Ruth's Reviews > Catch-22

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
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it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, humor

I found this book as number 2 on the list of funniest books ever. Number one being the hitchhikings guide to the Galaxy.
I found that one incredibly funny, so I looked forward to another such funny book.
And indeed this book had me laugh out loud so often that the children kept asking what was so funny, and then I couldn't explain, of course, because it is funny because everything is so ridiculously paradoxical. And of course it is a lot of gallows humor, born out of incredible frustration with the insanity of how things go in the world. Thankfully I have never been in a war, but still I recognize this frustration with things that go terribly wrong, and I think that was what made me laugh so much at this book. Some things are so bad that you will go insane if you take them seriously.

There is a lot of incredibly indecent behavior in this book, quite shocking if it weren't all described so lightly, and that adds to the general sense of the insanity of human beings, especially during a war.

The most endearing person in the book is the chaplain who tries so hard to be good and humble and helpful, but who is so shy and soft hearted and anxious that he feels miserable all the time.

In the end it's no longer funny. The raw tragedy of the war and all the really horrible things that happen are described without restraint.
I am very much impressed.
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Reading Progress

December 23, 2016 – Shelved
December 23, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
February 4, 2017 – Started Reading
February 4, 2017 –
page 71
15.67% "hilarisch! ik schiet steeds hardop in de lach."
March 9, 2017 –
page 162
35.76% "quite a shocking book, but *really* funny!"
April 7, 2017 –
page 267
58.94% "There was no way of really knowing anything, he knew, not even that there was no way of really knowing anything."
April 17, 2017 –
page 406
89.62% "it's getting really sad... but this is a beautiful quote: Every victim was a culprit, every culprit a victim, and somebody had to stand up sometime to try to break the lousy chain of inherited habit that was imperiling them all. "
April 19, 2017 – Finished Reading
October 18, 2017 – Shelved as: favorites
July 24, 2018 – Shelved as: humor

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