Juliet's Reviews > Catch-22

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
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Aug 13, 07

bookshelves: recently-read
Recommended for: high schoolers
Read in June, 2007

Maybe there's a reason this book is usually required high school reading; it reads like it was written by a 17-year old. Someone who clearly finds himself to be hilarious, and no one ever had the heart to tell him differently.

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 impact the ending, then something is very wrong.

I know there are a lot of people out there who think this is one of the classics and that everyone should read it, but it just doesn't hold up to any of the classics I've read thus far. Hell, it doesn't even hold up to Sheep in a Jeep.
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Comments (showing 1-19)




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message 19: by Liam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liam I was trying to think of the best way to defend this book, but I couldn't crystallize and condense my thoughts very well. I had all these metaphors I was going to use and I was going to invoke parallels with Jonathan Swift, Slaughterhouse-Five, and Saturday Night Live. But, in the end, all I want to say is this: screw you, this book rocks.

Also, it's unthinkable to not give at least two stars to a novel that's movie version features Art Garfunkel in an Italian whorehouse.


message 18: by Joe (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joe Green Yeah, uh, it seems as if a whole lot of people, many of whom are a lot, lot older than 17, find Joseph Heller to be a funny guy.



Michelle I think you just werent ready for this book. You should try reading it another time.


Juliet Well, I was 27 when I read it, so what do you suggest? Try again at 47? But then again, I don't think 30 Rock is funny either, so maybe my standards for humor are just different.


Ellen When did you read Sheep in a Jeep? Wasn't it great?


message 14: by Maggie (new)

Maggie Gilmore Juliet wrote: "Well, I was 27 when I read it, so what do you suggest? Try again at 47? But then again, I don't think 30 Rock is funny either, so maybe my standards for humor are just different."

Wow, how many episodes of 30 Rock have you even watched? If you don't find anything funny about it you are hopeless, I'm sorry to say.


Michelle Juliet wrote: "Well, I was 27 when I read it, so what do you suggest? Try again at 47? But then again, I don't think 30 Rock is funny either, so maybe my standards for humor are just different."

I bought the book and couldn't get past the first couple chapters. I put it away for about a year or so, and just when I was going to give up on it I gave it one last shot and was so surprised at how amazing the book was. But, you're right it probably has a lot to do with your taste in humor.


Katrina I'm a teenager and I could barely get through it too, so it's not just a high schooler thing haha.


Spidy Roks 30 Rock - Is not that funny

Catch -22 is funny in a way Hitchhiker series is funny, in being totally absurd and crazy .


Vismay don't compare Hitchhiker's to shitty Catch-22.......


message 9: by Katy (new) - rated it 1 star

Katy I agree with Juliet, I just really couldn't get into it. There were some bits that were mildly amusing, maybe I'm just too young to appreciate them, but I read 13% of it and it took me hours, I had to keep putting it down in order to keep myself sane. I dont even know what the story was meant to be, if its good beyond that I apologise, however I really can't see it being anything special from what I've read


message 8: by Shannon (new) - added it

Shannon As a younger teenager I'm appalled at an adults inability to understand the more mature tones of humour. If, at 27, you were not capable of enjoying such a good book you clearly need to stick to less deep reads.


Juliet "More mature tones of humor" can be found in American Psycho or any book written by A. J. Jacobs. Heller's jokes use the same formula over and over: first sentence is the setup, second sentence is the punch line. They literally read like Popsicle stick jokes. And please don't insult my intelligence by claiming I need to read "less deep reads". This is a review of a novel that you didn't write. There's no need to take it personally that someone hated a book you clearly loved. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. The second you bring personal attacks into a civil discussion, you lose all respect from the people involved.


message 6: by Elin (new) - rated it 1 star

Elin Shannon, jesus-arrogant-christ. Honestly, I'm appalled by smug self-satisfied "younger teens" who think they have all the answers... you have no idea what you're talking about. Try forming an opinion that is your own, it will help you to understand people who have opinions which are THEIR own.

Anyway. Much like Family Guy, this book is trying WAY too hard. Also like Family Guy, it is simply not funny. It's almost as inane as Shannon's comment up there.

It thinks it is cool and look-at-me-i'm-so-cynical and that is enough. It's not enough. What this book attempts and fails to do, Kurt Vonnegut achieves effortlessly in a single paragraph of Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse 5. And there is simply no comparison whatsoever with Hitchhiker's Guide, which is pure genius.


message 5: by Shannon (new) - added it

Shannon There's no need to bring Our Lord Jesus Christ into this. I will pray for your soul, you seem articulate and educated - as most users of this app - therefore i hope he shall not smite you for blasphemy. Best wishes :)


message 4: by Shannon (new) - added it

Shannon There's no need to bring Our Lord Jesus Christ into this. I will pray for your soul, you seem articulate and educated - as most users of this app - therefore i hope he shall not smite you for blasphemy. Best wishes :)


message 3: by Shannon (new) - added it

Shannon There's no need to bring Our Lord Jesus Christ into this. I will pray for your soul, you seem articulate and educated - as most users of this app - therefore i hope he shall not smite you for blasphemy. Best wishes :)


message 2: by Shannon (new) - added it

Shannon There's no need to bring Our Lord Jesus Christ into this. I will pray for your soul, you seem articulate and educated - as most users of this app - therefore i hope he shall not smite you for blasphemy. Best wishes :)


message 1: by Elin (new) - rated it 1 star

Elin Your lord, not mine :) You needn't pray for me, I don't believe in any gods or goddesses. Still I appreciate the thought, if it was well meant. Best wishes to you too.


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