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)
I tried reading this book a few times and each time I ran out of energy and time. The book is both hysterical and poignant and classic American literature. To put it simply, I have never laughed out loud ever while reading a book in my life.
I couldn't finish the book due to time and kids, so I chose the audio version and will say that is was so much better than my reading, it enabled me to enjoy the book more and even listen to the author read a few of the best passages.
If you've ever been curious about the phrase 'Catch-22', this audio book is a MUST purchase!
Jay O. Sanders absolutely MAKES this production a MUST purchase. He understand the story, the characters and without his voice, this story doesn't have a soul or a sense of humor.
This book is a classic in its own right and I think many people have it in their top 10 list of all time books to read.. If you place the book in the time it was written you might be able to see its magnificence even better. The play with words is amazing and hilarious at the same time.. it flows like a great poem. But, I probably don't have to convince you of the quality of the book...The narrator is the main concern of most "audio book" readers... well he does as much justice to the book as anyone could have done and he was able to totally take me on a roller-coaster ride of the crazy insanity that war can bring. He brings every punchline exactly where it should be and he makes the story even better than it is on paper... This audiobook deserves 6 stars.
Love love love it.
I found it easier to understand this novel by checking out some stuff about it on SparkNotes, as it was sometimes difficult to follow all the characters (one good thing about physical novels), but it was absolutely hilarious and still completely as relevant today as it was when written. And now I actually know where the phrase came from!
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.
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.
Retired teacher of literature with an interest in religion and in science and in history. I have loved reading for 50 years.
At times this is a hilarious book, very well interpreted by the reader/performer. Catch-22 pokes fun at the military, at conventional wisdom, at organizational madness, and at the ultimate madness: war. The protagonist protests that he does not want to participate in war because the enemy "is trying to kill me." He is told not to take it so personally, as if his death is not a personal issue. From there, reality becomes more ludicrous.
Prepare to be entertained, prepare to laugh, prepare to be moved....
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.
If you are bright, and you don't listen to this book, then you are not too bright. If you are dim and you listen to this book and you like it, then you are probably not that dim. If you are dim and you don't like it, then you are definitely not bright. If you are dim and you don't listen to this book, then you were likely never bright, and you shouldn't listen to this book. In fact, for you, there is no book. This never happened. Go back to sleep.
An absolute joy to listen too! Clever to the Nth degree, and completely relevant today as it ever was.
Note: Not for the dim and/or humorless
If you are old enough to remember the movie "M*A*S*H", then you will recognize that "M*A*S*H" was obviously based on this book. A "Catch 22" is a conundrum, a problem that when solved creates another problem that when solved takes you back to the first problem. There is no way out of it. This book is full of Catch 22s. It is very funny, but also very crude in many places. If you remember "MASH," that fact doesn't need to be explained. I think basically what it's all about is poking fun at the seriousness of war and of the military, things that aren't inherently funny, but that sometimes need to be made fun of so that those intimately involved with it can survive . . . or try to survive. That is the basis of this book.
I remember way back in the '70s when "MASH" was on TV as a series. A neighbor came over and asked my husband if he had been in the service. Because of a high school injury, my husband's draft status was the coveted 4F - undraftable, but we had seen every episode of "MASH" at least once. So our neighbor went on to tell us that being in the army was just like "MASH." He laughed so hard at it - even harder than we did, and we thought it was pretty funny. Of course, this book has its serious moments and its moral lesson to draw, and those are really what make it worth reading. This book is not for the faint of heart, and because of that I can't recommend it to everyone. Read the reviews and the summary. You'll know if it is for you.
Jay O. Sanders does an outstanding job of narrating this book. He sounds a whole lot like Peter Schikele, though, and I almost expected him to start talking about PDQ Bach. hahaha Just a little musical observation.
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