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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another masterpiece from Heller
'Good as Gold' is Heller in superb form. The protagonist (Bruce Gold) is another of his classic male leads, both overbearing and distant yet simultaneously insecure and very afraid. Gold is jewish, and the book brilliantly juxtaposes his family life and his attempts at climbing the social and political ladder in Washington. He would be happy to leave the former behind,...
Published on 17 April 2003 by Depressaholic

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars longwinded and spirit-crushing with some brilliant moments
Good as Gold is at its best in the family scenes, but elsewhere slides off the rails by mixing realistically-portrayed characters with parodically-portrayed ones, offering minute character-analyses of people who are unbelievable in the first place. The analyses are solemn but the characters are comic. Trying to be comic and serious at the same time is not an impossible...
Published on 7 July 2007 by Horselover


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another masterpiece from Heller, 17 April 2003
This review is from: As Good as Gold (Paperback)
'Good as Gold' is Heller in superb form. The protagonist (Bruce Gold) is another of his classic male leads, both overbearing and distant yet simultaneously insecure and very afraid. Gold is jewish, and the book brilliantly juxtaposes his family life and his attempts at climbing the social and political ladder in Washington. He would be happy to leave the former behind, and desperately craves the latter, but Heller shows that they are not so different. At home he is bullied by his father, bewildered by his brother and fails to understand his relationship with his wife. In Washington Pugh Connover, Ralph Newsome and Andrea Connover fulfil these roles. The affairs and dealings he covers up with his family are lauded in DC, and Gold is equally lost in both worlds.
The centrepiece of the book is Gold's attempt to write a book about the Jewish experience in America, something he doesn't know how to begin to do, despite the fact he is currently living it out. The book is not really an indictment of anti-semitism, which is presented as being rife in government, but also an examination of how some jewish figures (notably Kissinger, and Gold himself) have happily embraced this anti-semitic world through their ambitions. The references to kissinger and the Nixon-era administration seem a little dated now, perhaps distracting from the import of the book.
Like all Heller's work, there is much humour, though always mixed with bile. Gold's interactions with his father and step-mother are funny and frustrating in equal measure, while his conversations with the deeply unpleasant Pugh Biddle Connover are both monstrous and hilarious, with the senator refusing to acknowledge Gold's name, replacing it instead with random jewish epithets.
Like all Heller's works, this book is brilliantly written, very funny yet very painful. Its accessibility is perhaps diminished by time and the subject matter (i.e. the jewish experience in American politics) will perhaps not interest everyone, but it is simply a book about people and their failings, and just how hard we can make life for ourselves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars longwinded and spirit-crushing with some brilliant moments, 7 July 2007
This review is from: As Good as Gold (Paperback)
Good as Gold is at its best in the family scenes, but elsewhere slides off the rails by mixing realistically-portrayed characters with parodically-portrayed ones, offering minute character-analyses of people who are unbelievable in the first place. The analyses are solemn but the characters are comic. Trying to be comic and serious at the same time is not an impossible proposition, but it is one that Heller fails to pull off. Added to this, the hero gets what he wants too early and too often, and instead of laughing at his trials the reader occasionally feels envy, which for a satire is fatal.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joseph Heller's New York Masterpiece, 25 Nov 2001
By 
P. D. Chapman "PC" (Uk, London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: As Good as Gold (Paperback)
Once again Heller entices you into a world of paranoia, inexplicable conversations and wonderful characters just on the edge of reality. Gold is a jewish professer living in New York finding himself drawn into Heller's outrageous Washington whilst the family around him frustrates and scares him. The book, as all Heller's, is wonderfully crafted and through small episodes the characters flourish. Subtely it is the book which Gold is planning throughout
on ' the Jewish experience'. Gold is always left unsure as to whether he has had one. A wonderful book and dark as it is light.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Book of the 20th Century, 15 Oct 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: As Good as Gold (Paperback)
While it is undisputed that Heller is our greatest writer, there are some who would rate Catch-22 as his greatest work. Those people better take a second look at this book. The Gold family is unparalleled in our literature. Sid Gold is the perfect parody of Melville's Ishmael. Social commentary in the guise of comedy. While others have tried, only the true master Heller does it justice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 30 May 2013
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This review is from: Good As Gold (Kindle Edition)
Loved this book so much - all the signature Heller hallmarks you would expect (absurd / paradoxical logic that you can actually imagine etc). A must read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The President is still asleep., 1 April 2009
This review is from: As Good as Gold (Paperback)
Very funny, particularly the contradictory uttering of Ralph Newsome and the almost crazy conversations at family get togethers. Thirty years on and I do not get the anti Kissinger stuff. Heller shines a light under Kissinger's bed sheets but the subsequent derogatory references to him that may once have been funny do not work anymore. That joke is not funny anymore.
