Catch As Catch Can by Joseph Heller, Matthew J. Bruccoli & Park Bucker
The Collected Stories and Other Writings

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Synopsis

Long before there was a Catch-22, before there was even a Catch-18 (the novel's original title), Joseph Heller had begun sharpening his skills as a writer, searching for the voice that would best express the peculiarly wry view that he held of the world.
Starting in 1945, with the publication in Story magazine of the short story "I Don't Love You Anymore," Heller began to reach out to an audience of readers damaged and disillusioned by their experiences during World War II. That story dealt with the return home of an American soldier who was having more than a little trouble adjusting.
The stories published following this debut continued to reflect people at odds with the world around them, usually featuring the "little guy," the "underdog," the "average Joe" who beats the odds by surviving in a generally hostile and unwelcoming world.
Written in what is termed the "New York Style," his were stories of urban naturalism, realistic and straightforward, emulating the work of such writers as Irwin Shaw, William Saroyan, John O'Hara, and -- perhaps most especially -- Nelson Algren. For Heller, writing these stories was a part of the learning process, his education on how to get across his own point of view, leading up to the publication of his masterpiece, Catch-22.
Of the stories in this collection, thirteen were written before 1961, when Catch-22 was published; of those, five have never before been published. After Catch-22, Heller forsook the short story form. Though five stories were published after 1961, one -- "World Full of Great Cities" -- was actually written in 1949, three of the other four are spin-offs of Catch-22, and one is a preview of Closing Time.
Rounding out this collection of the complete published short writings of Joseph Heller are a short play and several nonfiction pieces, mostly related to Catch-22.
 

About Joseph Heller, Matthew J. Bruccoli & Park Bucker

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Joseph Heller was born and raised in Brooklyn. He lives in East Hampton, New York.From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published April 1, 2004 by Simon & Schuster. 352 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Catch As Catch Can

Kirkus Reviews

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Major Major Major, the victim of a life-long series of practical jokes, beginning with his name;

Oct 07 2011 | Read Full Review of Catch As Catch Can : The Coll...

Kirkus Reviews

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The exception is a 1972 article in which Heller talks about his absolute lack of interest in the years-long tribulations that went into Mike Nichols’s film adaptation of the book (Heller ultimately approved of the film but was never able to convince anyone that he really didn’t care either way).

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Publishers Weekly

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Heller's sequel to his classic first novel, Catch-22, finds Yossarian and company again surrounded by greed, violence and insanity, this time in contemporary New York.

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Publishers Weekly

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there are nostalgic passages about Coney Island, long Jewish dialogues that could have been penned by a whacked-out Neil Simon, bravura passages (notably, a magnificent wedding reception held at New York's Port Authority Bus Terminal) and hare-brained Pentagon meetings to discuss the new Shhhh su...

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Star Tribune

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Review: Many of these short stories seem more like generic '50s fiction than vintage Heller, but there are several standouts.

Mar 29 2003 | Read Full Review of Catch As Catch Can : The Coll...

Book Reporter

An editors' note appears in the early pages of CATCH AS CATCH CAN, a collection of short stories and other short pieces by Joseph Heller, the late novelist most famous for his 1961 novel CATCH-22.

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Catch As Catch Can : The Coll...

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