Who could have predicted a game improvised at Badminton House could become an Olympic sport?
September 01, 2011
“Oh God, this is a calamity for American literature,” Kurt Vonnegut said.
Then there was John Updike, a pretty decent writer himself, who was less generous:
Heller “wasn’t top of the chart” as a writer, he reflected, though he was “a sweet man” and he did admit his first novel, “Catch-22” was “important.”
A statement that might have said more about Updike than Heller.
Heller was no armchair author as Bailey points out:
"He flew 60 bombing missions between May and October 1944, a feat that should have killed him three times over, statistically speaking, since the average personnel loss was 5 percent per mission."
The result was “Catch-22,” published in 1961.
Nobody has written about the insanity of war with more sanity:
"There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions..."
The Great American Novel.
This not "top of the chart" writer may very well have written it.