Now and Then: From Coney Island to Here

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9780375700552: Now and Then: From Coney Island to Here

From the author of two of our most legendary novels, Catch-22 and Something
Happened
, comes a slyly funny, vastly revelatory memoir that is at once a loving
evocation of a lost America and an exploration of the frontier where life turns
into literature.

Now and Then follows Joseph Heller from his fatherless childhood on the
boardwalks of Depression-era Coney Island, where he grew up amid the rumble of
the Cyclone and the tantalizing aroma of Mrs. Shatzkin's knishes. It offers a
dizzying bombardier's-eye view of the sky over wartime Italy, where Heller
encountered the characters and incidents he would later translate into Catch-22.
It depicts a writer coming to terms with both rejection and celebrity. Here, in
short, is a life filled with incident and insight, recollected with  subversive
humor, exquisite timing, and a fine appreciation for the absurd.

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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

From the Back Cover:

The demented Army Air Force of Catch-22, the lethal business world of Something Happened, the dysfunctional family of Good as Gold - all these, we have assumed, had their roots in Joseph Heller's own past. Now, more than thirty-five years after the explosion of Catch-22 into the world's consciousness, Heller gives us his life. Here is his Coney Island childhood, down the block from the world's most famous amusement park. It was the height of the Depression, it was a fatherless family, yet little Joey Heller had a terrific time - on the boardwalk, in the ocean (dangerously out of his depth), playing follow-the-leader in and out of local bars, even in school. Then a series of jobs, from delivering telegrams (on his first bike) to working in a navy yard - until Pearl Harbor, the air force, Italy. And after the war, college (undreamed-of before the G.I. Bill), teaching, Madison Avenue, marriage, and - always - writing. And finally the spectacular success of Catch-22, launching one of the great literary careers.

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. The demented Army Air Force of Catch-22, the lethal business world of Something Happened, the dysfunctional family of Good as Gold-all these, we have assumed, had their roots in Joseph Heller s own past. Now, more than thirty-five years after the explosion of Catch-22 into the world s consciousness, Heller gives us his life. Here is his Coney Island childhood, down the block from the world s most famous amusement park. It was the height of the Depression, it was a fatherless family, yet little Joey Heller had a terrific time--on the boardwalk, in the ocean (dangerously out of his depth), playing follow-the-leader in and out of local bars, even in school. Then a series of jobs, from delivering telegrams (on his first bike) to working in a navy yard-until Pearl Harbor, the air force, Italy. And after the war, college (undreamed-of before the G.I. Bill), teaching, Madison Avenue, marriage, and-always-writing. And finally the spectacular success of Catch-22, launching one of the great literary careers.The strengths of Now and Then lie in the energy, humor, and mischief that have characterized all of Heller s work, along with the dark undertones that lie beneath them. He brings back a Coney Island that is not only a symbol of fun and fantasy around the world but a vision of what seems today to have been a golden age of carefree innocence. For the first time, he writes about the people and the events, both tragic and hilarious, he was eventually to translate, in Catch-22, into such memorable characters as Hungry Joe, Orr, Major--de Coverley, Natel s whore, and (of course) Yossarian, and such moving and frightening scenes as the death of Snowden. Now and Then is both an account of aremarkable life and a glimpse into the creative process of a major American writer. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780375700552

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Book Description Vintage Books USA 1/26/1999, 1999. Paperback or Softback. Book Condition: New. Now and Then: From Coney Island to Here. Book. Bookseller Inventory # BBS-9780375700552

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.The demented Army Air Force of Catch-22, the lethal business world of Something Happened, the dysfunctional family of Good as Gold-all these, we have assumed, had their roots in Joseph Heller s own past. Now, more than thirty-five years after the explosion of Catch-22 into the world s consciousness, Heller gives us his life. Here is his Coney Island childhood, down the block from the world s most famous amusement park. It was the height of the Depression, it was a fatherless family, yet little Joey Heller had a terrific time--on the boardwalk, in the ocean (dangerously out of his depth), playing follow-the-leader in and out of local bars, even in school. Then a series of jobs, from delivering telegrams (on his first bike) to working in a navy yard-until Pearl Harbor, the air force, Italy. And after the war, college (undreamed-of before the G.I. Bill), teaching, Madison Avenue, marriage, and-always-writing. And finally the spectacular success of Catch-22, launching one of the great literary careers.The strengths of Now and Then lie in the energy, humor, and mischief that have characterized all of Heller s work, along with the dark undertones that lie beneath them. He brings back a Coney Island that is not only a symbol of fun and fantasy around the world but a vision of what seems today to have been a golden age of carefree innocence. For the first time, he writes about the people and the events, both tragic and hilarious, he was eventually to translate, in Catch-22, into such memorable characters as Hungry Joe, Orr, Major--de Coverley, Natel s whore, and (of course) Yossarian, and such moving and frightening scenes as the death of Snowden. Now and Then is both an account of aremarkable life and a glimpse into the creative process of a major American writer. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780375700552

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Book Description Vintage Books USA. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 272 pages. Dimensions: 8.0in. x 5.1in. x 0.6in.From the author of two of our most legendary novels, Catch-22 and SomethingHappened, comes a slyly funny, vastly revelatory memoir that is at once a lovingevocation of a lost America and an exploration of the frontier where life turnsinto literature. Now and Then follows Joseph Heller from his fatherless childhood on theboardwalks of Depression-era Coney Island, where he grew up amid the rumble ofthe Cyclone and the tantalizing aroma of Mrs. Shatzkins knishes. It offers adizzying bombardiers-eye view of the sky over wartime Italy, where Hellerencountered the characters and incidents he would later translate into Catch-22. It depicts a writer coming to terms with both rejection and celebrity. Here, inshort, is a life filled with incident and insight, recollected withsubversivehumor, exquisite timing, and a fine appreciation for the absurd. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780375700552

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The demented Army Air Force of Catch-22, the lethal business world of Something Happened, the dysfunctional family of Good as Gold-all these, we have assumed, had their roots in Joseph Heller s own past. Now, more than thirty-five years after the explosion of Catch-22 into the world s consciousness, Heller gives us his life. Here is his Coney Island childhood, down the block from the world s most famous amusement park. It was the height of the Depression, it was a fatherless family, yet little Joey Heller had a terrific time--on the boardwalk, in the ocean (dangerously out of his depth), playing follow-the-leader in and out of local bars, even in school. Then a series of jobs, from delivering telegrams (on his first bike) to working in a navy yard-until Pearl Harbor, the air force, Italy. And after the war, college (undreamed-of before the G.I. Bill), teaching, Madison Avenue, marriage, and-always-writing. And finally the spectacular success of Catch-22, launching one of the great literary careers.The strengths of Now and Then lie in the energy, humor, and mischief that have characterized all of Heller s work, along with the dark undertones that lie beneath them. He brings back a Coney Island that is not only a symbol of fun and fantasy around the world but a vision of what seems today to have been a golden age of carefree innocence. For the first time, he writes about the people and the events, both tragic and hilarious, he was eventually to translate, in Catch-22, into such memorable characters as Hungry Joe, Orr, Major--de Coverley, Natel s whore, and (of course) Yossarian, and such moving and frightening scenes as the death of Snowden. Now and Then is both an account of aremarkable life and a glimpse into the creative process of a major American writer. Bookseller Inventory # LIE9780375700552

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