29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Underrated and Probably Underread, But Great!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Something Happened (Paperback)
Quite simply, Joseph Heller's "Something Happened" is one of the great novels of the twentieth century. The narrative style is more consistant with a story being told in person than reading a novel. When I first encountered this work as a younger man, I was impressed that fiction writing could be so powerful and yet so realistic. Years of exposure to the corporate world described have made me realize that the book is even more profound than on first reading. It is the deconstructing of the American Dream, and the casualties are each of us in his own way.
I was dismayed to read one reviewer write that nothing happens in "Something Happens." If one's criteria are shoot-outs and car chases, I suppose that this is true. What happens is internal, very personal, and unique to each of us. The protagonist confronts not only his own mortality, but that of an entire system. In contrast to the characters in Catch-22, who wear their absurdity on their sleeves, the characters in this book were harder to portray accurately. That Heller does this without missing a single note is a tribute to his craft.
I wish that this work had been included in the Modern Library's 100 Best. It is richly deserving of that accolade. Read it and you will not be the same.