, sometimes fatal condition that can leave its victims paralyzed from head to toe. The clan gathered immediately. Speed—sometime artist, sometime businessman, sometime herring taster, and now a coauthor—moved into Joe's apartment as messenger, servant, and shaman. Mel Brooks, arch-hypochondriac of the Western world, knew as much about Heller's condition as the doctors. Mario Puzo, author of the preeminent gangster novel of our time, proved to be the most reluctant man ever to be dragged along on a hospital visit. These and lots of others rallied around the sickbed in a show of loyalty and friendship that not only built a wild and spirited camaraderie but helped bring Joe Heller, writer and buddy extraordinaire, through his greatest crisis.
This book is an inspiring, hilarious memoir of a calamitous illness and the rocky road to recuperation—as only the author of Catch-22 and the friend who helped him back to health could tell it. No Laughing Matter is as wacky, terrifying, and greathearted as any fiction Joseph Heller ever wrote.
Years before the publication of Catch-22—which was called “a monumental artifact of contemporary literature” by The New York Times, “an apocalyptic masterpiece” by the Chicago Sun-Times, and “one of the most bitterly funny works in the language” by The New Republic—Joseph Heller began sharpening his skills as a writer, searching for the voice that would best express his own peculiarly wry view of the world.
In Catch As Catch Can, editors Matthew J. Bruccoli and Park Bucker have for the first time collected the short stories Heller published prior to that first novel, along with all the other short pieces of fiction and nonfiction that were published during his lifetime. Also included are five previously unpublished short stories, most reflecting the influence on Heller of urban naturalist writers such as Irwin Shaw and Nelson Algren.
The result is an important and significant addition to our understanding and appreciation of Joseph Heller, showing his evolution as a writer and artist. For those unfamiliar with his work, it will serve as an excellent introduction; for everyone else, Catch As Catch Can is a chance to explore a new aspect of Heller's remarkable career.