Monday, November 30, 2009

'Something Happened' is Testing My Reading Patience

I've been reading Something Happened by Joseph Heller for the past week and I'm a bit torn. On the one hand it reads fairly smoothly. It follows Bob Slocum, an American middle aged man's stream of consciousness. Initially he's thinking about staff at work (who's afraid of who), the women (young women) he has affairs with, then he turns his focus on his family, his wife, daughter, and two sons (and who's afraid of who). It reads authentic to me. A string of uninhibited (as they tend to be) thoughts as he's going about his day.

I like that Bob contradicts himself at times, sometimes in the same passage (I do that too sometimes -- though it's also true that at times a characteristic that bothers me). Though I don't easily particularly identify with him, I understand some of the feelings he shares. Dealing with mundane, drudgery routine (what's so wrong with that?). 

A lot of thoughts have been going through his mind these past 430 pages though. So much that I hope I didn't miss anything happening. What's keeping me going is wanting to find out how it's resolved.

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