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(Catch-22 #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  781,271 ratings  ·  20,668 reviews
Fifty years after its original publication, Catch-22 remains a cornerstone of American literature and one of the funniest—and most celebrated—books of all time. In recent years it has been named to “best novels” lists by Time, Newsweek, the Modern Library, and the London Observer.

Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardie
Paperback, 453 pages
Published September 4th 2004 by Simon & Schuster (first published November 10th 1961)
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Bob G. Catch-22 gets better as you move through it. The book can be viewed as a set of loosely-connected short stories with a large cast of characters. It ta…moreCatch-22 gets better as you move through it. The book can be viewed as a set of loosely-connected short stories with a large cast of characters. It takes time for the chapters to mesh. Heller will answer your questions at intervals along the way, too.

After 50 pages, I was wondering if I might abandon it, but I chose to trust the opinions of older readers. After 100 pages, I was starting to like it. After 150 pages, I was sold, and I started thinking I might have to re-read the first 100 pages after I finished the book. This is one of my favorites, and I'm glad I found the patience to give it the chance it deserves. (less)
Arindam It's probably as mundane as being abducted by aliens in the middle of a long ride into area 51 and then returning home after a brief stint at cleaning…moreIt's probably as mundane as being abducted by aliens in the middle of a long ride into area 51 and then returning home after a brief stint at cleaning the spaceship but that was the sole reason you were abducted anyway. I'll implore anyone who loves reading to give it a go if only for its quirky and dark satirical style. (less)

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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  781,271 ratings  ·  20,668 reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
”You mean there’s a catch?”

“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
May 21, 2007 marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
I have attempted to read this book on two separate occasions and I couldn't get beyond 100 pages either time. I do believe that this has more to do with me than the book and I plan on making a third attempt at some point in the future.

Currently it sits on my bookshelf and sometimes (when I have a few too many beers) we have a talk.

Me: Hi.
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
Sep 11, 2007 rated it did not like it
I suffered through about 60 pages, and finally put it down. I very rarely ever leave a book unfinished.

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.

Catch-22-cover-1 v2

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
Jun 06, 2008 rated it liked it
The following is an example of how many conversations in this book took place.

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
Michael Finocchiaro
Hmm, where to start with a book like this one. A book that is a third Kafka, a third Vonnegut, a third Pynchon and completely insane? For the first 200 or 250 pages, it is like a broken record or a movie loop with Sisyphus rolling that boulder up a hill in American WWII battle fatigues (and a flight suit and a Mae West life preserver sans the inflation module thanks the M&M Enterprises). Then, when the flak starts flying and the blood is splattered everywhere it is intense right up until the end ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Catch-22, Joseph Heller

Catch-22 is a satirical novel by American author Joseph Heller.

He began writing it in 1953; the novel was first published in 1961.

Often cited as one of the most significant novels of the twentieth century, it uses a distinctive non-chronological third-person omniscient narration, describing events from the points of view of different characters.

The separate story lines are out of sequence so the timeline develops along with the plot.

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «کلک مرغاب
I originally read this about 15 years ago. When I joined Goodreads and added the books I had previously read I remembered it as a 3 star book. I am not sure if it is being 15 years older or the fact that I did the audiobook this time, but it was easily 5 stars now!

The first thing that came to mind after I was a few chapters into this was the show “Seinfeld”. Always touted as a show about nothing, this book was kind of about nothing. It is series of smaller anecdotes, usually somewhat silly, that
Barry Pierce
I have had Catch-22 on my bookshelf for years. It was one of those novels that I've said, "oh I'll get around to that in 2012". It didn't happen. "Maybe 2013". Nope. And so on until just a couple of days ago. I've got to stop putting books off.

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
"Insanity is contagious."

Like so many other works of originally absurd or dystopian character, this classic catches up with reality faster than I can process. When I first shared Yossarian's frustration over the perfect catch, I did so in a quite abstract way, enjoying the intellectual game the novel kept me engaged in.

Now I find myself frequently thinking of his pain as something I experience myself, every day, reading news and listening to the authorities that are in charge to rule the world
Leonard Gaya
Jan 26, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Kafka’s The Trial, towards the end of his bureaucratic ordeal, Joseph K. is accosted by a priest who tells him a strange parable. A man came to the gate of the Law, but a watchman was guarding the way. The man asked if he could enter — the gatekeeper said yes, “but not yet”. The man sat by the door and waited to be admitted. He waited for a long time. He tried to bribe the watchman — the watchman accepted the man’s presents, but still didn’t invite him in. The man gave up all his belongings, ...more
Vit Babenco
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I believe that the novel Catch-22 is the best antiwar satire ever created and it boasts the unique disdainful atmosphere that is practically inimitable.
Army turns an individual into a puppet on strings and the book is a marionette theatre of such puppets where the protagonist seems to be the only person capable to possess true human feelings.
He was going to live forever, or die in the attempt.

The value of a human life is above all so life and war are incompatible.
Lisa of Troy
Nov 05, 2020 rated it did not like it
Here is my more in-depth review:

Sorry, I don't get it. So many circular conversations that at the outset we know aren't going anywhere. Too many characters to care about any of them. Failed as a moving war novel and failed as a comedic novel. It just wasn't funny!

Almost 20 hours on the audiobook, and I wish I could get those units of my life back.

