22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Booby Trap of the World,
This review is from: Catch-22 (Everyman's Library) (Hardcover)
Undoubtedly, this book is a modern classic. To describe and elucidate all peculiarities of its style, allusions (Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, etc.), plot, characters and its influence on the modern culture and life one will need to write another book of similar volume. So I'll be short: the novel is excellent, a must read.
It starts as a brilliant satire showing absurdity of a war machine and its human components. In times the story is so funny that it is preferably to read in solitude in order not to exasperate people with irrepressible laughter. But in the second half of the novel the festive mode metamorphoses: a hilarity becomes a horror of a man ensnared by a booby trap. The events and orders are crazy but the blood of friends is absolutely real. The black comedy, taking place in Italy during World War II, transforms into a hideous picture of the human society, where a life of an ordinary person signifies nothing being only a card in heinous game of rapacious and salacious potentates. In one of the last chapters Rome, the Eternal City, appears as an apocalyptic vision of impending destruction of the iniquitous world. The marvelous novel of Joseph Heller warns us: Be vigilant!