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Catch-22 Audiobook

Catch-22

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Nearly 50 years after it changed the American lexicon, Catch-22 is as biting and relevant in its satire of war and bureaucracy as when it was first published. Jay O. Sanders delivers a near-perfect performance. He uses his naturally deep, vaguely military tone to wring every bit of irony from Heller's prose, while bringing the cast of characters to life with some of the funniest performances I've heard on audio. —Ed Walloga

Publisher's Summary

Catch-22 is like no other novel we have ever read. It has its own style, its own rationale, its own extraordinary character. It moves back and forth from hilarity to horror. It is outrageously funny and strangely affecting. It is totally original.

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (3833 )
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Performance
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  •  
    stuart 03-31-15
    stuart 03-31-15 Member Since 2013
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    "The narrator really did a good job."

    The narrator did a really good job on this book. I really enjoyed this audio book very much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kermit 02-09-15
    Kermit 02-09-15 Member Since 2014
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    9
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    "Classic post war absudity"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    maxxwell 01-30-15
    maxxwell 01-30-15
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    "classic"

    great book. I really enjoyed all the characters. Dam you Milo! lol my favorite character

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff 01-29-15
    Jeff 01-29-15 Member Since 2015
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    "long winded"

    it had funny parts but they were repetitive and long winded. the plot was weak. reader was amazing. don't know why this is a classic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert D. Brown 01-10-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Incredible"

    The speaker is hysterical! I loved the various voices he used, made the book 100x better!! This reading is amazing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremy 09-30-14
    Jeremy 09-30-14 Member Since 2016
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    "The best Catch there is"
    Would you listen to Catch-22 again? Why?

    Yes, Heller purposely made the story line confusing. The reader hop-scotches from one event to another and sometimes from another character's point of view. This sounds confusing and it is, but it all comes together to make an amazing story. Each character has their unique voice which makes the listening experience absolutely great. The lessons and symbolism in this story make it something I certainly will revisit.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Catch-22?

    "Doc Daneeka was up there too"
    "I'm right here"
    "Why won't he jump out?
    "I'm right here"
    ...
    "Doc Daneeka is dead"
    ...
    "Now I'm dead"

    This part of the book illustrates one of the major themes of Catch-22, the futility of language. People in the book are often ignored or are responded to for what they should have said rather than what they said or meant.


    Which character – as performed by Jay O. Sanders – was your favorite?

    Yossarian and Black
    Every character has their voice which was great!! I think there were about 30?? I'm not sure, but Jay O. Sanders was great.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    "It was easy to read the message written in his entrails..."
    The day Yossarian decided he didn't want to fly anymore missions. Why is what made it memorable. Yossarian abides to a few simple logical virtues.
    I won't say more


    Any additional comments?

    A must read for the simple reason that "Catch-22" has made it into our language as a saying that stands for absurdity of logic.
    The catch itself, Catch-22 is a circular argument. A circular argument is self referential, catch-22 is the rule because catch-22.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darryl 09-18-14
    Darryl 09-18-14 Member Since 2008
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    "wonderfully absurd"

    In the 1st half I was literally laughing out loud and so hard that I had to stop my vehicle and wipe my eyes, I could not see to drive. I thought someone would come out and ask if I was all right or why I was crying. I found so much in the 1st half that was hilarious.

    I really enjoyed the military bureaucracy idiots and paranoia and backstabbing etc. and the just plain absurdity at times. & it was neat to see how tidbits and seeds planted from opening pages filter through or even come back on someone later with a vengeance. 2nd half gets progressively more serious and whole novel deals with several big issues. Late in novel there is Chapter 39: The Eternal City, that devolves into a Heironymus Boschian nightmarish/hellish landscape. Yossarian is/becomes the conscience of the novel.

    Parts of C22 make me think of Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse 5 & Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. & Milo Minderbinder's Syndicate seems a precursor to Haliburton and modern war profiteering. Also wondering if Pynchon's Yoyodyne from V and GR is in anyway a nod to Yossarian's nickname Yoyo. He is yoyo-ing back and forth and not getting anywhere due to C22.

    I feel the overlap/repetitious nature of some of the chapters lends a spiral structure, but I don’t know what you could cut out without a complete rewrite and removal of characters as so many stories interlace and so many characters interact. I felt an affinity with Garcia Marquez's 100 Years of Solitude regarding this wherein the cyclic/spiral nature of the story that slowly moves forward but retraces elements reflects the trapped nature of the characters.

    I agree that military double talk and cross-talk is a bit repetitive it was still at least amusing in 2nd half. But for some this stuff may get to be too much of a good thing.

    There is more to it than just the absurdity too as there are many bits regarding life and death and ruminations and questioning of religion etc by the chaplain that are rather existential and I liked that. Some nature of reality stuff too maybe regarding his deja vu ponderings.

    The 1st half had all the real gut busting hilarious stuff for me but there are 2nd half moments where I still chuckled. I enjoyed the absurd landscape Heller created even more than first time I listened several years ago.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol 08-11-14
    Carol 08-11-14 Member Since 2016
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    "Paradigm for audiobooks"
    What did you love best about Catch-22?

    The incisive irony.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Yossarian, of course. He's human, humane, patriotic, realistic and hilarious


    Have you listened to any of Jay O. Sanders’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    If you could rename Catch-22, what would you call it?

    Catch 21.


    Any additional comments?

    Superlative reading of a classic. I had to check back to see if Sanders was the only reader, there was so much individuation of characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zhenya K. 06-10-14
    Zhenya K. 06-10-14
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    "Struggled through and enjoyed it"
    What about Jay O. Sanders’s performance did you like?

    Very elaborate performance crafting every character. I enjoyed listening, although someone who prefers a more neutral delivery might not.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Most definitely not. In fact this is probably the book that took me the longest to read/listen to. Started a few years ago, left it alone, then came back to it a number of times. The book is like the story itself — I had contradictory feelings both struggling through it and enjoying it.


    Any additional comments?

    Second time this happened to me — the end came sooner than expected. Last chapter was the additional reading by Heller. A welcome addition, but I wish Audible named the chapters accordingly, so that it's clear where are the chapters, and where's additional material.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GAINES 04-30-14
    GAINES 04-30-14 Member Since 2015

    Me? I'm not who you think I think I am.

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    "I hate that I loved this book."

    I get a little tired of the people who say that "if you dont like it, its because you dont understand it" I think its more likely that people who say they like this book, actually think its quite terrible and only say they like it because it makes them feel like part of the intelligent crowd. I think it is also quite possible that because you hate this book you will also love it for this very reason. Yosarian is a part of my soul that I've never laid a name to. I hate this with a passion though I cannot deny the truth of the matter. Read the book and learn a little something about yourself but feel free to hate it. You won't be an idiot becasue of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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