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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 (3736 )
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  •  
    Henrik Crown Point, IN, United States 09-02-15
    Henrik Crown Point, IN, United States 09-02-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Brilliant!"

    This book has a free form that is rare in books. It is its own thing. It makes no excuses for itself and what is truly great is that it is not 'in your face humor'. None of the characters are trying to be funny, but are in spite of themselves by just being themselves. There is no hand-holding and events described earlier in the book come back later for some sort of explanation, but often as life itself, you might or might not find that satisfying. I do. It is brilliantly funny. Heller has been a real student of humanity and has captured many people who sadly, perhaps, are real enough around us if we care to look. It is a very personal work, no doubt, but one many can nod in recognition to and laugh at the strangeness, hopelessness and wonder of life.

    As for the narrator, Jay O. Sanders, then he does a great job with conveying the sarcasm with a straight face, which for sure is how the humor is intended, and his voices are excellent.

    Top marks all around!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tsda 08-16-15
    tsda 08-16-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Crazy, Hectic, and keeps you on your toes"

    I enjoyed this story because of the fact it was all over the place. Once you think you understand what's going on, there's a plot twist. The characters are so mysterious and fully developed.
    I appreciated the different character voices that the narrator was about to do, making the story really come alive.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Baba 07-07-15
    Baba 07-07-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Oddly Beautiful"

    Catch -22 is like no other book I have ever read... It is reality, or at least my opinion, that is a book with many other literary tales brilliantly interwoven through out.
    It is at times laugh out loud funny and at some points tears at your heart!
    The characters are rich and the story in wonderful told!
    Narration is good truly on of the most obscure yet beautiful tales of war and survival
    Worthwhile!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathon Silt, CO, United States 06-15-15
    Jonathon Silt, CO, United States 06-15-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Among must listens, this is a must listen."

    The story itself is funny, interesting, and engaging. The characters are great and some of the situations are hilarious. Even if you don't listen to this book--read it! That being said, the narrator nailed it. I've listened to a lot of books with good, bad, great, and amazing narrators, but this was the best so far. I never thought I would find someone that nailed a book more than Christian Baskous nailed the Bukowski books, but I did. This is it. If you listen on public transport, be ready to get weird looks when you start laughing out loud.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bloo Florida 07-17-14
    Bloo Florida 07-17-14 Member Since 2014

    I'm a teacher in Florida who loves to listen to books whenever possible! I enjoy listening to classics in audiobook format. Happy reading!

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    "I literally laughed and cried!"
    Would you listen to Catch-22 again? Why?

    I would listen to my favorite parts of it again. The book is hilarious in parts and poignant in others.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved how Heller could have the reader/listener rolling in the aisles one second and then on a dime remind us just how scary war really is. This book was a roller coaster.


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

    It's a tie between Ore, the chaplain, and Major Major. For this question, though, I think Sanders's performance as Ore really brought out the essence of the character.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    "That men must die is an inevitability. Which men must die is a matter of circumstance."


    Any additional comments?

    Sanders's performance really brings this book to life. Heller reads selections at the end, but his readings just feel so drab in comparison.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Lakeland, FL USA 06-07-07
    Mark Lakeland, FL USA 06-07-07 Member Since 2015
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    "When DIDN'T you say we couldn't punish you?"

    Anyone who has ever been at their wit's end with bureaucracy or lost on a sea of red tape will enjoy this. It's funny, it's extremely clever, and the characters are all unique, even within the context of a book built on so many quirky and bizarre personalities. As with any good read or listen, you have to catch the pace and rhythm, but once you do, you'll be screaming, "You're CRAZY!" and craving... Egyptian cotton.

    10 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    al Cantonment, FL, United States 01-15-12
    al Cantonment, FL, United States 01-15-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Highly overrated."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Anti-establishment holdouts from the 60s who confuse cynicism with wisdom and insight.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Joseph Heller again?

    As Youssarian might say,


    What three words best describe Jay O. Sanders’s performance?

    Amazing ability to shift his voice to portray different characters.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Surprise. I thought it would be a worthwhile read. The book has been hyped for 50 years as the greatest anti-war book ever. It isn't anti-war, it's anti-everything...makes a mockery of moral, cutural, traditional values. Strangely enough the only thing it didn't seem to mock was religion.


    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Delman San Francisco 04-30-12
    Richard Delman San Francisco 04-30-12 Member Since 2016

    I am a 65-year-old psychologist, married for 25 years, with two sons who are 25 and 22. I love reviewing the books and the feedback I get.

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    "Black humor at its absolute finest."

    This is an American classic, and one of the funniest books ever written. Its satiric look at the military is relentless. Heller makes fun of just about everybody and everything. Many of us will remember the movie, which was excellent, but the book gives us many more hours of enjoyment. Jay O. Sanders is a terrific narrator. He delivers the lines with wit and insight into Heller's thinking, and is tremendously entertaining. There are so many characters in the book who are unique and memorable that it is impossible to do them justice. The protagonist, Yossarian (played to perfection in the movie by the great Alan Arkin), is a creation of the highest level of genius. Heller creates snarky fun out of situations which have made other men feel doomed. Chaplain Tapman is a gentle man who can't make heads or tails of his post. Major Major Major is unforgettable. Captain Hmm Hmm Decoverley: who else on earth could think of a name like that? The ugliness of World War II is presented from the viewpoint of the young men who fly bombers over Italy and Germany. Heller's ability to see their predicament from a kind, gentle point of view does not at all diminish the horror of bombing and its results. No one else could create humor like this. Do yourself a favor. This is a unique work of art.

    11 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grant NANTUCKET, MA, United States 07-08-10
    Grant NANTUCKET, MA, United States 07-08-10 Member Since 2009

    caffeinated

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    "Perfect?"

    Not only is Catch-22 one of the greatest written works of our age, Jay O. Sanders does a marvelous job of recreating Heller's nuts-o band of military misfits. A masterpiece in audio.

    11 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Anderson Utah 05-02-15
    E. Anderson Utah 05-02-15 Member Since 2011

    stormnangel

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    "Worst Book EVER"

    How did this idiotic book get such great reviews from others? Where they paid? I endured 8 chapters of utter nonsense and pathetic characters and after that broke. I skipped ahead to the middle of the book and started again and missed nothing. I didn't wonder what was going on because it was the same. The narrator was great, the story horrible. In short you have a group of military men who don't want to be where they are, try everything to get out of duty and one guy (the main character) who is a sniveling little coward who thinks everyone is out to get him and fakes illness all the time to get out of stuff. Others saw dark humor, so maybe I just didn't get it. For me I wanted the enemy to drop a bomb and kill everyone I hated the characters that badly and I wanted the book to end. Even with speeding and skipping the book was way too long. Don't waste your money or the credit as they're are so many books out there that are sssooooo much better than this piece of garbage.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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