Something Happened

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For the Swedish film, see Something Happened (film).
Something Happened
First edition
Author Joseph Heller
Cover artist Paul Bacon[1]
Country United States
Language English
Publisher Alfred A. Knopf
Publication date
September 1974
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
ISBN 0-394-46568-7
OCLC 902893
LC Class PZ4.H47665 So PS3558.E476

Something Happened is Joseph Heller's second novel (published in 1974, thirteen years after Catch-22). Its main character and narrator is Bob Slocum, a businessman who engages in a stream of consciousness narrative about his job, his family, his childhood, his sexual escapades, and his own psyche.

While there is an ongoing plot about Slocum preparing for a promotion at work, most of the book focuses on detailing various events from his life, ranging from early childhood to his predictions for the future, often in non-chronological order and with little if anything to connect one anecdote to the next. Near the end of the book, Slocum starts worrying about the state of his own sanity as he finds himself hallucinating or remembering events incorrectly, suggesting that some or all of the novel might be the product of his imagination, making him an unreliable narrator.

Something Happened has frequently been criticized as overlong, rambling, and deeply unhappy.[2] These sentiments are echoed in a review of the novel by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., but are balanced with praise for the novel's prose and the meticulous patience Heller took in the creation of the novel.[3] Based on this, Something Happened has garnered a small base of fans, with some characterizing it as "The best book you've never read".[4]


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