Jennifer's Reviews > Catch-22

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

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: Fabulous! I liked it too!
Nigel: What did you like about it?
Jen: Oh, I hated it.

I think Heller was showing how war is chaotic by not writing in a chronological order. You really have no idea in what order events are taking place. I think he was showing how war is ridiculous by writing conversations like the one above. I'm not sure if any of his goals were to annoy the living hell out of his readers, but he annoyed me. 460 pages of absurdness is too much for me. Most of the characters were very one-dimensional. I could only distinguish between people by their names. Most of the good guys all had the same personalities and the bad guys all had the same personalities except one character ate peanut brittle and another put crab apples in his cheeks. Other than that - same personalities. Maybe his goal was only to distinguish between the good, everyday guys and the evil, power-hungry men in charge. If so, he succeeded. I just wasn't thrilled after page 150 or so. There is some funny stuff in there. The chocolate-covered cotton balls will crack me up for life. There's some really sad stuff too. It's weird because every time someone died, I cared, even though I knew nothing about them, except what they ate or who their favorite whore was. I'm not sure how Heller pulled that off. Anyway, I would recommend it. It's just that the ridiculousness of it gets to the point where it's just, well, ridiculous, and beyond my personal tolerance level. I still appreciated it though.
304 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Catch-22.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

June 6, 2008 – Shelved
Started Reading
July 22, 2008 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-24 of 24 (24 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Frank I love your conversation, it's absolutely terrible.

Artur @up: exactly ;)

Paolo who is Nigel?!

message 4: by Nfk (new) - rated it 2 stars

Nfk incredibly confusing you get lost by the first couple sentences

Maithe "There's some really sad stuff too. It's weird because every time someone died, I cared, even though I knew nothing about them, except what they ate or who their favorite whore was. I'm not sure how Heller pulled that off"


For all the rest, I felt the same way about the book. Some parts were funny, though and I had to laugh out loud.

message 6: by Kim (new)

Kim Berg This was amazing, Jennifer :) Spot on!

Rosanna Amour-amour I have just waded through this book :( too many conversations like that. I'm so glad it's over. What was the story again?!

Sarah This completely sums up my feelings on this novel. I can see why people call it a classic, but it wasn't up my alley and had exactly this kind of logic.

Lisa Pretty much spot on in regard to my feelings and thoughts on this book.

message 10: by Deji (new)

Deji Most balanced review I've found so far. I've read the book once and I'm rereading but I can barely get through it this time. It seems because of the sheer repeatedness of plot lines and the funny crazy but albeit one dimensional characters

message 11: by Hu (new)

Hu Yichen I think you are reading it the wrong way. It is not meant as a traditional fiction. It didn't pay much attention to plot advance, personality development etc. It is meant as a satire, which it delivered brilliantly, IMHO

Michelle Ferris your review is spot on, and exactly how i also felt about this book

Stephanie Harrell Yes, this. I agree completely.

message 14: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Nielsen Well, I think I am going to pick a new book to read. lol

message 15: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Robinson Well, there's one book I'm not going to try after all. Far too deep!!
Thanks guys, (Jennifer in particular)

message 16: by Crystal (new) - added it

Crystal Perfect review! I'm still attempting to finish this one but all the characters definitely seem to be the same

message 17: by Lee (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lee Logan Perfect review. Thank you! I thought there was something wrong with me for feeling this way after many people recommended the book. I am still glad I read it :-)

Emese Klencsar-Karpov I am reading it and you just put into words my exact feelings towards this book. I am always wondering what makes me keep reading it and I also do not know whether I can power myself through. haha

Ashley Prillaman YES. You are spot on. I cared a lot when a character died, but up until that point it was difficult to read. YET I would also recommend it hahahahaha.

message 20: by Micaela (new)

Micaela Taylor I tried so hard to read it but the conversations were just going nowhere. Your example was so perfect.

Aswini Sundaram Haha that conversation 😂

message 22: by Ian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ian Much agreed. This book made me laugh at loud on multiple occasions, but the characters were all the same.

Carrie Scruggs Your review cracked me up! I’m only on page 73 and can’t take the talking in circles anymore but I don’t want to give up but I don’t want to go on either!!!!

message 24: by Sol (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sol it being beyond your tolerance level is kind of the point of the book!

back to top