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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 (3814 )
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4.3 (2749 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jose United States 03-23-14
    Jose United States 03-23-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Brilliant book, but…"

    It’s a terrific book about the absurdity of bureaucratic authority in conflict with the personal. I think it was brilliant for its time, but it does feel dated, despite the universal themes explored. There is a lot to like about this, including the unique structure of the story, but there was something off in the reading for me. While I think Jay O. Sanders is an excellent reader with an excellent voice, his voice changes, especially during many of the comedic moments, were often strained, as I’m sure was the intention, but it didn’t work for me. In those moments, I wished for a hard copy of the book instead.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dkpitt Boston, MA 03-17-14
    dkpitt Boston, MA 03-17-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Who would have thought?"

    I am an avid reader/listener. I don't watch TV often, especially since 'reality (not really) TV’ started constipating the airwaves. I find myself tapping my foot and counting down the minutes when my husband and I take time out for a movie, I must find out what is happening in the book I am reading at the time.

    Now that I've made it clear that I love reading/listening, I must also mention I hit a psychological speed bump when I see a book that spends its summers on that giant table in the middle of the local bookstore with a sign that includes the word 'required' before my favorite pastime. It says homework, old fashioned, snooze fest. I can't help it, it must be PTSD triggered from the last book I was obligated to read in high school ‘Brave New World’, a book that I'm sure contains genius, but one that left me feeling depressed and terrified for the future of humanity.

    But there it was, "Catch 22", one of THOSE books, stalking me every time I was in search of a new book. The fact that it was a dude read about war and written a decade before I was born didn't help its case. But, From GoodReads to Audible, it got great reviews and I finally gave in.

    Wow, just wow I won't be redundant and give you a summary, the publisher has already done a nice job of that, but I will tell you that both the writing and the narration are ingenious. The rhythm, the prose and especially the wit pushed one of my top five books of all time into the number six slot.

    I would have listened to this one in its entirety without pause if I didn't require sleep. Although, it would have taken several days because of all my rewinding clever and hilarious scenes, which was most of the book.

    If you're on the fence, go for it, you won't be disappointed.





    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronald Tigard, OR, United States 01-14-14
    Ronald Tigard, OR, United States 01-14-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Against the popular vote"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The producer and narrator did not capture the characters in a way that made the story hard to follow. I couldn't imagine the characters using those tones or expressions.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Joseph Heller again?

    Not if it's written in this same style


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jay O. Sanders?

    Unknown


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Catch-22?

    The hospital scenes involving some of the non-follow up characters.


    Any additional comments?

    Hard to follow.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael mcallen, TX, United States 01-02-14
    Michael mcallen, TX, United States 01-02-14
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    "On narrator..."
    Would you try another book from Joseph Heller and/or Jay O. Sanders?

    I wouldn't get another book with this narrator…his voice gets a little bit annoying after a few hours. This is probably just personal preference.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Russo 11-20-13
    T. Russo 11-20-13

    Capt Tom

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    "The book and the narration are simply brilliante"
    What made the experience of listening to Catch-22 the most enjoyable?

    I have read this book three times - I just love it. This was my time in the audible format. The narrator's work greatly enhanced my appreciation of the book. The voices I heard were very close to what I heard when I read the book. It was sort of like reading a good joke but then hearing it told by a great comedian, The humor is doubled.

    In the case of this audible book my understanding of the pathos and the main character's despair was also enhanced.

    This is one of those rare experiences in which the narration is better than the read.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The distinction among the various multiple characters. It is a testament to the narrator's skill.


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

    N/A


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

    Snowden's death.


    Any additional comments?

    This is an emotionally intense book, well beyond just humor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Rickey Bath, NH USA 11-06-13
    David Rickey Bath, NH USA 11-06-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Spectacular narration"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Catch-22 to be better than the print version?

    Hard to compare. There is a lot to be said for being able to re-read passages immediately.
    That being said the narrator does an incredible job of putting emotion into the words and differentiating each character by his inflections, including the female characters.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Milo Minderbinder. Great name and he's amoral.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    "Read me back the last line..."


    If you could take any character from Catch-22 out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    General Dreedle. He's satisfied with his situation, straight forward and easy going.


    Any additional comments?

    Probably the BEST narrator / reader I've ever heard. i wish Jay Sanders had read some of the biographies I have on audio. They'd be a great deal more interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua Waterloo, IL, United States 10-04-13
    Joshua Waterloo, IL, United States 10-04-13 Member Since 2013
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    "interesting"
    Would you listen to Catch-22 again? Why?

    yeah, actually I think im gonna


    What other book might you compare Catch-22 to and why?

    Im not sure there is any other book that is compareable


    What does Jay O. Sanders bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    he is a fantastic narrator


    If you could take any character from Catch-22 out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    The Judge. I cant recall his name but he was awesome


    Any additional comments?

    hilarious

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S Keene, NH 09-29-13
    S Keene, NH 09-29-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Masterful! Brilliant! (Incredible Narration!)"
    Any additional comments?

    One of the most talented narrators I have come across in Audible. His delivery of all the characters is absolutely brilliant and hilarious. The delivery takes what was already a fantastic book and pushes it into the realm of truly magnificent. Don't even hesitate. Grab this book. It's wonderful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole 09-13-13
    Nicole 09-13-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Not exactly what I was looking for"
    What would have made Catch-22 better?

    The whole thing with Nately's whore just didn't seem to fit.


    What was most disappointing about Joseph Heller’s story?

    It just wasn't what I was looking for


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The performance was average.


    What character would you cut from Catch-22?

    Nately's whore


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lonnie Palm Springs, Ca 08-08-13
    Lonnie Palm Springs, Ca 08-08-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A very clever book undone by its length"
    What did you like best about Catch-22? What did you like least?

    At times amusing and clever, the book is probably too long by half. Some editing would have done nicely, but overall its a worthwhile read.


    Was Catch-22 worth the listening time?

    Most definitely


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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