Catch-22

Paperback, 453 pages

English language

Published Jan. 21, 2004 by Simon & Schuster.

ISBN:
978-0-684-83339-2
Copied ISBN!
Goodreads:
168668

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4 stars (314 reviews)

Catch-22 is like no other novel. It has its own rationale, its own extraordinary character. It moves back and forth from hilarity to horror. It is outrageously funny and strangely affecting. It is totally original. Set in the closing months of World War II in an American bomber squadron off Italy, Catch-22 is the story of a bombardier named Yossarian, who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him. Catch-22 is a microcosm of the twentieth-century world as it might look to someone dangerously sane. It is a novel that lives and moves and grows with astonishing power and vitality -- a masterpiece of our time. - Back cover.

98 editions

Catch-22

5 stars

Je ne pense pas avoir déjà lu un livre qui m'ait fait rire au point d'en avoir les larmes aux yeux, pour, quelques lignes après, être saisi aux tripes par le récit des horreurs vécues par les femmes et les hommes que nous accompagnons dans ce supplice. Car nos personnages sont coincés en enfer, dans l'univers absurde de la Guerre, et les dialogues qui parsèment le récit se retrouvent dans le procédé littéraire du roman. À tel point qu'à un moment, nous nous demandons si ce n'est pas trop, si la répétition des dialogues et des situations ne va pas trop loin. Mais en ce qui me concerne, à peine ce sentiment éprouvé, j'ai senti une soudaine évolution du récit et un changement dans la tonalité de la narration. Il n'est pas étonnant que ce livre ait été utilisé par celles et ceux qui, en Amérique, luttaient pour mettre fin …

Review of 'Catch-22' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

I found this book utterly annoying. The concept of Catch-22 is interesting but I don't see any reason why it should be spread on 500 pages with erratic dialogue and no plot whatsoever. I get it, war is hell. But that doesn't mean I should torture myself with this book...

Review of 'Catch-22' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

This was a tough read. It's really not a comedy, but more of an absurd tragedy. if you don't believe me, try applying a "divine fulcrum" to an acquaintance, and wait for the hilarity to ensue.

I am sure this book allowed Heller to work through his PTSD, because I felt it myself.

Review of 'Catch-22' on Goodreads

3 stars

1) ''Nately was instantly up in arms again. 'There is nothing so absurd about risking your life for your country!' he declared.
'Isn't there?' asked the old man. 'What is a country? A country is a piece of land surrounded on all sides by boundaries, usually unnatural. Englishmen are dying for England, Americans are dying for America, Germans are dying for Germany, Russians are dying for Russia. There are now fifty or sixty countries fighting in this war. Surely so many countries can't all be worth dying for.'''

2) '''I'm nuts. Cuckoo. Don't you understand? I'm off my rocker. They sent someone else home in my place by mistake. They've got a licensed psychiatrist up at the hospital who examined me, and that was his verdict. I'm really insane.'
'So?'
'So?' Yossarian was puzzled by Doc Daneeka's inability to comprehend. 'Don't you see what that means? Now you can take …

Review of 'Catch-22' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

The first third of this book made me think about what a horrible writer Ayn Rand was. To have one idea, one that was pretty despicable, that could be easily stated in full in about two sentences, and then write scenarios that express that one idea ad nauseum... well, it's nauseating.

Heller, too, has a single idea to present here: war, its operations and administration, its causes and goals, is simply absurd. At every level, absurdity. The worst thing that could happen is to be the lone sane person capable of recognizing the absurdity of all of it, to be inescapably dog-paddling in the middle of a pool of absurd.

For a long time, while Catch-22 is merely comically absurd, this repetition is suffocating. It bears little resemblance to the world I am familiar with and to the way people behave. I started getting that same feeling I had slogging …

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Subjects

  • Modern fiction
  • War stories
  • Heller, Joseph - Prose & Criticism
  • Fiction
  • Literature - Classics / Criticism
  • Literature: Classics
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • Classics
  • Literary
  • Fiction / Literary

Lists