It is set in the closing months of World War II, in an American bomber squadron on a small island off Italy. Its hero is a bombardier named Yossarian, who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him. (He has decided to live forever, even if he has to die in the attempt.)
Catch-22 is a microcosm of the 20th-century world as it might look to someone dangerously sane. It is a novel that lives and moves and grows with astonishing power and vitality. It is, we believe, one of the strongest creations of the mid-century.
©1955, 1961 Joseph Heller; (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers
"An apocalyptic masterpiece." (Chicago Sun-Times)
"One of the most bitterly funny works in the language...explosive, bitter, subversive, brilliant." (The New Republic)
"A monumental artifact of contemporary American literature, almost as assured of longevity as the statues on Easter Island....Catch-22 is a novel that reminds us once again of all that we have taken for granted in our world and should not, the madness we try not to bother and notice, the deceptions and falsehoods we lack the will to try to distinguish from truth." (New York Times Book Review)
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.
I listen to this book with no preconceptions and was not prepared for the absurdity of the writer. I became just as frustrated reading the book as the characters must have felt in their circumstance.
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