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Ebook Gold nad zlato by Joseph Heller read! Book Title: Gold nad zlato
The author of the book: Joseph Heller
Edition: Slovart
The size of the: 7.89 MB
City - Country: No data
Date of issue: 2001
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Language: English
Format files: PDF
Loaded: 2468 times
Reader ratings: 3.8

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"Good as Gold" is pretty much as good as Heller gets in the rarefied air of "Catch 22" and "Something Happened." Clearly, this novelist ranks among the finest American satirists and performs a great service to readers insofar as satirists not only speak truth to corrupt power but diminish it by rendering it laughable. One is apt less to fear and consent to sinister forces which become imbecilic. The premise for the narrative is about a Jewish intellectual named Gold who is invited to become Secretary of State and the tragicomic series of events which lead him to a decision point about the importance of striving for vast and even absolute power. Like "Catch 22" it is government bureaucracy and ineptness which catch the major blows of Heller's narrative. The antics of Congress provide a sufficiently ample context for the absurdity of power portrayed in "Good as Gold." One wonders what tragic flaws exist in people who seek power relentlessly on a grand scale: is it egomania, narcissism, greed, materialism, wealth, control or all of the above? Is our Congress with some notable exceptions not on the whole a National Museum of Egomania? The dialogue in this novel is witty and laugh out-loud pithy in its portrayal of those who pursue with a single minded obsession their will to power within the structure of government. Why isn't the will to power understood for the inherent human defects that its pursuit proves so ubiquitously? Don't we have more than enough examples from human history which make this point evident, even obvious, especially when self-interest and arrogance become central in the noxious stew of greed driving the will to power. Are arrogant people only able to detect it retrospectively after their descent, whether forced or unforced, into humility? Is greed evident only after wealth is driven into poverty? Is humanity a necessary casualty and blind spot for individuals who pursue wealth above all on a grand scale? How much money and power are enough? Has anyone read Goethe's "Faust"? Heller's second premise for the novel is to write a book about what it means to experience being a Jew in America in the 20th century. His portrait of life in New York among an extended Jewish family is telling and intriguing. It is a narrative about the experience of bigotry, stereotyping and profiling. The dialogue in this novel is absolutely masterful and Heller pulls no punches. Like Yossarian we find in Gold a man bewildered by the absurdity of the society in which he is immersed. In this sense Gold becomes an everyman trying to make sense of unfathomable forces in everyday life. Gold reminded me of the protagonist, John Self, of Martin Amis in "Money" in that one of the greatest absurdities is why he behaves as he does. If Gold were malevolent, his villainy by virtue of his behavior would steal any sympathy which a generous reader might bestow upon such a highly intelligent but fundamentally flawed protagonist. It is the bewilderment and ineptitude and brilliance of the protagonists of Heller's novels which intrigue readers as they are all Heller himself: a man intellectually at war with himself and his own society, a Hobbesian jungle run by fools masquerading as saviors within an arrogant, democratic bastion of civilization. The novel starts slowly and will reward patient readers and it ends somewhat abruptly with intriguing story lines abruptly closed down as if Heller after 445 pages realized his book was becoming longish and he was tired of writing it. Heller ranks in the Pantheon of American writers of the extraordinary caliber of Saul Bellow and Kurt Vonnegut. Read this great novel for the pure comic wit evident in the story line, characters and dialogue -- then take away everything else that Heller generously offers to reward judicious readers.

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Joseph Heller was the son of poor Jewish parents from Russia. Even as a child, he loved to write; at the age of eleven, he wrote a story about the Russian invasion of Finland. He sent it to New York Daily News, which rejected it. After graduating from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1941, Heller spent the next year working as a blacksmith's apprentice, a messenger boy, and a filing clerk. In 1942, at age 19, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. Two years later he was sent to Italy, where he flew 60 combat missions as a B-25 bombardier. Heller later remembered the war as "fun in the beginning... You got the feeling that there was something glorious about it." On his return home he "felt like a hero... People think it quite remarkable that I was in combat in an airplane and I flew sixty missions even though I tell them that the missions were largely milk runs."

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