Joseph Heller Books

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Joseph Heller was an bestselling American author of plays, short stories, screenplays and literature and fiction novels. He is famously known for his novel Catch-22, a satire on bureaucracy and war, whose title has become a synonym for a contradictory and absurd choice in the modern world. Joseph was born in Coney Island, Brooklyn and as a child, he loved writing, and as a teenager, he wrote a short story about the Russian invasion of Finland which was rejected after submitting it to the New York Daily News.

Order of Catch 22 Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Catch-22 1961 Description / Buy
2 Closing Time 1994 Description / Buy

Order of Joseph Heller Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 Something Happened? 1974 Description / Buy
2 Good as Gold 1979 Description / Buy
3 God Knows 1984 Description / Buy
4 Picture This (Short Story) 1988 Description / Buy
5 Portrait of an Artist, as an Old Man 2000 Description / Buy

Order of Joseph Heller Non-Fiction Books

# Read Title Published Details
1 No Laughing Matter 1986 Description / Buy
2 Now and Then 1998 Description / Buy

Joseph Heller Anthologies

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Best American Mystery Stories 2014 2014 Description / Buy
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The author graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School and spent the next one year working as a blacksmith’s apprentice, a filing clerk, and a messenger boy. He joined the United States Army Air Corps aged 19 and two years down the line; he was sent to the Italian Front.

Joseph became a published author in 1961 when Catch 22, the first book in a series by the same name was published. Besides Catch 22, Joseph Heller wrote other six standalone novels and two non-fiction. Catch As Catch Can, a collection of short stories was published posthumously in 2003. Heller died of heart attack in December 1999 at his home in East Hampton on Long Island.


These are two best books by Joseph Heller, Catch 22 and Something Happened

Catch 22: The debut novel in Catch 22 series by Joseph Heller. It is a satirical book that Joseph began writing in 1953 but first published in 1961. The book is often referred to as one of the most significant books of the 20th century and uses a distinctive non-chronological third-person narration narrating the events from the points of views of different characters. The different storylines are out of sequence, and so the timeline develops along with the plot.

The book is set during the WWII from 1942 to 194 and follows the story of Captain John Yossarian, a United States Army and most of the events in the story occur while in the fictional 256th Squadron situated on the island of Pianosa, west of Italy. The story delves deeper into the experiences of Yossarian and his fellow officers in the camp who attempt to maintain their sanity by fulfilling their commands and service requirements so that they can return home.

The development of the book can be divided into several segments. The first segment, (from chapters 1-11) follows the story split between characters, but in a sequential time in 1944. The second part (from chapters 12-20) gives a flashback on the “Siege of Bologna” before jumping to the present of 1944 from chapters 21 to 25. The fourth section from chapters 26-28 gives a flashback to the origins and the development of Milo’s syndicate, while the fifth section (chapter 28-32) gives a narration of the present but retaining the same tone as in the previous section. The last section (from chapter 32-) focuses on the “present” but generally takes a dark, twisted turn and focuses on the brutal an serious nature of war and life in general.

Many events in Catch 22 story are repeated narrated from the different point of views an, so the reader learns to move about every single event from each narration. The main character is Yossarian, who comes to fear his superiors more than he fears the Germans. While Yossarian and his soldier’s enemies are Germans, none appear in the narrative as an enemy combatant.

Something Happened: This book takes place entirely deep inside the head of a mid-aged, mid-class, middle manager. He is not such a nice person, he is not unique, and also he is not interesting except for the intriguing detail in which we get to know him. We get to experience his life through his insecurities, his job, his sex drive, his daughter, his nostalgia, his humor, his neuroses and just like any other human being, his thoughts often return to the same track they covered before.

In Something Happened, Joseph Heller created a multilayered portrayal of the character, Bob Slocum. Bob lived what anyone would call it the American Dream; he had a lovely family, a nice house and all the women he desired. He had all that life would give, apart from happiness. He was discontented, and his situation deteriorated into desolation until something happened, something that changed his life forever.

When Does The Next Joseph Heller book come out?

Joseph Heller doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Catch-22 and was released on April, 5th 2011. It is the newest book in the Catch 22 Series.

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