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Something Happened Paperback – International Edition, November 12, 1997
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Top Customer Reviews
If you can get past that, you'll do fine with this book. It is written entirely in stream-of-conciousness, from the point of view of Bob Slocum's confused and lonely mind. Truly the best thing about this book is the characterization of Bob himself; his sheer humanity is such that the more you get to know him, the harder it gets to be sure whether you should sympathize with him or depise him. It is often easy to do both simulataneously. This book takes you into the darkest corners of the mind of someone who on the surface would seem to be an average guy, and really makes you think about yourself and other people you know, the kinds of secret thoughts that everyone has and that everyone is ashamed to have.
Most of the book focuses on Bob's relationship with his family; his unnamed wife, son, and daughter and his brain-damaged son Derek. There are some very poignant moments here, although it does tend to stagnate in places where he simply reiterates the same point over and over again. He also has a tendency to jump back to certain specific details of his past for seemingly no reason at all and retell the same bits multiple times, and in sets of parantheses which often last for pages. We are, however, rewarded for our patience with these flaws whenever Bob tells us of his work life, for it is here that we get a taste of the wry humor and snappy dialogue that made Catch-22 such a joy to read.Read more ›
This book is certainly not pretty. Bob slocum is sexist, racist, homophobic, a womaniser and a bully, as are most of the people who inhabit his world. But he is more real than you can ever imagine.
Despite my criticisms, Something Happened is undoubtedly a work of Genius. Heller shatters the American Dream. It is a larger than life portrayal of the same world Holden Caulfield (of The Catcher in the Rye) is so dissillusioned with.
While you might at times get frustrated with the book's repetition and seeming lack of direction, stick it out - it's definitely worth it. You'll be rewarded with a true and moving insight into the darker side of modern society (even truer now, 40 years on).
Despite attempting a far sadder novel here, than with Catch-22, Heller certainly hasn't lost any of his wit. A hard but ultimately rewarding read, definitely worth a look.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed it, well written, the story line just suspenseful enough.Published 4 months ago by Tom Pain
I don't know how much this would have resonated with me when I was in my twenties but anyone who has worked in a professional or office environment and is in their thirties will... Read morePublished 9 months ago by sns1102
This is a grossly underrated novel by the writer of Catch-22. It delves into the psyche of Bob Slocum, a highly neurotic corporate executive. Read morePublished 10 months ago by John P. McClintock
The SIXTIES!!! Damaged this country irreparably. This is it's chronicle.Published 11 months ago by Bcorig
It can be hard to separate the time of your life when you read a book from how you felt about the story itself. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Ed Raton
Here's what I hate: I ordered two copies of Something Happened but only received one. (I belong to a book club and always order an additional copy of our book selections for my... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Pauline Goldberg