Something Happened

Something Happened 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 Ine

  • Title: Something Happened
  • Author: Joseph Heller
  • ISBN: 9780684841212
  • Page: 491
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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.

    One thought on “Something Happened”

    1. This is an amazingly great bookd 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 personexcept 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, [...]

    2. I know Bob Slocum. I hate Bob Slocum. I am far too often too much like Bob Slocum.What do you make of 550+ pages of internal narration, with no discernible plot, no character growth, no catharsis after reading the darkest, most selfish, most petulant and childish and sad and real meanderings of a middle American mind? You get Heller's Something Happened, and you get one man's view of what has happened to the American dream.I find it hard to write about this book without knowing when and how it c [...]

    3. In love, concussed, exhausted, and back tomorrow with a review :)The ReviewPhew! Okay: I’m going to focus only on the universality of Bob’s experience and not the time-and-place context of the thing.The Failure of PessimismIsn’t that cool? I’m not sure I want to be taken seriously as a reviewer because I generally just reflect on whatever I gained from the book. What the hell is a book review? I don’t really know. Wait until you see how not-a-book-review this is, by the way. I’ve tan [...]

    4. It was love at first sight (pun intended) and my affection with Catch-22 continues for over a decade. It is strange that I never thought of reading another one of Joseph Heller's, until one of my close mates bought "Something Happened" for me. I would have abandoned this book at the first 20 pages, if not for that kind soul who gifted it and the lingering memories of Catch-22. In hindsight, I should have moved on.You are on a crowded bus, the journey is tedious, you don't how long it is gonna ta [...]

    5. I overheard two men talking on the subway some time ago; apparently they had been using and abusing drugs and alcohol quite a lot in their time (but were looking surprisingly 'ordinary' in contrast to their topic for conversation). One of the guys said "I'm going to be 60 soon, just imagine" and the other responded: "Well, age is but a number, you are not older than you feel". The first speaker was silent for a while and then replied: "Well, you know, I feel pretty old."And this is how I always [...]

    6. "More like Nothing Happened," I've heard it quipped, which misses the entire point. Where Catch-22's Yossarian was essentially likeable, Heller doesn't give you that easy out with Bob Slocum.From Vonnegut's review in the New York Times (1974): "Is this book any good? Yes. It is splendidly put together and hypnotic to read. It is as clear and hard-edged as a cut diamond. [] This is black humor indeed--with the humor removed."

    7. A truly excellent novel from the author of Catch 22. Written with the same satiric style, this novel follows the rather tedious life of Bob Slocum. He is an office worker, who loves office politics and dislikes three quarters of his immediate family members. Nothing much happens until the end of this 600 page novel, and we simply listen to Slocum's monologue about his life. He's not meant to be likeable (although I did find his dry humour hilarious in parts). He is a rambling middle age man who [...]

    8. In my opinion, this is Joseph Heller’s best novel, bar none.Something Happened is Mr. Heller’s second novel, published in 1974 and is thirteen years after his great first novel, Catch-22.The protagonist Bob Slocum, narrates the story in his stream of consciousness about his family, his childhood, and sexual escapades. The novel is pretty thick that you might have second thoughts about reading it. There are moments in the book where i found myself confuse on what’s happening (and it’s ove [...]

    9. The storyline reminds me of a story I heard about Joseph Heller, known more for the modern classic Catch-22.He was at a cocktail party in Connecticut and someone pointed out a hedge fund manager and remarked that, "He makes more in a year than you ever made for writing Catch-22."Heller replied, "Yeah, but I have something he'll never have."His host said, "Really? What's that?""Enough."

    10. This is the sad story about Bob Slocum: business man, husband and father. Written in 1st person, largely inside the mind of Slocum, we see true unhappiness as he pines for a better career, has unsatisfying affairs with secretaries and office workers, and constantly wishes for a better family and better life. The drive of this tell-all confessional of Slocum's, is the curiosity as to which, of all his unhappy situations, will be the most destructive. I thought, as I neared the end, that Heller mi [...]

    11. Something happened…and I still can’t figure out what it is. With Heller’s careful and passionate dialogues along with profound character development, he successfully produced his second book about nothing. There are few authors that can write an entire novel without a plot and still make it encapsulating and powerful. I take my hat off to Mr. Heller, especially when he identifies many of our empty words and selfish tendencies in our interpersonal relationships. It will scare you to read th [...]

    12. Hey where'd my review go?? I think it's on a different edition. Oh well.Got through it for the third time! Read every damn word this time. I rarely got through a page without stopping to scribble down notes for the thing I'm writing—whereas I can get through legions of other books without being inspired in the slightest. My subconscious redirected me back to this book to get everything flowing in an authentic manner again. It's a bit like if you start a new diet and your stomach goes "I've had [...]

    13. Let me preface this by saying that despite the single star rating, I think Joseph Heller is an amazing author. Catch-22 is definitely one of the best books of all time, and technically Heller's writing is quite good in Something Happened.That said, I thoroughly disenjoyed this book. It was actively unfun. It took Joseph Heller about three times as long to say exactly what Steinbeck did in The Winter of Our Discontent -- and he said it less interestingly. This story of unhappiness with the modern [...]