It is about Gold, Gold who is painted with similar characteristics to Bob in `Something Happened'. Unlike Yossarian in `Catch 22', one cannot really warm to Gold. As a reader you do not care what happens to Gold, even when he is caught in a farce towards the end and a reality check. Perhaps one hopes he might end up deeper in it. It kind of makes the point of ambition pointless. Gold searches for gold but The President is still asleep.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Synopsis, 11 Sep 2008
This review is from: Good as Gold (Paperback)
Dr. Bruce Gold, a forty-eight-year-old Jewish professor of English, faces the possibilities of being appointed to a high State Department position and being disowned by his family.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The book is funny, humerous, and the details seem true!!!, 23 Nov 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: As Good as Gold (Paperback)
Dr. Bruce Gold, the youngest male in the family, with an older brother, four older sisters, and a younger sister, is slated for a high-placed government job. A friend of his, Ralph Newsome, has promised him an important place in the current administration. Newsome never really tells Gold what the job is and is constantly contradicting himself. He tells Gold innumerable times that the administration (the President) is very proud of his work, even though he hasn't really done any work at all. For example, he served on a committee that met only twice- long enough to have coffee. Then they dissolved the committee saying that their job was complete. Gold was supposed to write a report, which, of course, he didn't, but everyone still complemented him on it. Gold is impressed with his own ability to do well in government, but feels his wife, Belle, would not be accepted in the social circles, so he reacquaints himself with a wealthy daughter of a man who can further his ambitions. They enter into an affair and become secretly engaged with the stipulation that he leave his wife. He also enters into relationships with other women; he falls into and out of love when he has the time. Gold has committed himself to write a book about Jewish life in America. He has even received money from his publisher for the endeavor. He also has been gathering information for many years about Henry Kissinger and plans a book aobut him. In the end he decides to remain with his wife, and to write the book about Kissinger. Unbeknownst to him, this book really is really the story about Jewish life in America. This book relates all the predjudices, ups-and-downs, etc. of being Jewish. This book was funny, humerous, and the details seem too true. The descriptions of relationships within the family were especially humerous and witty.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book is funny, humerous, and the details seem true!!!, 23 Nov 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: As Good as Gold (Paperback)
Dr. Bruce Gold, the youngest male in the family, with an older brother, four older sisters, and a younger sister, is slated for a high-placed government job. A friend of his, Ralph Newsome, has promised him an important place in the current administration. Newsome never really tells Gold what the job is and is constantly contradicting himself. He tells Gold innumerable times that the administration (the President) is very proud of his work, even though he hasn't really done any work at all. For example, he served on a committee that met only twice- long enough to have coffee. Then they dissolved the committee saying that their job was complete. Gold was supposed to write a report, which, of course, he didn't, but everyone still complemented him on it. Gold is impressed with his own ability to do well in government, but feels his wife, Belle, would not be accepted in the social circles, so he reacquaints himself with a wealthy daughter of a man who can further his ambitions. They enter into an affair and become secretly engaged with the stipulation that he leave his wife. He also enters into relationships with other women; he falls into and out of love when he has the time. Gold has committed himself to write a book about Jewish life in America. He has even received money from his publisher for the endeavor. He also has been gathering information for many years about Henry Kissinger and plans a book aobut him. In the end he decides to remain with his wife, and to write the book about Kissinger. Unbeknownst to him, this book really is really the story about Jewish life in America. This book relates all the predjudices, ups-and-downs, etc. of being Jewish. This book was funny, humerous, and the details seem too true. The descriptions of relationships within the family were especially humerous and witty.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 24 Sep 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: As Good as Gold (Paperback)
I read this book 10 years ago, and it still remains vivid in my mind. I can't open a damn fortune cookie without laughing like a fool because of Heller. Do yourself a favor and read it now.
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As Good as Gold
As Good as Gold by Joseph Heller (Paperback - 24 Nov 1997)
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