Catch 22 (Catch-22 #1)
Popular Answered Questions
Currently it sits on my bookshelf and sometimes (when I have a few too many beers) we have a talk.
Catch-22: Oh, hi.
Me: How are you feeling?
Catch-22: I've been better.
Me: Don't be upset. It's not you. It's me.
Catch-22: I know that.
Me: My friends tell me I'm ...more
A shiny new batch of awesome for my "all time favorite" shelf. It has been awhile since I’ve so throughly enjoyed reading a novel that has, at the same time, left me as intellectually awestruck as Joseph Heller’s classic sermon on the insanity of war.
What a sublime, literary feast. To prepare:
1. Start with a surrealistic, Kafkaesque worldview basted in chaos;
2. Knead in a plot reminiscent of Pynchon, taking particular care that the bizarre, placidly disjointed surface fully camouflages the pow ...more
The author narrates and introduces us to Yossarian, who does not want to fly in the war. I get that. I get the whole catch 22 scenerio... You have to be insane to fly the plane. If you can get a dr to say you are insane, you wont have to fly. But in order to tell a dr that you are insane, this actually means you are sane. So you must continue to fly... which makes you insane. blah blah blah.
“Sure there’s a catch, “ Doc Daneeka replied. “Catch-22. Anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isn’t really crazy.”
There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be ...more
Jen: I didn't like this book.
Nigel: Why didn't you like the book?
Jen: I did like the book.
Nigel: You just said you didn't like the book.
Jen: No I didn't.
Nigel: You're lying.
Jen: I don't believe in lying.
Nigel: So you never lie?
Jen: Oh yes, I lie all the time.
Nigel: You just said you don't believe in it.
Jen: I don't believe in it, Jen said as she ate a chocolate covered cotton ball.
Nigel: Well I liked the book.
Jen: Fabu ...more
Rarely has a piece of literature ticked so many of my boxes. Satire, farce, gallows humour, irreverence, it's as if this book were written entirely for me. I loved every word on every page of this book. I cannot find a single miniscule fault anywhere with ...more
So it starts off on the hilarious side. Here’s a bit that had me giggling aloud (rather embarrassingly, I might add, as I was surrounded by other people at the time):
The colonel dwelt in a vor...more
I really appreciate it when a book respects the intelligence of its readership. If a book is going to be "experimental" in any way, I love those that throw you into a world with no explanations - a literary baptism of fire (ie: Orwell's "Animal Fa ...more
Finally finished on 4 February 2012(not 2050 :p)
I did it! I finished it! I finished the book. And I am alive!!!
This book is pure unadulterated madness. There is a harem of characters and all of them are crazy. And not just silly crazy; more like annoying crazy! Milo, Aarfy, Whitcomb, these characters will make you want to either shoot them, or shoot yourself. The missions are crazy, Doc Danneka is crazy. The plot i ...more
The crazy ironic predicaments Yosarian, the focal character, finds himself in are pure genius. And some of the subplots ...more
"How do I land a job in the Middle East?" I asked.
"Well, for that you need experience," he told me, scratching his chin.
"But I have eighteen years of experience!" I protested.
"That may be so," he said. "What I meant was - you need Gulf experience."
"But I can't get that unless I get a job in the Gulf," I pointed out.
"Yes, I know." He said serenely. "You see, that's the catch..."
Seriously, I know there were points to make about the repetitive ridiculousness of bureaucracy/war/capitalism/life, but over 450 pages of variations on the Catch-22 joke?
I did find myself more affected than I would have guessed by some of the deaths, and some of the lines were clearly awesome.
In a world in which success was the only virtue, he had resigned himself to failure.(277, about the Chaplain)
Because he needed a friend so desperat ...more
As I mentioned in my note about War with the Newts, 1985 was the worst year of my life. I was a deeply depressed eighteen year old. My parents tried their best to help me. For my mom this meant finding me the best counselling possible, and for my dad this meant showing me that the world itself was crazy and I was quite right to feel alienat ...more
I never felt for any of the characters, I never laughed, I never cried. In fact, half way through the book I couldn't take it anymore, so I skipped ahead to the last chapter and yet it still made sense. I'm sorry, but if nothing happens in the second half of a book to impac ...more
Reading Catch-22 was sort of like watching a brilliantly shining coin flipping through a majestic parabola in slow motion, with one side represe ...more
If you want to read a dark satire about the atrocities of war where a U.S. Army bombardier fights to retain his sanity in a world of contradictions, this 1961 classic is for you.
The characters were obnoxious, moronic gits who I hoped would all die at the hands of Jason Vorhees very soon and there was no way I'd ever connect with that idiot who was meant to be our beloved hero. The dialogue was incomprehensible ...more
Yossarian, our unlikely hero along with his fellow bedmates in a military hospital and later with his platoon , lives amidst shelling, explosions, flying body parts and one very bonkers mess cook. He's an escapist, a realist, a leader and in cases even a pervert turned wannabe saviour. He is mad and then logical, depraved and then conscientious;but all throughout you shall love him.
Catch22 is ingenious, hilarious; e ...more
Insanity is contagious.
O man , it’s really crazy . I doubt if I could say something revealing about Catch 22. It’s been ages I read it for the first time and it was like a breath of fresh air in a stale room. If you grew up in an oppressive country , where a lot of stuff was banned ,when it was safe just not saying about some things ,where mediocrity was a virtue, reading such absurd and grotesque stories allowed you , paradoxically , keep your common sense and ignore awkward reality.
Catch-22 i ...more
“If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane.”―Robert Frost
“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you” -- Joseph Heller, Catch-22
The book starts out with the primary character being assigned to censor letters that are going to folks back home from the soldiers staying at a military hospital. He invents games to make the task more fun, such as "death to all modifiers" (out came al ...more
17 December 2015
Well, the one thing that you can say about this book is that it introduced a new phrase into the English language – Catch-22, which basically means that you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. If we are to say that this is its only achievement then I have to say that it is one pretty awesome achievement because it seems to have pretty much become a staple of our language. In fact people who have never even read the book, let alone heard of i ...more
Single Quote Review:
"...even to laugh is only an imperfect expression of the real ridicule of life. For it to be perfect one ought properly to be serious.
The most perfect mockery of life would be if the person who propounded the deepest truth were not a dreamer but a doubter. And that isn’t inconceivable, for no one can propound the positive truth as excellently as a doubter, except that he himself doesn’t believe in it. If he were a hypocrite the joke would be on him; if he were a doubter who ...more
However, this story grew on me and after the halfway point I started enjoying it a lot. I realized how things worked: the storyline isn't linear so you get some an ...more
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Joseph Heller was the son of poor Jewish parents from Russia. Even as a child, he loved to write; at the age of eleven, he wrote a story about the Russian invasion of Finland. He sent it to New York Daily News, which rejected it. After graduating from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1941, Heller spent the next ye ...more