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Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
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Catch-22 (1961)

by Joseph Heller

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Catch-22 (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
28,45436933 (4.13)756
  1. 455
    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (kiwiflowa, WisePolyphemos)
  2. 196
    A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (InvisiblerMan)
  3. 70
    Closing Time by Joseph Heller (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Joseph Heller's sequel to "Catch-22" set in the early 1990s.
  4. 114
    Atonement by Ian McEwan (rosylibrarian)
  5. 126
    All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque (kittycatpurr)
  6. 62
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (wvlibrarydude)
    wvlibrarydude: Satire and humor that will split your gut. Read if you want to laugh at humanity.
  7. 40
    In Pharaoh's Army: Memories of the Lost War by Tobias Wolff (paulkid)
    paulkid: Me, I think that true stories are the most absurd. For me, "In Pharaoh's Army" may not be as funny as "Catch-22", but it's close and definitely has made me consider my own serious outlook on life a little less, well, seriously. See if you agree.
  8. 52
    Nine Stories by J. D. Salinger (girlunderglass)
    girlunderglass: Both stories about war, plus Heller owes much to Salinger in terms of authorial voice (wit, vernacular language, goddamits, sense of humor)
  9. 52
    The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hašek (roby72)
  10. 20
    King Rat by James Clavell (John_Vaughan)
  11. 31
    The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts by Louis de Bernières (Pedrolina)
    Pedrolina: Both books take on the slightly surreal side to war, but with serious consequences nonetheless.
  12. 31
    Just One Catch: A Biography of Joseph Heller by Tracy Daugherty (Imprinted)
    Imprinted: This biography includes a lengthy section on the writing and publishing of Catch-22, the tragicomic 1961 novel that originated in Heller’s experience as a World War II bombardier
  13. 31
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey (gbill)
  14. 10
    The Bamboo Bed by William Eastlake (rickyrickyricky)
    rickyrickyricky: A genuine equal to Catch-22 written for the Vietnam age. Not just a cheap attempt to imitate Heller's talent-slash-luck, Eastlake may well have surpassed his masterpiece with this long-last classic. Read alongside Dispatches to maximize pleasure; then continue your newfound, inevitable addiction to all things Eastlake, because he really is that good--and he really is that inexplicably, undeservably unknown.… (more)
  15. 10
    And No Birds Sang by Farley Mowat (ShaneTierney)
  16. 11
    Cancer Ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (fundevogel)
  17. 11
    Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho (chrissybob)
    chrissybob: Similar views on mental health
  18. 11
    Crash Gordon and the Mysteries of Kingsburg by Derek Swannson (jasbro)
  19. 11
    War Story by Derek Robinson (Polaris-)
  20. 13
    The House of God by Samuel Shem (mcenroeucsb)

(see all 22 recommendations)

1960s (14)
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» See also 756 mentions

English (351)  Swedish (4)  Norwegian (2)  Danish (2)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  Hebrew (1)  Russian (1)  All languages (367)
Showing 1-5 of 351 (next | show all)
I've thought about this for a long time, and I'm still not sure what to say about it. It took me nearly five months to read, and I think the only other book I've ever spent so long reading (without abandoning it) was The Red Badge of Courage my freshman year in high school. It wasn't that I put it down for several weeks without reading, either; I was picking it up fairly regularly almost that whole time, but it just took so long to get through. I'd read fifteen or twenty pages at a time and have to stop, and at least once a page, it seemed, I'd reach the end of a sentence and have forgotten what the beginning was. It is a funny book—but to call it "one of the funniest books ever written" seems misleading to me, because it is not that kind of funny. It's clever and biting and humorous, certainly, but it's also dark and bewildering and horrifying. I can't even say whether or not I liked it, because "like" just doesn't seem like the right word. I appreciated it, admired it, absolutely. I'm glad I read it, especially because it's been on my list for a long time. I've heard that it should really be read twice, and I don't know if I'll ever want to do that, but you never know.
  mirikayla | Feb 8, 2016 |
One of the best anti-war books ever written - mostly because it is told with such biting humor and wit. There have been many written, but few with a sense of hilarity that succeeds in making the point that much more compelling. For showing us that zany, chaotic aspect of war, Heller is my hero. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
I had tried to read this book several times and the mistake I made was trying to figure out what was going on in the first few chapters and not understanding. The book goes back to the same key scenes several times and each time you get a little more information about what is going on.

