Joseph Heller

Add a comment with your reflections on this author.


Elizabeth (Bennett) said...

While Heller’s novels are lengthy, there are multiple themes incorporated in each of his books, which makes writing the paper easier. His writing style is unique and I found it enjoyable, but make sure you can understand and enjoy his writing or reading will be confusing and arduous. I would recommend reading Catch-22 first, as it is a good example of his writing style and his most popular work. I enjoyed Picture This, a tale about Rembrandt and Ancient Greece, told from the point of view of Aristotle in the painting Aristotle Contemplating a Bust of Homer. This drew on many themes similar to those in Catch-22 despite the different plot. Closing Time, while the companion novel to Catch-22 was less interesting and had less thematic material to write about. I would recommend reading Something Happened instead. As Heller’s writing can be confusing and dense, I would strongly recommend sticking to a schedule for reading and listing important themes.

Liam (brown) said...

Although Heller's novels are long and can be confusing until the end of the book, I would suggest reading his novels because they are easy to write a lengthy amount about and all of his books tie nicely together (Theme wise). I would suggest reading catch-22 first because it is one of his more interesting books and it ties together nicely and is very symbolic. I would also suggest to make a reading schedule and stick to it because his books are rather long and if u fall behind with the reading it is difficult and annoying to catch up. I would suggest to read God knows and not read Portrait of an Artist as an Old Man (because it is boring).

Brian (Brown) said...

While reading several of Heller's books, I was surprised at how enjoyable his writing style is. While he often creates situations that are confusing and contradictory, I found those situations to be quite entertaining. On multiple occasions I found myself laughing out loud while reading Good as Gold and Catch-22, simply because of the perpetual absurdity and irreverence in his writing. Furthermore, Heller uses the same clever cynicism in all of his novels, so if you tend to like that sort of humor you'll probably enjoy reading his books. His books all range between moderate length and relatively short (the ones I read had lengths of 120-450 pages), so I never really found myself struggling through a seemingly endless book. At the same time, while reading his longer works such as Catch-22 and Something Happened (both around 450 pages), I found that I moved through them relatively quickly because I was enjoying reading them. I found that he includes a wide variety of thematic topics in his works, so there are multiple ways that you could connect his books with a central theme. Overall, I recommend Heller as an author because his entertaining writing made this project a lot easier.

Emily (Brown) said...

Although Heller’s novels are all long, they have unique styles, which made them interesting and very funny to read. He uses lots of irony and satire, which is what I ended up focusing my paper on. Another advantage to doing Heller is that it is very easy to come up with a common theme because all his books address similar issues. If you plan on doing Heller for your AAT, I would recommend that you create a reading schedule and stick to it, because otherwise you may find yourself struggling to finish some of the books on time. Out of the 5 books I read, Catch 22 and Something Happened were definitely my favorites, so I suggest that you read those. I was happy that I chose Heller, and I would recommend him to anyone who does not mind reading a lot, and enjoys satire in books.

American Author Thesis

Now that you have written your essay, we ask that you reflect on the reading portion of the experience and write 100-150 words about your author.

Think of what you write as advice for someone next year and beyond, someone who (like you were doing last fall) is thinking about choosing your author - and maybe even the same three books - to read for the assignment.