Book Review: Something Happened

Wednesday 2 October 2013 by

Something Happened, Joseph Heller, Book, Waterstones, Review, Catch-22Something Happened by Joseph Heller

Published by Vintage

576 pages

It was the madness of war that prompted the magnificent lunacy of CATCH-22; it is the malaise of modern America which inspires SOMETHING HAPPENED – a book as stunning and as splendidly original as its predecessor.


I really wish I could start the House of Blog book reviews with a good review…

But I can’t.

I desperately wanted to love this book. I adore Catch-22 and recommend it to everyone. But Something Happened (pitched as “his finest work” on the front cover) is basically just an unpleasant man whinging about unpleasant people and not doing anything with his life.

Perhaps it’s a deep and meaningful look at American culture, but I just couldn’t see it. The blurb on the back talks about a malaise, but rather than a witty observation, it was filled with its own malaise. I found myself skipping ahead to see when each scene would at last end, or check the next chapter heading to see what I could expect. And what I saw didn’t thrill me. Of the 500-plus pages, I managed a feeble 221 before setting it aside. It has since sat on my bedside table eyeing me woefully, getting tucked further and further down the pile of books until I am only reminded of it when I pick them up to dust. The bookmark is still at page 221, but it will go no further.

I have felt my own malaise when it comes to this book.

My advice – skip over Something Happened (because nothing is happening), and pick up a copy of Catch-22 (where EVERYTHING happens).

Zero star, Rating, Houses, House of Blog

Have you read Catch-22 or Something Happened? What did you think?

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