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Jul 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Early In my adulthood I learned that to be considered crazy and be given asylum from my superiors in an establishment catering to lunatics, I had first to be proven crazy enough to be excused from my Alpha Male immediate superior's stiff medicine.


In my twenties, I had an enormous problem with Yossarian… because he was me. I LIVED Catch-22 in my brain and in my private life.

For years, every time I’d pick this battered paperback from off my shelf, I would laugh at first. But then, my chuc
Aug 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Have patience with this book, trust me you will be rewarded.
Jul 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
I’m not sure if it’s a talent or an affliction, but I’ve been blessed or cursed with a penchant for taking someone else’s creative work and extrapolating it to skewed extremes. That explains my yet-to-be-published collection of fan fiction, unauthorized sequels, and twists in perspective. I first discovered this talent/affliction as a boy when I imagined a fourth little pig who leveraged himself to the hilt, built a luxury skyscraper, and, with YUGE block letters at its base, labelled it Pig Tow ...more
Henry Avila
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Life would be beautiful if it wasn't for the war; Captain John Yossarian is not happy, flying in an U.S. Army B-25 plane as a bombardier during WW2 ... continuous take- offs and landings on the small Italian island of Pianosa near the west coast of Italy is no real fun ( the isle in reality was too small for runways). Flak may seem pretty in the sky, from below, however above...but to Yo Yo his nickname, the anti- aircraft fire will pulverize you into tiny bits of unrecognizable
debris... Though
Tom Quinn
May 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the best book I've ever read.

It keeps me out of trouble.

I first read it in high school, senior year AP Lit. We read it alongside Kafka's The Metamorphosis and had engaging discussions about what the hell was going on (in the books and in life itself), culminating in a detailed "compare and contrast" essay.

I read it again on my own the next year, my freshman year at college, just for fun.

I read it a third time my junior year, and actually recited a section as a dramatic reading in my Oral
Nandakishore Mridula
Sep 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, humour
Years ago, while I was (unsuccessfully) searching for a job in the Middle East, I met a career consultant.

"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..."
Feb 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, reviewed, for-kindle
Catch-22 reminds me a lot of those comedy/tragedy masks—you know the ones that are supposed to represent like, fine theater or something? Not that I’m comparing Catch-22 to some great Italian opera. All I’m saying is that the book oscillates cleverly between the absurdly humorous and the grievingly tragic.

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 v
Jun 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This book was utterly misrepresented to me before I read it. For some reason I'd always thought it had been published the same year as Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow and was considered as representing the other fork of post World War II American literature apart from Pynchon's--this the conventional, plot-driven one catering to stupid people. Some professor or some didact must have told me that, enrroenously as it turns out, once. Catch 22 predates the Pynchon masterpeice by 15 years, and is in sty ...more
Jon Nakapalau
When the title of a book enters the English language that puts it on my reading list right away. What constitutes 'sanity' for men in war is problematic on two levels: 1). - who put them in this situation (war) and 2). - what would a 'sane' person do to get out of the situation. Another book I think should be on a 'congressional reading list.' ...more
While I agree with everyone who says the book is important, I also think it could have been chopped down by about 300 pages.
The story is about how lives are ruined when the wrong people are put in charge, why war isn't some grand adventure, and the ridiculous nature of bureaucracy in general.
It's not so much funny as it is satirical, and the joke wears thin as it spins in circles with nonsensical stories that add very little to the overall reading experience.
My opinion, of course.


I am extremely
David Putnam
I have tried three times and can not drop into this book. It's too disjointed my brain doesn't work that way I guess. I wanted to like it. I loved the premise, the concept. It just didn't work and I'm more disappointed about it than anyone else. :-0 ...more
Teresa Jusino
Aug 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: readandreviewed
"I really do admire you a bit. You're an intelligent person of great moral character who has taken a very courageous stand. I'm an intelligent person with no moral character at all, so I'm in an ideal position to appreciate it." - Colonel Korn, Catch-22

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
Feb 24, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who like to be bored.
Absurdist plays are one act for a reason.

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.

Underlined bits:
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
Feb 22, 2019 marked it as abandoned
From cleaning my TBR project. Not my type of humour, I guess. Tried to read it a few times and I think is time to let go of this classic. It is too long to battle through it.
Steven Godin

It's not often I say this about a novel, but I'm really going to miss these guys. Oh, and gals, Nurse Duckett, Luciana, and even Nately's whore. Alright, maybe not General Dreedle; although his ill-tempered rants were great, but the rest of them; and there are a lot of them, have been like a family the last few weeks. A BIG family. Yossarian, Nately, Orr, Milo, Dunbar, Dobbs, Snowden, Aarfy, Havermeyer, Appleby, Hungry Joe, Kraft, McWatt, Kid Sampson, Huple, all were like brothers. As for the un
Aug 13, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: high schoolers
Shelves: recently-read
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 impac
Brian Yahn
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Hands down, this is the funniest book I've ever read. Some of Heller's sentences are so witty and hilarious that I had to not only laugh out loud, but set the book down after trying to continue on--and laugh out loud some more to fully appreciate all the wit. That being said, the style of humor gets old. After a while, it feels like reading Seinfeld screenplays for hours on end.

The crazy ironic predicaments Yosarian, the focal character, finds himself in are pure genius. And some of the subplots
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

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

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