Explosive, subversive, wild and funny, 50 years on the novel's strength is undiminished. Reading Joseph Heller's classic satire is nothing less than a rite of passage.
Set in the closing months of World War II in an American bomber squadron off the coast of Italy, Catch-22 is the story of a bombardier named Yossarian who is frantic and ...more
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)
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
“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
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.
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 ...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.
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 ...more
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 storylines are out of sequence so the timeline develops along with the plot.
عنوانها: کلک مرغابی؛ تبصره 22؛ ...more
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 ...more
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 ...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...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 ...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..."
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 ...more
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 ...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 ...more
The crazy ironic predicaments Yosarian, the focal character, finds himself in are pure genius. And some of the subplots ...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 ...more
This beats out almost every book that purports to be funny and I'm not particularly unfamiliar with funny books.
Catch-22 grabs you by the skinny hairs and shocks you into the most wonderful and horrible bureaucratic nightmare ever devised. It's not even the clarity that strikes you. It's not the convoluted insanity of a huge cast of truly unforgettable and brilliant characters as they stumble from one mismatched contradiction after another or as they ...more
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
Catch 22 is a satire, but not just any satire; it is the mother of all satires. And it doesn't just poke at the US military, it pokes at ...more
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 ...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.
Set during World War II, Catch-22 details the experiences of Captain Yossarian and the other airmen in his camp as they try to maintain their sanity while fulfilling their service requirements so that they can return home.
I did it! I conquered the book I was dreading most and I made it all the way to the end..... and it actually surprised me? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not head over heels for it, but I took a lot from this one and I’ ...more
Reading Catch-22 was sort of like watching a brilliantly shining coin flipping through a majestic parabola in slow motion, with one side ...more
Catch-22 stretches some limitations that are so normative in books ,that I couldn’t help but love it for that. One of the more common critique for this book was the way the timeline was build. That wasn’t really a problem for me, finding the jumps in time relatively easy to follow .More important, I don’t believe that having a perfect time-setting for every scene was of a great importance . The humor was fantastic and my only true problem was that in the middle, the story dragged a bit ...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 ...more