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)
older listener -- enjoys books rather than california traffic. enjoys running while listening -- or is it the other way around?
Yes... the characters are hysterical. Major Major Major Major has nothing over this major novel
"The gang that couldn't shoot straight" ... of very many years past. It is good to have a laugh at the gym when other people are working out so seriously
I think so
Yosanian of course -- but he would thing I am doing something illegal any how
Please people -- if you want to be completely amused this novel is for you
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.
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.
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