Good as Gold is Ebook Good as Gold is pretty much as good as Heller gets in the rarefied air of Catch and Something Happened Clearly this novelist ranks among the finest American satirists
Good as Gold is Ebook "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.. Bruce Gold, a middle aged, Jewish professor of English literature, finds himself on the brink of a golden career in politics and not a moment too soon, as Gold yearns for an opportunity to transform a less than picture perfect life His children think little of him, his intimidating father endlessly bullies him, and his wife is so oblivious that she doesn t even noticeBruce Gold, a middle aged, Jewish professor of English literature, finds himself on the brink of a golden career in politics and not a moment too soon, as Gold yearns for an opportunity to transform a less than picture perfect life His children think little of him, his intimidating father endlessly bullies him, and his wife is so oblivious that she doesn t even notice he s left her As funny as it is sad, Good as Gold is a story of children grown up, parents grown old, and friends and lovers grown apart a story that is inimitably Heller.. Good Kindle Good as Gold There is no way to create another Catch-22 so Good as Gold isn’t as good as gold, probably it is as good as tin at best.“Gold had little doubt he would succeed in Washington if once given the chance, for he was a master at diplomacy and palace intrigue. He was the department's deadliest strategist in the conflict now raging to attract students to subjects in liberal arts from other divisions of the college and to subjects in English from other departments in liberal arts.”Should a professor and author of many unread, seminal articles in small journals go for a political career? No. Never. Otherwise he would be just a subject for a mediocre and insipid novel such as Good as Gold.
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