Closing Time by Joseph Heller

Closing TimeI fear I may have lost my reading mojo…I wanted to love this Catch 22 sequel, but am so sorry to report that I did not.  There were moments where Heller’s wry humor sent me into twittering fits and his ability to portray the absurdities of life once again prevailed.

Heller reintroduces many of his Catch 22 characters where we learn about their lives as men facing aging and for many, illness.  More of  their youth is also revealed in flashbacks.

Set in New York in the early 1990’s, Yossarian returns (from Catch 22( and figures prominently throughout.  He realizes he has sold out to the man he so abhorred in his youth yet can’t quite bring himself to becoming a martyr to make his point.

The novel alternated between nostalgic ramblings and far-fetched governmental plots, making it unclear as to which direction things were heading.  Mixing the two was difficult to take in.

This is a man I’d love to sidle up to closely with an open ear for all the sarcastic and dry comments he’d likely make in most any situation.  That some may not appreciate his absurd view of American government and corporations is truly sad commentary on mass apathy prevalent today.  Love that he didn’t care about some of his literary gaffes, like he probably didn’t care about those who may not have been in on his many jokes.  Also loved his Vonnegut references.  What’s occurred in the 20 years since this was published would provide Heller with ample material for another fine work.

My rating for Closing Time is a 7 out of 10.

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Next up, Carlos Fuentes’ The Death of Artemio CruzThe Death of Artemio Cruz


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