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Editor’s Note

“A Satirical Masterpiece...”

This satirical masterpiece brilliantly captures the bureaucratic absurdities of war. With a title that’s become synonymous with an intractable problem, Yossarian & co.‘s tragicomic plight resonates to this day.
Alex P.
Scribd Editor
Fifty years after its original publication, Catch-22 remains a cornerstone of American lit-erature and one of the funniest—and most celebrated—novels 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 bombardier, Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy—it is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to excuse himself from the perilous missions he’s assigned, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved. Since its publication in 1961, no novel has matched Catch-22’s intensity and brilliance in depicting the brutal insanity of war. This fiftieth-anniversary edition commemorates Joseph Heller’s masterpiece with a new introduction by Christopher Buckley; personal essays on the genesis of the novel by the author; a wealth of critical responses and reviews by Norman Mailer, Alfred Kazin, Anthony Burgess, and others; rare papers and photos from Joseph Heller’s personal archive; and a selection of advertisements from the original publishing campaign that helped turn Catch-22 into a cultural phenomenon. Here, at last, is the definitive edition of a classic of world literature.

Topics: 1940s, War, World War II, United States of America, Military, Mental Illness, Black Humor, Satirical, Pilots, Ironic, Debut, Survival, Italy, Dark, Friendship, Death, Funny, Witty, Nazis, Soldiers, Mediterranean, Paranoia, 20th Century, Postmodern, Ethics, Parody, Made into a Movie, Antihero, Picaresque, Cynical, Bitter, and Poignant

Published: Simon & Schuster on Oct 26, 2010
ISBN: 9781451632965
List price: $11.99
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Catch-22, by Joseph Heller, is a comical book, making fun of the World War II period and the people in it. It is an amazing read due to its twisted logic and humorous portrait of the people and times that were taking place. Following the stories of Yossarian and his comrades, Yossarian must do all he can to make sure he survives, despite what others believe. The book establishes a theme that one must stand true for what they believe in, as Yossarian does with his will to survive.Catch-22 is the story of Yossarian, an American bombardier trying his best to stay alive during World War II. This is difficult, as people are always trying to kill him. Stationed at Pianosa, an island within the Mediterranean Sea, Yossarian is unable to be relieved of duty due to Catch-22. Told from the point of a narrator, each chapter focuses on the people in Yossarian’s troop, or the people they know. Yossarian’s greatest threat is Colonel Cathcart, who keeps on raising the amount of missions that soldiers need to fly, preventing Yossarian from ever finishing all his missions. As a very sane person in a crazy world, Yossarian holds to ideals. This leads me to believe that the theme of this book is to stand true to what you believe in.I found Catch-22 to be a very entertaining read, due to its clever use of humor. Each character introduced within the book is very unique, and makes fun of a different kind of person each time. In particular, it makes fun of the government and the army very often. There is a wide diversity of characters, from the company manager Milo, to the depressed Doc Daneeka, to the crazy soldier Hungry Joe, and each character provides a little more humor to the book, in their own ways. Another humorous part of the book is the logic. In the book, logic is twisted and warped, and makes conversations much more interesting than they would be. Things that would make sense make no sense, and things would make no sense are explained perfectly. However, this logic is sometimes so warped, that it is difficult to follow, and may require one to read the passage again. Catch-22 is a humorous book that mocks the World War II period in a perfect way. Containing twisted logic and a variety of comical characters, the book is a great read. While the logic can sometimes be confusing, I believe it the humor it creates outweighs that. The way Yossarian tries to survive in the World War II period introduces the theme. This theme is that one should stand for what they believe in, shown by Yossarian’s will to live, despite the fact that others want to put him in danger constantly. Overall, Catch-22 is an amazing read, and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to have a good laugh.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Listened to the audiobook. Loud, shrill, and annoying. Had to give up halfway through, particularly annoyed by the dead-tired "Why do bad things happen to good people?" whining. Life isn't fair, Joey. Cope. That aside- this has a lot of clever and twisted lines and scenes. Like the novel Kafka would have written about the military. It has the same weakness I find in most "Great Literature"- the characters are all horrible and unrelatable people, and the story is just a bunch of random things that happen. But most people aren't bothered by that. So- shrug.read more
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Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Catch-22, by Joseph Heller, is a comical book, making fun of the World War II period and the people in it. It is an amazing read due to its twisted logic and humorous portrait of the people and times that were taking place. Following the stories of Yossarian and his comrades, Yossarian must do all he can to make sure he survives, despite what others believe. The book establishes a theme that one must stand true for what they believe in, as Yossarian does with his will to survive.Catch-22 is the story of Yossarian, an American bombardier trying his best to stay alive during World War II. This is difficult, as people are always trying to kill him. Stationed at Pianosa, an island within the Mediterranean Sea, Yossarian is unable to be relieved of duty due to Catch-22. Told from the point of a narrator, each chapter focuses on the people in Yossarian’s troop, or the people they know. Yossarian’s greatest threat is Colonel Cathcart, who keeps on raising the amount of missions that soldiers need to fly, preventing Yossarian from ever finishing all his missions. As a very sane person in a crazy world, Yossarian holds to ideals. This leads me to believe that the theme of this book is to stand true to what you believe in.I found Catch-22 to be a very entertaining read, due to its clever use of humor. Each character introduced within the book is very unique, and makes fun of a different kind of person each time. In particular, it makes fun of the government and the army very often. There is a wide diversity of characters, from the company manager Milo, to the depressed Doc Daneeka, to the crazy soldier Hungry Joe, and each character provides a little more humor to the book, in their own ways. Another humorous part of the book is the logic. In the book, logic is twisted and warped, and makes conversations much more interesting than they would be. Things that would make sense make no sense, and things would make no sense are explained perfectly. However, this logic is sometimes so warped, that it is difficult to follow, and may require one to read the passage again. Catch-22 is a humorous book that mocks the World War II period in a perfect way. Containing twisted logic and a variety of comical characters, the book is a great read. While the logic can sometimes be confusing, I believe it the humor it creates outweighs that. The way Yossarian tries to survive in the World War II period introduces the theme. This theme is that one should stand for what they believe in, shown by Yossarian’s will to live, despite the fact that others want to put him in danger constantly. Overall, Catch-22 is an amazing read, and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to have a good laugh.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Listened to the audiobook. Loud, shrill, and annoying. Had to give up halfway through, particularly annoyed by the dead-tired "Why do bad things happen to good people?" whining. Life isn't fair, Joey. Cope. That aside- this has a lot of clever and twisted lines and scenes. Like the novel Kafka would have written about the military. It has the same weakness I find in most "Great Literature"- the characters are all horrible and unrelatable people, and the story is just a bunch of random things that happen. But most people aren't bothered by that. So- shrug.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Shocking, simultaneously real and clown-like.
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I thoroughly enjoyed Catch-22. It took me about three months to read, but it was worth it. Normally, I can crank through books in about 2 weeks tops, but I wanted to digest this one a little more. It was humorous, poignant, intelligent and a great conversation starter. I love when books make me consider concepts that don't exist in my little world and this book certainly did that. It was great.
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The perennial classic. I read this book slowly during the summer that I was in Israel. I also read A Clockwork Orange that summer. I read Catch 22 with a folded piece of notebook paper as my bookmark. Anytime I didn't know a word I wrote it down and looked it up the next time I found a dictionary. It was a very neat way to read a book, and I learned some wonderful new words. Unfortunately the list has been lost, I wish I still had that particular piece of personal ephemera.
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