This is the tale of the dangerously sane Captain Yossarian, who spends his time in Italy plotting to survive. Yossarian is a bombardier in the 256th Squadron of the US Army Air Forces during World War II, stationed on Pianosa, a fictionalised island in the Mediterranean between mainland Italy and Corsica. The squadron's assignment is to bomb enemy positions in Italy and eastern France. Yossarian's mission is simply to stay alive.
©1961 Joseph Heller; (P)2008 Hachette Audio
"The greatest satirical work in the English language since Erewhon. (Observer)
"Wildly original, and brutally gruesome, a dazzling performance that will outrage as many readers as it delights. Vulgarly, bitterly, savagely funny, it will not be forgotten by those who can take it." (The New York Times)
"An apocalyptic masterpiece." (Chicago Times)
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"Nearly fell asleep"
Gosh I was driving at the time !!
What a load of old cobblers - but then perhaps that is the ultimate aim of the author.
War is like that 99% boredom and 1% horror ?
I think the drive was more interesting
"In the list of 100 books to read before you die ?"
I read (listened) this book because I thought I should try to expand by reading tastes, and this book is considered a to be in the top 100 books to read before you die, so after much deliberation I decided to give it a go. To be honest I wish I hadn't bothered, it rambled on going over the same old ground inching the story forward a a glacial pace. Some of it was funny and some was sad it parts of it reminded me to the TV series M.A.S.H. and the end just left me with a feeling of "was that it". I guess this means I just have no culture and will not see it for it's true worth that so many people rave about.
It's a very well written book and the reader brings it alive. The fact that the reader has an American accent is great particularly for a British audience. A British reader would have not been believable. The reader adds to the story with good use of intonation and changing voices. I would certainly recommend this audio book.
"A wonderful classic satire on war."
This is a classic, if like me you have always meant to get around to reading it, get the audio instead! It is a joy. The deadpan delivery is perfect, just the right tone and the reader brings the story and characters to life and delivers the cutting satire with just the right expression and timing. Enjoy.
I can heartily recommend this audiobook. First of all genuine care has gone into the narration. The narrator does a terrific job in acting the different parts, adding greatly to the dramatic effect of the story. Too often it is as though audiobooks are read by a robot with little sensitivity to the lines they are relaying. That is not the case here. Well done Mr. White. Secondly, the book is a joy. It is a wonderful satire on the inhumanity and irrationality of bureaucracy. The humour is as black as night, but the book is hilarious. For my money it is one of the great artistic diagnoses of the ills of 20th Century life: of a human being caught within the logic of an organisation. You will laugh as you cry.
A classic satire that is well narrated. Funny and entertaining - perhaps a little repetitive in places if I'm gonna be really picky.
"One of the most entertaining great 20th novels"
You're damned if you do and damned if you don't - that, essentially is what the unofficial, fictional military rule is. Taking place in WW2, and told in a stream of consciousness, non-chronological way, building up slowly towards the most traumatic moments, it describes the way that ignorant, selfish, stupid people in high power can generate a kind of hellish, surreal insanity. If Kafka wrote comedy, and accepted that labyrinthine bureaucracy can be generated not just by blind obedience and control, but also by an idiotic obsession with means rather than ends, then he might have written something like this.
The novel is at times hilarious, at other times deeply profound, masterly styled, voiced and structured, and definitely ranks as one of the best, most entertaining works of 20th century literature.
It is also read brilliantly by Trevor White, who captures the many different characters wonderfully.
"A classic story, brilliantly read"
I read the book several decades ago and loved it for the logic in its absurdity, and the fantastic cast of characters.
Listening to the audiobook reminded me how brilliantly Joseph Heller's story illustrates the absurdity, humour, terror, frustration and many other emotions that result from sending young people to war.
It's a long audiobook, but each chapter is a separate episode, and the narrators characterisations bring the stories to life. These things makes it ideal to listen to while commuting. However some of the emotions it draws can be embarrassing if you are on a train or bus - some of the chapters had me laughing out loud, others close to tears. Well worth it though, a true classic story.
The actor who reads thisbook has done a brilliant job; it's like being in the theatre.
I still have not made up my mind about whether this is the masterpiece that everyone claims it is; but it is memorable and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Some of the characters and their sayings have become regular parts of my vocabulary. Trevor White is ideal for this book and brings the characters to life; his reading is vibrant and alive, which suits the story.
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