He had decided to live forever or die in the attempt. Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of a bombardier named Yossarian, a hero who ...Show synopsisHe had decided to live forever or die in the attempt. Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of a bombardier named Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. Joseph Heller's unforgettable novel is a hilarious and tragic satire on military madness, and the tale of one man's efforts to survive it. This fiftieth-anniversary edition celebrates Heller's masterpiece with an introduction by Howard Jacobson, rare images from Heller's personal archive and essays by the likes of Norman Mailer, Anthony Burgess and Christopher Hitchens. "Reading Catch-22" is nothing less than a rite of passage. Here, at last, is the definitive edition of a classic of world literature.Hide synopsis
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There is nothing to review. A Great book and a Great writer. I lent my copy and never got it back. No bookcase should be without one and so I have replaced mine. It should be read every three years on a regular basis for its humour and insight into life and human frailty.
I can't remember how this book was described but I have rarely bought one that wasn't described as at least good condition. This book has dreary brittle yellow pages and an old wrinkled and worn cover. I would describe it as poor at best. I don't presently own a book in worse condition and I have books over 150 years old.
This book is packed with hilarious characters from Yossarian to Major Major Major. It is written in satire form allowing it to present a ridiculously extreme story based on what would have been current events in Heller's time. While it is admittedly a style so unconventional it turns away many readers, I found it exquisitely fascinating and promptly read it twice through. The randomness of the conversation and plot is bothersome to some folks however I personally enjoyed it immensely, especially style of logic used by many of the soldiers.
The opening of this book is hilarious. It's funny all the way to the halfway point, and then it is no longer funny.
Having served for 22 years as a military member, I can honestly say that even though my profession was war, I still rate this book as one of the best in modern fiction. That may seem strange, but my belief is that if the military has to use force, then someone in the diplomatic area has failed to do their job.
Yossarian is all of us, Nately is all of us, Major Major is all of us, and every character in the book is all of us at one time or another.
I don't think Heller was satirizing the war so much as he was satirizing the hypocrisy that is used to justify war. The idiocy of Lieutenant General Scheisskopf, the cynicism of Ex-Pfc. Wintergreen, and the helplessness of Yossarian are common traits, whether in war or not.
If you don't like this book for what it says, then Heller has made his point. If you like the book, Heller has still made his point.
Read it, throw it away, give it to the library, but don't ignore what it says.
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