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Random House LLC
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SOMETHING HAPPENED Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
This was also the perfect progression after the end of Mad Men. Definitely felt like this would have been the next progression of the series and an eye opener into the post 60's white male battle with cultural change.
This was a personable, brave, and heartfelt story from Heller, of one man's bout with fatherhood and modern life and its trials and tribulations. Though a tad depressing at times, there isn't much that can be done about that, so is life ... it's not always easy. I've read 'Something Happened' a couple of times and enjoyed it immensely both reads, though years between each. I may even read it again someday.
Something Happened pits the narrator, a post-war middle management executive, husband, and father, against his own feelings of impotence. It inhabits an extramoral space in which human empathy is an unworkable idea whose time has passed, and there is nothing left for our narrator to be aware of but his own anxiety, seemingly condemnded to continue half-living indefinitely as a dispassionate spectator of his own lonesome life. The first words are "I get the willies when I see closed doors", the first of many motifs Heller amasses into an impressive arsenal of symbols and recurring thoughts he weaves into the fugue of dispair we know as Something Happened. We watch anxiously, pining for just one precious drop of careless hyperbole by which to dismiss this deliberate, sober, and masterful piece of work. But the book is possessed of a terrifying uniformity, it is ghastly in its mundandity, and Heller never falters. Kurt Vonnegut had this to say about Heller's sadistic and methodical patience:
"Slocum's sentences are so alike in shape and texture from the beginning to the end of the book, that I imagined a man who was making an enormous statue out of sheet metal. He was shaping it with millions of identical taps from a ball-peen hammer.
"Each dent was a fact, a depressingly ordinary fact."
Now to let Heller speak for himself:
". . .people tend to grow up pretty much the way they began; and hidden somewhere inside every bluff or quiet man and woman I know, I think, is the fully formed, but uncompleted, little boy or girl that once was and will always remain as it always has been, suspended lonesomely inside its own past, waiting hopefully, vainly, to resume, longing insatiably for company, pining desolately for that time to come when it will be safe and sane and possible to burst outside exuberantly, stretch its arms, fill its lungs with invigorating air, without fear at last, and call:
"'Hey! Here I am. Couldn't you find me? Can't we be together now?'
"And hiding inside of me somewhere, I know (I feel him inside me. I feel it beyond all doubt), is a timid little boy just like my son who wants to be his best friend and wishes he could come outside and play."
Most recent customer reviews
That's probably the point, but wow is it a tough slog.
The 1 star review is for the kindle edition specifically. You can only download this book 5 times.Read more
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