A brilliant tale of military logic.... or rather... the complete lack thereof. Laugh out load funny and yet soul crushingly depressing at the same time.
The narrator is terrific [wish he'd done more stuff I want to hear] and even though I've read the book many times, llistening to it made it new for me again. Definitely worth the time,even it you know the book well.
"If 'tis a sin, I don't give a Fiddler's fart!" -Frank McCourt.
Some part of it was "kind of" funny (and I use the word funny loosely here). The rest of it was just annoying. I kept wating for some kind of big reveal or something interesting to happen at the end, unfortunately It never came together for me.
After reading the reviews, I was really looking forward to finally enjoy this book. Seems to me that every character in the story belong in some type of nut house, and the fact that it took place in a military setting makes the whole thing seem far-fetched and more confusing as to how any officers of the US Air Force would behave in such rediculous manner and get away with it?
Tell us about yourself!
If you like Catch-22, you will most likely enjoy this audiobook and the narration of Jay O. Sanders. For those of you who did not enjoy the book but wanted to give audio a shot, do not waste your time. Sanders cannot make up for the annoying tone and characters in this book. To be honest I do not really understand why anyone would really like this book. Heller's version of the war makes it look like everyone involved was a lunatic, its hard to follow the characters and even harder to like them.
Okay, I have to admit I didn't know much about Catch-22 before adding it to my library. I had heard the phrase and knew in general what it implied, but knew very little about the origin of it. So, I decided to take a listen.
The book seemed to be more of a series of character studies within a war-time setting rather than a straight-forward plot line using characters as tools to bring the reader neathly along the path. The plot interweaved and folded back on itself from various perspectives, making it the type of book to be examined and studied.
It was difficult to do that in an audio format, especially when driving, cleaning, or multi-tasking. However, if you've read it in school or have any familiarity with the story or characters, you should enjoy it.
How did this idiotic book get such great reviews from others? Where they paid? I endured 8 chapters of utter nonsense and pathetic characters and after that broke. I skipped ahead to the middle of the book and started again and missed nothing. I didn't wonder what was going on because it was the same. The narrator was great, the story horrible. In short you have a group of military men who don't want to be where they are, try everything to get out of duty and one guy (the main character) who is a sniveling little coward who thinks everyone is out to get him and fakes illness all the time to get out of stuff. Others saw dark humor, so maybe I just didn't get it. For me I wanted the enemy to drop a bomb and kill everyone I hated the characters that badly and I wanted the book to end. Even with speeding and skipping the book was way too long. Don't waste your money or the credit as they're are so many books out there that are sssooooo much better than this piece of garbage.
For me, this was another one of those "classic, must read" books that I could not finish. The characters were all uninteresting, dullards, the story uninteresting, IF there actually WAS a story. Perhaps, once again, I am the REAL dullard, but I still suspect many "classic" books are like the wine tastings where if you remove the labels, the finest vintages are often beaten by the local "box" wines, "great" just because of the label?
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.
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
Catch-22 is an absurdist look at military thinking set in WWII with a constant dark backdrop of fear and death. This book is a must read not for the characters or story (which are subordinate to the absurdity of the vignettes) but for the numerous truly classic dialogs. The narration of this version was excellent with great funny character voices and clear delivery of the sometimes complicated dialog.
It is a bit odd that this work is set in WWII but does not feel like WWII in many ways. The mood and characters seem set in the 1950’s with loyalty oaths and constipated conservative military thinking of the Korean conflict.
I had read Catch-22 many years ago, and remembered it fondly, on this reading many of the bits were still really funny, but some were less impactful the second time around. Yet this was totally worth it for the wild iconic dialog.
If you are old enough to remember the movie "M*A*S*H", then you will recognize that "M*A*S*H" was obviously based on this book. A "Catch 22" is a conundrum, a problem that when solved creates another problem that when solved takes you back to the first problem. There is no way out of it. This book is full of Catch 22s. It is very funny, but also very crude in many places. If you remember "MASH," that fact doesn't need to be explained. I think basically what it's all about is poking fun at the seriousness of war and of the military, things that aren't inherently funny, but that sometimes need to be made fun of so that those intimately involved with it can survive . . . or try to survive. That is the basis of this book.
I remember way back in the '70s when "MASH" was on TV as a series. A neighbor came over and asked my husband if he had been in the service. Because of a high school injury, my husband's draft status was the coveted 4F - undraftable, but we had seen every episode of "MASH" at least once. So our neighbor went on to tell us that being in the army was just like "MASH." He laughed so hard at it - even harder than we did, and we thought it was pretty funny. Of course, this book has its serious moments and its moral lesson to draw, and those are really what make it worth reading. This book is not for the faint of heart, and because of that I can't recommend it to everyone. Read the reviews and the summary. You'll know if it is for you.
Jay O. Sanders does an outstanding job of narrating this book. He sounds a whole lot like Peter Schikele, though, and I almost expected him to start talking about PDQ Bach. hahaha Just a little musical observation.