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Catch-22 Audiobook

Catch-22

Catch-22 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.)
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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 (3303 )
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4.3 (2278 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Phil 04-11-09
    Phil 04-11-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Phenominal Reading - Story and Damn Funny"

    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.
    enjoy.

    31 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tamara 04-15-11
    Tamara 04-15-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Funny, frustrating, exciting.. just plain Good"

    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.

    30 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Hugo, MN, USA 03-20-08
    Jennifer Hugo, MN, USA 03-20-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hilarious!"

    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!

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug Columbus, NC, United States 04-26-07
    Doug Columbus, NC, United States 04-26-07 Member Since 2015

    Retired teacher of literature with an interest in religion and in science and in history. I have loved reading for 50 years.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Funny, sarcastic, sardonic"

    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....

    20 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregory A. Pless San Mateo, CA USA 01-25-08
    Gregory A. Pless San Mateo, CA USA 01-25-08 Member Since 2006
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    "Here's the catch..."

    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

    49 of 67 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 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lawrence K 12-03-15
    Lawrence K 12-03-15

    Magic Shopper

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    "Greatness!"

    Years ago I read this book. Then years ago (1970?) I saw the movie. And now I just listened to this terrific reading. It is a great rendition and I'm glad I did. Funny, poignant, and very well-enacted. Brings me back to a lot of "truths" I never want to forget.

    1 of 1 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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    harry 10-16-15
    harry 10-16-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Great writing"

    I enjoyed this read; the performance was outstanding. The story is another story. I am a big fan of Vonnegut, and I appreciate his disparate story lines that he weaves together as he goes along. I appreciate his satire, sarcasm, and twisted bending of reality which keeps his writings close to home but out there at the same time.

    Heller pays homage to Vonnegut directly and indirectly throughout. I love his language and cadence; consistent, effective, and romantic. But I found much of the story goalless, tedious, and whosonfirstish. I know the military is full of hypocrisy, futility, and just downright idiocracy. But I felt like reaching the end was starting again. If that was his goal...mission accomplished (either that or I'm a complete idiot)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jaydee Larson 09-14-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Jaw dropping world class literature! "

    Wow! This is an impressive piece of literature. What a superb mastery of the English language and an intelligent sense of humour. All of that is seasoned with fascinating descriptions of people, landscapes, thoughts and sometimes grotesque situations in an unpredictable way that keeps you in constant suspense until the last page.

    For the audio version, I give five stars out of five to the narrator (Jay O. Sanders) for presenting this masterpiece with all the respect it deserves. He maintains the auditor's attention all the way by vivid variations speed, pronunciation and energy. At no point in time you feel that it's either a monotonous robot reading or some overdone theatrical performance. Actually, in this audio version Sanders reads the novel better than Joseph Heller himself.

    Long story short: do yourself a favour and read this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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