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Now and Then: From Coney Island to Here by [Joseph Heller]

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Now and Then: From Coney Island to Here Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 20 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"Lovely, the best writing Heller has done since the book that made him famous.... A joy." --Washington Post Book World

"Mouthwatering, elegantly written, lovingly detailed." --
The New York Times Book Review
"A lovely, moving, affirming, celebratory work of courage, clarity, insight and joy."--
The Sun [Baltimore]

From the Trade Paperback edition. Review

Catch-18 was the intended title of Joseph Heller's most famous novel, Catch-22, which the author renamed to avoid confusion with Leon Uris's bestseller Mila 18. It's hard now to imagine anyone ever mistaking a single line written by Heller for the work of someone else; his atmospheric new memoir grabs readers' attention with the same plain, powerful prose; blunt, but oddly tender, humor; and striking ability to recreate a particular time and place that distinguishes all his fiction.

The brief, haunting section on his air force service confirms that Heller drew on his own experiences for Catch-22. But it's his boyhood home, Brooklyn's Coney Island in the 1920s and '30s, that prompts Now and Then's best pages. You can practically taste the cheap ice cream and hot knishes, hear the shrieks of kids on the amusement park's hurtling rides, see the facades of long-demolished apartment buildings, and smell the sand-and-salt odor wafting from the beach. The dignity and emotional reticence of Heller's widowed mother, the security he felt in an impoverished but safe immigrant neighborhood, come to life just as vividly.

Scattered anecdotes about famous friends (including Irwin Shaw and James Jones) are also evocative, and occasional comments about his novels' themes reveal Heller to be a better self-critic than most writers. But it's his affectionate tribute to a vanished New York that most clearly displays this popular author's narrative skills and engaging personality. --Wendy Smith

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B004478AOI
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Vintage; 1st Vintage Books Ed edition (October 6, 2010)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ October 6, 2010
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 642 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 274 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 20 ratings

About the author

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Joseph Heller was born in 1923 in Brooklyn, New York. He served as a bombardier in the Second World War and then attended New York University and Columbia University and then Oxford, the last on a Fullbright scholarship. He then taught for two years at Pennsylvania State University, before returning to New York, where he began a successful career in the advertising departments of Time, Look and McCall's magazines. It was during this time that he had the idea for Catch-22. Working on the novel in spare moments and evenings at home, it took him eight years to complete and was first published in 1961. His second novel, Something Happened was published in 1974, Good As Gold in 1979 and Closing Time in 1994. He is also the author of the play We Bombed in New Haven.

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
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