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Catch-22 Paperback – June 1, 2011
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The Amazon Book Review
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Frequently bought together
"Never has a book been laughed and wept over so many times" * Guardian * "To my mind, there have been two great American novels in the past fifty years. Catch-22 is one" -- Stephen King "Catch-22 is the only war novel I've ever read that makes any sense" -- Harper Lee "The war novel to end all war novels" * Independent * "Blessedly, monstrously, bloatedly, cynically funny and fantastically unique. No one has ever written a book like this" * Financial Times *
About the Author
Joseph Heller was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1923. In 1961, he published Catch-22, which became a bestseller and, in 1970, a film. He went on to write such novels as Something Happened, God Knows, Picture This, Closing Time (the sequel to Catch-22), and Portrait of an Artist, as an Old Man. Heller died in December 1999.
Top customer reviews
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It rose above the realistic novels written immediately after the Second World War. It rose above Mailer and Jones and Shaw. When asked why he’d never written another book like Catch 22, Heller’s answer was “Who has?” Of course he was right. A couple of the great wave of novels that followed the Second World War stand shoulder to shoulder with the catch; Slaughter House Five and Gunter Grass’s Dog Years come to my mind. Lots of very good novels came out of the war, first novels from writers like Gore Vidal and Norman Mailer, Irwin Shaw and James Jones, Thomas Heggens, who won a Tony for the stage version of his novel, Mr. Roberts, James Gould Cozzens, who won a Pulitzer for Guard of Honor. None of those good books compare. Catch 22 entered the language. For a few years the blue paperback with the dancing soldier puppet was everywhere.
Yossarian, the novel’s hero, spends the novel trying not to die in the war. A difficult job, since his colonel raises the number of missions he must fly from twenty-five to seventy, in an attempt to impress the Saturday Evening Post. Since I last read this I served in the army, where sooner or later everybody winds up working for Colonel Cathcart. I’m thinking that besides its anarchic appeal for youth, there were at that time millions of Veterans many of whom shared it’s cynicism about the organizations they worked for.
If you’ve never read it, you’ve missed a great read. If you read it a long time ago It might be time to enjoy it again. I suspect you’ll still laugh whenever Heller tells you to. And like love at first sight it will probably still break your heart.
But this novel is definitely not for the younger audience out there. It contains a significant amount of prostitution and some rape, with lots and LOTS of graphic detail in both ways (but most detail during bloody scenes, not much sexual details).
Anyways, this novel is a classic and will forever stay in my heart as one of the most influential stories I have ever read.
Story aside, the 50th Anniversary Edition is a great purchase. It has the original story, plus some pretty interesting history and reactions to the story.
Most recent customer reviews
The actor who reads it, does an incredable job, but as the book is episodic rather than having a narrative though line.Read more