I am really glad I made it through the whole book. It gets better as it goes on. It is very funny at points and also very sad and depressing at points. Definitely does not paint a good picture of war. I also was amazed at the ending. I thought it would start being cliche, but even the last chapter had unexpected funny events. ( )
  KamGeb | Jan 23, 2016 |
Joseph Heller is a great story teller. This book was very funny with a very good message about how pointless it can be to fight for a cause. The characters are unforgettable and the reader is able to sympathize with Yossarian, the main character. Catch 22, in my opinion, is a masterpiece of social satire and a very humorous look into the face of death. If you haven't read it, you should because it is a very enjoyable read. ( )
  eadieburke | Jan 19, 2016 |
Essentially takes the sense of our nonsensical life lived under the sun and sensibly turns it sensational. ( )
  DVDWalsh | Jan 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 351 (next | show all)
"A wild, moving, shocking, hilarious, raging, exhilarating, giant roller-coaster of a book"
added by GYKM | editNew York Herald Tribune
 
"the best novel to come out in years"
added by GYKM | editThe Nation
 
"doesn't even seem to be written; instead, it gives the impression of having been shouted onto paper.... what remains is a debris of sour jokes"
added by GYKM | editThe New Yorker
 
This kind of magnificent illogic whips like a mistral all through the novel, blowing both sequence and motivation into a rubble of farcical shocks and grisly surprises. Catch-22 is held together only by the inescapable fact that Joseph Heller is a superb describer of people and things... Heller's talent is impressive, but it also is undisciplined, sometimes luring him into bogs of boring repetition... but an overdose of comic non sequitur and an almost experimental formlessness are not enough to extinguish the real fire of Catch-22.
added by jjlong | editTime (Oct 27, 1961)
 
"Catch-22," by Joseph Heller, is not an entirely successful novel. It is not even a good novel by conventional standards. But there can be no doubt that it is the strangest novel yet written about the United States Air Force in World War II. Wildly original, brilliantly comic, brutally gruesome, it is a dazzling performance that will probably outrage nearly as many readers as it delights. In any case, it is one of the most startling first novels of the year and it may make its author famous.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times, Orville Prescott (pay site) (Oct 23, 1961)
 

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Heller, Josephprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bradbury, MalcolmIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buckley, ChristopherIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ceserani, RemoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kliphuis, J.F.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lahtela, MarkkuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Packer, NeilIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szilágyi TiborTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
There was only one catch... and that was Catch-22.

This island of Pianosa lies in the Mediterranean Sea eight miles south of Elba. It is very small and obviously could not accommodate all of the actions described. Like the setting of this novel, the characters, too, are fictitious.
Dedication
To Candida Donadio, literary agent, and Robert Gottlieb, editor. Colleagues.
To my mother
and to Shirley
and my children, Erica and Ted
First words
It was love at first sight.
Quotations
They had not brains enough to be introverted and repressed.
There was only one catch, and that was Catch-22.
The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he’s on.
"Sure, that's what I mean," Doc Daneeka said. "A little grease is what makes this world go round. One hand washes the other. Know what I mean? You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours."

Yossarian knew what he meant.

"That's not what I meant," Doc Daneeka said, as Yossarian began scratching his back.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Book description
This is the story of Yossarian, a man trying to survive during WW2. Unable to go home because he hasnt completed enough missions he tries to get himself deemed ill which he can't do because he hasn't been sick. 

Reading books in uncomfortable situations often affect how you like and remember books. That's what happened with this book. I just got confused a lot. It was also really difficult to read on the computer for 8 straight hours. That wasn't a good plan.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0684833395, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:09 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

The story of a group of fliers in the Mediterranean during World War II, and their struggles with the psychological stresses of combat and military life.

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