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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 (4160 )
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Performance
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  •  
    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

    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
  •  
    Stacey Bailey Exton, PA 08-12-07
    Stacey Bailey Exton, PA 08-12-07 Member Since 2012
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    "Tough one to get through"

    Okay, I have to admit I didn't know much about Catch-22 before adding it to my library. I had heard the phrase and knew in general what it implied, but knew very little about the origin of it. So, I decided to take a listen.

    The book seemed to be more of a series of character studies within a war-time setting rather than a straight-forward plot line using characters as tools to bring the reader neathly along the path. The plot interweaved and folded back on itself from various perspectives, making it the type of book to be examined and studied.

    It was difficult to do that in an audio format, especially when driving, cleaning, or multi-tasking. However, if you've read it in school or have any familiarity with the story or characters, you should enjoy it.

    23 of 34 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.

    12 of 18 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.

    12 of 18 people found this review helpful
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    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
  •  
    Tom raleigh, NC, USA 05-09-10
    Tom raleigh, NC, USA 05-09-10 Member Since 2007
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    "Flaws in narration"

    While the narrator overall does a good job, there are galling instances where he misreads. "Okay, Joe, she purred" is what's written. "Okay Joe, she putted" is what is narrated. Or "first" for "fist." Word for word readings likely are impossible, but when the sense is lost or diverted...

    9 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John South Sterling, PA, United States 04-06-07
    John South Sterling, PA, United States 04-06-07 Member Since 2002
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    "All Better Now"

    The problem with the order of chapters has now been fixed, and the book is presented in its entirety and the proper order.

    The book (and this audio presentation of it) is brilliant. Get it. You'd be hard pressed to find a better way to spend 20 hours.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Green_Giant 11-06-15
    Green_Giant 11-06-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Difficult to follow"

    I'm certainly no literary critic, and I didn't see the elements that made people claim this to be one of the greatest works of the 20th century. I found the non chronological storyline to be a bit confusing. Many of the characters are pretty absurd, but I get the political commentary and references. That being said, there are some powerful lines and scenes that I can appreciate. I especially enjoyed the reading of a few key passages by Heller himself at the end- it gave me good reflection of some of the key story lines.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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