- Series: A Dell book
- Mass Market Paperback: 463 pages
- Publisher: Dell (1970)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0007DKFIW
- Package Dimensions: 7 x 4.1 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 1,758 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,049,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Catch-22 (A Dell book) Mass Market Paperback – 1970
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There was a time when reading Joseph Heller's classic satire on the murderous insanity of war was nothing less than a rite of passage. Echoes of Yossarian, the wise-ass bombardier who was too smart to die but not smart enough to find a way out of his predicament, could be heard throughout the counterculture. As a result, it's impossible not to consider Catch-22 to be something of a period piece. But 40 years on, the novel's undiminished strength is its looking-glass logic. Again and again, Heller's characters demonstrate that what is commonly held to be good, is bad; what is sensible, is nonsense.
Yossarian says, "You're talking about winning the war, and I am talking about winning the war and keeping alive."
"Exactly," Clevinger snapped smugly. "And which do you think is more important?"
"To whom?" Yossarian shot back. "It doesn't make a damn bit of difference who wins the war to someone who's dead."
"I can't think of another attitude that could be depended upon to give greater comfort to the enemy."
"The enemy," retorted Yossarian with weighted precision, "is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on."
Mirabile dictu, the book holds up post-Reagan, post-Gulf War. It's a good thing, too. As long as there's a military, that engine of lethal authority, Catch-22 will shine as a handbook for smart-alecky pacifists. It's an utterly serious and sad, but damn funny book. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. It would be difficult to imagine richer material for an audiobook reader, comedically speaking, than Joseph Heller's classic novel of wartime madness. Sanders is the lucky actor chosen to read Heller's masterpiece, and he does well by it, proceeding gamely through the novel's staggering array of comic set pieces and deliriously woozy dialogue. Heller's humor is straight-faced, requiring little more than a steady, sure voice, and Sanders offers just that. Line by line, joke by joke, Sanders reels through the marvelous phantasmagoria of Heller's World War II, tongue planted firmly in cheek. Caedmon's impressive package includes a 1970s-era recording of Heller reading selections from his book. Heller is a delightful contrast to Sanders, his slight lisp accentuating a marvelous Brooklyn accent. Heller reads as if with cigar perched on his lip and turns his novel into an extended borscht belt comic's riff.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Heller writes this story not in any particular chronological order, and instead connects the chapters at random in order to portray the insanity that the characters experience. The story is analogous to a jig-saw that is given ten pieces at a time. The reader must remember was has already been said and connect it to what has just been said. Heller's writing style of using a plethora of ironies and hyperboles adds to the satire of the book, which isn't so much satirizing WW2, but war in general. His way of writing the character's dialogue also contributed to the insanity that he was trying to portray. The characters speak in what feels like circles, where the character says what the last character said in a slightly different way. After a while of this, the conversation loses its original meaning and makes even the reader question his sanity. The novel effectively satirizes World War Two and possibly all other wars, and conveys themes of power in bureaucracy, the inevitability of death, and a loss of religion.
If Yossarian lives, he does so in frivolous recesses within human minds seeking entertainment in the reality and brutality of conflict and war.
Most recent customer reviews
The absurdity and corruption of the military expressed in Catch is not a...Read more