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)
Thoreau's Walden ("Reading") and Ayn Rand's introduction to The Fountainhead (25th anniversary edition) summarize my library well.
Get ready for an ensemble of characters and time jumps: this title is a macabre, hysterical ride, and very much worth the read.
This book has one of the funniest scenes and one of the most moving death scenes I've ever experienced, and dozens of other scenes worth honorable mention. The contrast Heller creates between comedy and tragedy amplify the reader's experience of both. Sanders portrays Heller's large array of characters wonderfully, creating a very vivid experience for the reader in that camp on the island of Pianosa.
If you are a civilian like me, it will be helpful to brush up on Army ranks before starting this book (colonel, lieutenant, general, etc.). Otherwise, the lay reader can enjoy this title without any further military knowledge. I can only imagine how amplified the emotions of a reader with military experience would be while reading this.
The material is very dark at times, and not for the lighthearted. While WWII was necessary to rid the world of the social atrocities of that time, there was nothing romantic about the process for any country, soldier or civilian. I don't have any personal experience in matters of this sort, but I believe that Catch-22 captures this sentiment extremely well.
Tell us about yourself!
If you like Catch-22, you will most likely enjoy this audiobook and the narration of Jay O. Sanders. For those of you who did not enjoy the book but wanted to give audio a shot, do not waste your time. Sanders cannot make up for the annoying tone and characters in this book. To be honest I do not really understand why anyone would really like this book. Heller's version of the war makes it look like everyone involved was a lunatic, its hard to follow the characters and even harder to like them.
A brilliant tale of military logic.... or rather... the complete lack thereof. Laugh out load funny and yet soul crushingly depressing at the same time.
The narrator is terrific [wish he'd done more stuff I want to hear] and even though I've read the book many times, llistening to it made it new for me again. Definitely worth the time,even it you know the book well.
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
Catch-22 is an absurdist look at military thinking set in WWII with a constant dark backdrop of fear and death. This book is a must read not for the characters or story (which are subordinate to the absurdity of the vignettes) but for the numerous truly classic dialogs. The narration of this version was excellent with great funny character voices and clear delivery of the sometimes complicated dialog.
It is a bit odd that this work is set in WWII but does not feel like WWII in many ways. The mood and characters seem set in the 1950’s with loyalty oaths and constipated conservative military thinking of the Korean conflict.
I had read Catch-22 many years ago, and remembered it fondly, on this reading many of the bits were still really funny, but some were less impactful the second time around. Yet this was totally worth it for the wild iconic dialog.
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.
I've seen a million faces and I've rocked them all!
“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you”
Perhaps this book is so funny is because it's comic relief from the absurdities and horrors of death and war.
I really liked this book, but it's much akin to a rich dessert, to be read in moderation. It becomes clownish or buffoonish at times. But, it's the only true novel in the reading of which I often laughed out loud.
I mean, the book starts out with the primary character in a hospital assigned to censor letters home from patients, inventing games like "death to all modifiers" and out came all adjectives and adverbs on every letter.
If you haven't read this, it's a nice departure from the serious and sad of many so-called classics.
Jay Sanders does an excellent job. Though, I will warn you, you may become annoyed at the SHOUTING that unexpectedly leaps from the audio from time to time, scaring the heck out of you or someone else nearby.
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...
"If 'tis a sin, I don't give a Fiddler's fart!" -Frank McCourt.
Some part of it was "kind of" funny (and I use the word funny loosely here). The rest of it was just annoying. I kept wating for some kind of big reveal or something interesting to happen at the end, unfortunately It never came together for me.
After reading the reviews, I was really looking forward to finally enjoy this book. Seems to me that every character in the story belong in some type of nut house, and the fact that it took place in a military setting makes the whole thing seem far-fetched and more confusing as to how any officers of the US Air Force would behave in such rediculous manner and get away with it?
I almost gave up on this book before finishing Part 1 of 3, but I'm glad that I stuck it out to finish the entire thing. The first part was very confusing to me because of all the different characters that were introduced. It was nearly impossible to keep them all straight. I also started to get annoyed at the circular-logic humor (hence "Catch-22") that seemed like a constant Abbott and Costello "Who's on First" routine. What kept me going was the narrator. He was absolutely fantastic with all the different voices he was able to portray. It really helped me to catch on to the different characters and get deeply involved with the book. You really come to appreciate the narrator when you listen to the final chapter in the audiobook, which are excerpts from "Catch-22" read by the original author, Joseph Heller. While he was able to write a classic book, he was absolutely boring to listen to.
Report Inappropriate Content