Closing Time (novel)
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|Publisher||Simon & Schuster|
|Media type||Print (Hardback)|
|Pages||464 pp (1st edition hardback)|
Closing Time is a 1994 novel by Joseph Heller, written as a sequel to the popular Catch-22. It takes place in New York City in the 1990s, and revisits some characters of the original, including Yossarian, Milo Minderbinder and Chaplain Tappman.
The book has two stories that are interwoven throughout – that of Yossarian in the last stages of his life, and that of Sammy Singer and Lew Rabinowitz, two men from Coney Island who also fought in World War II (the Sammy Singer character makes a brief appearance in Catch-22 as the tailgunner aboard Yossarian's bomber who kept waking up and fainting when he saw Yossarian trying to attend to the wounds of Snowden).
As with Catch-22, the topic of death is omnipresent, only in this case from (usually) age-related illnesses, in particular cancer (rather than dying in battle, as with its predecessor).
One notable inconsistency in the book is that although Yossarian was 28 in Catch-22, which took place in 1944, in Closing Time Yossarian is 68, and the time of Catch-22 is referred to as "50 years ago". When asked about the inconsistency in an interview with The New York Times, Heller replied, "I know, but I decided to ignore it."
There is a man mentioned by Lew named Vonnegut, whom he met while in Dresden. This is a reference to Kurt Vonnegut's experiences in the Bombing of Dresden and his book Slaughterhouse-Five. A character named Joey Heller is also mentioned who, like the author, was a bombardier during the Second World War and suffers with Guillain-Barré syndrome.
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- Gelb, Barbara. "Catch-22 Plus: A Conversation with Joseph Heller". The New York Times. The New York Times. Retrieved 23 July 2011.