Read and re-read this book multiple times in my 20s. Thoroughly enjoyed it each time. 40 years later it still holds up.
Heller's lampooning of wartime behavior and thinking during WW II is brilliant. This book will make you laugh, cry, cheer and, most importantly, think.
I strongly suspect that without this book M*A*S*H, Apocalypse Now, Platoon, etc. would never have existed.
Read or listen to it!
Pro tip: the story is not told in chronological order. Once you know that it makes a lot more sense.
If you've read or never read Catch-22 this is a great performance. Sanders' character voices are great and bring all of Heller's zany characters to life in a manner that makes me appreciate Heller's wit more than when I first read the book many years ago. My only regret is that as I am listening to this performance as I drive home to and from work it seems like my commute is never long enough... Which is crazy because no one wants a long commute but because I only listen to the book while I commute it means I want a longer commute ...
Serious subject matter with a macabre humorous twist. A few parts of the book had me laughing, while other parts had me reflecting on the serious nature of life in the military.
Really enjoyed Catch-22. Will probably listen to it again. Filled with angst and contradictions that make you think about the absurdities of war and life.
Thoreau's 'Walden' and Ayn Rand's 25th anniversary introduction to 'The Fountainhead' summarize my library well.
Get ready for an ensemble of characters and time jumps: this title is a macabre, hysterical ride, and very much worth the read.
This book has one of the funniest scenes and one of the most moving death scenes I've ever experienced, and dozens of other scenes worth honorable mention. The contrast Heller creates between comedy and tragedy amplify the reader's experience of both. Sanders portrays Heller's large array of characters wonderfully, creating a very vivid experience for the reader in that camp on the island of Pianosa.
If you are a civilian like me, it will be helpful to brush up on Army ranks before starting this book (colonel, lieutenant, general, etc.). Otherwise, the lay reader can enjoy this title without any further military knowledge. I can only imagine how amplified the emotions of a reader with military experience would be while reading this.
The material is very dark at times, and not for the lighthearted. While WWII was necessary to rid the world of the social atrocities of that time, there was nothing romantic about the process for any country, soldier or civilian. I don't have any personal experience in matters of this sort, but I believe that Catch-22 captures this sentiment extremely well.
The story is great, but what set this apart is the narration. It was so good, that I was playing it for audiobook listener friends, saying, "How great is this?" I have over 80 audiobooks on my iTunes account and another 8 in my audible account so I don't say this lightly. I can't even think of a close second.
Help the bombardier, help him!!I am the bombardier! I am okay!....HELP HIM!
I can't put it in words, really. He made Catch 22 the most it could be.
Wouldn't rename it.
Revisiting Catch-22 when you're older is a tremendous joy as I understand the book much better than I did than the first time through.
The real story here, however, is not raider Jay O. Sanders. It was a tremendous job all the characters to life in a very individual way.
I laughed out loud, over and over. Such consistently convoluted logic, I can't imagine anyone in the US military approved of this book when it was released, but I'll bet they all read it. This is one of the finest examples of genuine written dialogue I've seen, and we learn far more about these savvy, hapless characters by what they say than what they do.