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The long-unawaited sequel to an American classic. In 1961 Heller published Catch-22, a viciously antiwar novel about a group of young American bombers in WW II. It was a tight, brutal assault on the military mindset, bureaucratic logic, and the ruthlessness of capitalism. In an act of absurdity worthy of Catch- 22, Heller has written a sequel to a novel that needed no sequel. Yossarian is once again in the hospital. This time, he's 68 and in Manhattan. He is still after the nurses, and Chaplain Tappman again pays him a surprise visit. Yossarian is now a consultant for Milo Minderbinder and his defense contracting company. The chaplain disappears after the government (and Milo) learn that his body is inexplicably producing heavy water. The nation is led by a trigger- happy Dan Quaylelike president, and there is a secret network of government tunnels under the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Yossarian stumbles down below, where he finds a massive doomsday cellar connected (literally) to hell. In hell he finds a pantheon of dead writers and a reconstructed turn-of-the-century Coney Island. However, this semi-interesting plot is not the main story. Instead, Heller spends most of the time kvetching about getting old and dying. Hardly any of the old, interesting characters make appearances (Orr gets a paragraph), and those who do, like Lew and Sammy, have nothing to do with the plot and no interaction with Yossarian. The only connection to the original is that in a few places Heller sets up similar situations and dialogue to show that capitalism and the military mindset are still the same. But by naming a character Dr. Strangelove, Heller is beating a very tired horse. A line aimed at Yossarian applies to Heller as well: ``You sound so bitter these days. You used to be funnier.'' Be content with the original and pretend the sequel never happened. (First printing of 200,000; first serial to Playboy; author tour)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 1994

ISBN: 0-671-74604-9

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1994

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Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Sisters work together to solve a child-abandonment case.

Ellie and Julia Cates have never been close. Julia is shy and brainy; Ellie gets by on charm and looks. Their differences must be tossed aside when a traumatized young girl wanders in from the forest into their hometown in Washington. The sisters’ professional skills are put to the test. Julia is a world-renowned child psychologist who has lost her edge. She is reeling from a case that went publicly sour. Though she was cleared of all wrongdoing, Julia’s name was tarnished, forcing her to shutter her Beverly Hills practice. Ellie Barton is the local police chief in Rain Valley, who’s never faced a tougher case. This is her chance to prove she is more than just a fading homecoming queen, but a scarcity of clues and a reluctant victim make locating the girl’s parents nearly impossible. Ellie places an SOS call to her sister; she needs an expert to rehabilitate this wild-child who has been living outside of civilization for years. Confronted with her professional demons, Julia once again has the opportunity to display her talents and salvage her reputation. Hannah (The Things We Do for Love, 2004, etc.) is at her best when writing from the girl’s perspective. The feral wolf-child keeps the reader interested long after the other, transparent characters have grown tiresome. Hannah’s torturously over-written romance passages are stale, but there are surprises in store as the sisters set about unearthing Alice’s past and creating a home for her.

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Pub Date: March 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-345-46752-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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