    14. read this book almost four years ago and it has stayed with me. you don't really want to identify with the main character because his life is a sordid, pathetic mess, but it creeps onto you anyway and by the end you feel sort of used and old and sad. or was that just me? there were moments of humor too, but what i remember most is the plethora of parentheticals, the theory on the whammy, and the despair. if you're expecting catch-22 this is not quite it. think american beauty, but less uplifting [...]

    15. Bob Slocum, the protagonist of Something Happened, is the prototypical successful modern man. Replete with all the trappings--ascending career, expansive home in the suburbs, attractive wife--he is the ideal we (the sons) were told we were supposed to aspire to. But to our dismay Bob Slocum is a man in the full throws of existential crisis. We find him in his late forties standing on the precipice, staring into the abyss. Here is a man adrift in a world devoid of rational purpose or design, conf [...]

    16. Generally when an author makes his debut with a great book, two things happen, the subsequent books of the author are not as good as the first one or even if writes a better book somehow it is always in the shadow of the first one. The second happened to Joseph Heller, with his second novel 'Something Happened', which to me personally is as good as Catch-22 if slightly better than it. But which somehow does not seem to have got the same importance of 'Catch-22' or captured people's imagination a [...]

    17. I never finished this book, so I am classifying it as "to read." It is an incredible book--what I read of it--but it is perhaps the most depressing book I have ever read. For this reason alone, I recommend it strongly. If you can get through it, please let me know, because you have more fortitude than I do.I should elaborate on how this book is depressing, because the book is also quite humorous. The plot itself is not especially depressing (nor is it actually much of a plot, at least not what I [...]

    18. This is an incredibly well written book and an amazing character study, however, I can't rightly say it's anywhere near my other books that I considered to be my favorite. It's a very heavy novel and can kind of make you feel like crap to be honest. I just finished it and I feel like crap, for example.I love Heller, his quirkiness and his humor, and it's all in here by the truck load, but it's all very dark and it sticks with you, which is both good and bad. The character's musings present the e [...]

    19. It was too long. Like life Ha ha. It was repetitive. Like an argument. Like the chorus of a song. Like sex. Like going to work. Sometimes it was amazing, but not enough for 5 stars. There's always a 5 star book ahead of you for you to fear being inferior to.The something that happens was foreshadowed long before, but it's no longer significant. Its lack of significance is what is significant. Early on, we are asked, what happened to that perfect child? The one we start out as? The one our childr [...]

    20. I actually like this book better than Catch-22. I believe that Alan Ball used a lot of Heller's characterization in this novel to create Lester Burnham for American Beauty. The novel's protagonist is, simply put, an ass. You don't have to like him to become mesmerized (only word I can think of) by what he says and does and how he perceives everything and everybody with all filters turned off; it's like a snapshot of all of the very real, dark, horrific things that go on in all of our minds that [...]

    21. Nothing happened. Despite having written the enthralling and intriguing Catch-22, this does not even come close to the same level. The main character describes his pathetic life in minute details but does nothing to change the relationships he despises. There is no plot, no real character development, and no climax that's meaningful. The 'something' that happened, did so in the last three pages but since you couldn't relate to the main character, Bob Slocum, you couldn't feel for him at the end. [...]

    22. I read this in high school sometime after reading Catch-22. I might have forgotten about it if not for reading stuff about Joseph Heller a few days ago on the anniversary of his death or birthday or something, and it reminded me how much this book depressed me and seemed so grown-up and terrible. Just TERRIBLE-sad.

    23. The protagonist in Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five is abducted by four-dimensional aliens who experience every moment of their life simultaneously; their literature consists of sets of tableaux, each of which describes a plain situation or a seemingly trivial event, but experienced all at once they "produce an image of life that is beautiful and surprising and deep." The common wisdom is that this refers to the novel Slaughterhouse-Five itself; I am beginning to suspect, however, that Vonneg [...]

    24. I gave up on book after about 20 pages. I like Heller's style of writing, but this type of novel (probably relatively new at the time of writing) has now been way overdone. It's the amoral, dispassionate, existential novel that casually drives home the depressing reality of life bereft of universals. One is weighed down by the meaninglessness, hopelessness, listlessness, and flippantly debaucherous nature of life without some undergirding or direction. I think the first example I know of was Cam [...]

    25. brilliant, scathing, devastatingly tragic and funny, with maybe the most heart-wrenching ending that you'll ever come across. this book is my pick for great modern American novel.

    26. Bob Slocum is a deplorable, in every sense of the word. And yes, he's a Republican.Our reactions to art are influenced by our environment, by what is happening in the world around us. Had I read this book a few years ago, before a sexist pig became president, before #metoo and the exposure of widespread misogyny, I probably would have enjoyed it more. I would have been able to distance myself if I was still under the impression that things had drastically improved since 1966, that the reality of [...]

    27. It was our book club's choice for February. It was chosen because everyone liked Catch 22.Five men and four women attended the. Several others begged off. NO ONE FINISHED. NO ONE LIKED IT. I read the first 187 pages and the last 50.This is a very tedious read - 570 pages on my Kindle. Page after page of stream of consciousness and long convoluted sentences about Bob Slocum's insecurities, paranoia, misogyny, meanness, hatreds, bias, corporate life, adultery, sexual fantasies, ad nauseam. Lots of [...]

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