April's Reviews > Catch-22

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
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's review
May 29, 2007

liked it
Read in June, 2007

I started off not liking this book. It's a much vaunted classic with a title that's become part of our lexicon, so I was expecting something a little more lucid, and instead I was confused at the outset.

It's rambling and repetitive, and it has way too many characters to keep straight, way too many words in each sentence. I wondered what the big deal was.

Then it grew on me.

As I got to know the characters and became more accustomed to the humor so ironic and exaggerated that you wonder if they're all serious or out of their mind, I started liking the book. It doesn't change the fact that it's still hard to read at first, but I think this is one of those books that people read over and over again. I may just do exactly that one day, if only to get the characters straight at the start the next time.

I do like the memorable lines, like the one about living forever or dying in the attempt, or like:

"The country was in peril; he was jeopardizing his traditional rights of freedom and independence by daring to exercise them."

So timely.

And for a coward, Yossarian has very big cajones.

As for Orr ... I'm so proud of myself; even though I could hardly understand what was going on in the book half the time, I called it. I just KNEW how he would end.

Finished reading June 5, 2007.

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