's second novel
(published in 1974, thirteen years after Catch-22
). Its main character and narrator
is Bob Slocum, a businessman who engages in a stream of consciousness narrative about his job, his family, his childhood, his sexual escapades, and his own psyche.
While there is an ongoing plot about Slocum preparing for a promotion at work, most of the book focuses on detailing various events from his life, ranging from early childhood to his predictions for the future, often in non-chronological
order and with little if anything to connect one anecdote to the next.
Something did happen to me somewhere that robbed me of confidence and courage and left me with a fear of discovery and change and a positive dread of everything unknown that may occur.
I think that maybe in every company today there is always at least one person who is going crazy slowly.
It's a real problem to decide whether it's more boring to do something boring than to pass along everything boring that comes in to somebody else and then have nothing to do at all.
...if you asked any one of them if he would choose to spend the rest of his life working for the company, he would give you a resounding No!, regardless of what inducements were offered. I was that high once. If you asked me that same question today, I would also give you a resounding No! and add: "I think I'd rather die now." But I am making no plans to leave. I have the feeling now that there is no place left for me to go.
Because Andy Kagle is good to me and doesn't scare me any longer, I despise him a little bit too.
Everything passes. (That's what makes it endurable.)
Yesterday, I helped a blind man across the street and was surprised that I did not feel revolted when I took his arm.
Sundays are deadly.Spare time is ruinous.
I don't know what else one can do with a hole in one except talk about it.
I want to keep my dreams, even bad ones, because without them, I might have nothing all night long.