This book is the classic example of where humor is NOT universal. As I was reading this I could almost SEE Heller trying to squeeze in the humor but for me, it came across as the vampire bite of satire rather than the bonhomie satire. It has been almost 9 years since I read this and I’ve never been tempted to re-read it to see if my opinion has changed or to search out any other works by Heller. In fact, this book makes me feel like this:
I know nothing about Heller’s real life experience in the war. I only know this was written 8+ years after the war had ended and wasn’t published until 1961. I just know that I found the mocking, the bitterness and the complete degradation through humor of the men who served in WWII to to be completely unpalatable. I couldn’t find the situations humorous. It is kind of like me making jokes about dead squirrels, or running them over or something. I find that uproariously hilarious but Mrs B will burst into tears, so I have learned to not tell those kind of jokes around her.
Another reason I was disappointed was that I was expecting the humor to be right down my alley. Making fun of a situation and the people involved because of stupidity. Yessir, sign me up! And like I said, it just didn’t work for me.
I guess this was more of a bittersweet Survival Story than anything. I am glad I read this so I have it in my reading repertoire, but really, I almost wish I could un-read this so as to not have this huge black hole of disappointment where this book resides in my mind.
- SaBB – The Swords of the Sultan!
- SaBB – A Quest of Heroes
- SaBB – Freeware
- SaBB – An Enemy Reborn
- SaBB – Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
- SaBB – Shadows Rise
- SaBB – The Boy and the Peddler of Death
- SaBB – The Space Vampires