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Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
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Catch-22 (original 1961; edition 1996)

by Joseph Heller

Series: Catch-22 (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
32,29342843 (4.12)868
Member:beefviper
Title:Catch-22
Authors:Joseph Heller
Info:Simon & Schuster (1996), Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1961)

  1. 495
    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (kiwiflowa, WisePolyphemos)
  2. 176
    A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (InvisiblerMan)
  3. 90
    Closing Time by Joseph Heller (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Joseph Heller's sequel to "Catch-22" set in the early 1990s.
  4. 124
    Atonement by Ian McEwan (rosylibrarian)
  5. 136
    All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque (kittycatpurr)
  6. 50
    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.
  7. 62
    The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hašek (roby72)
  8. 41
    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
  9. 41
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey (gbill)
  10. 30
    King Rat by James Clavell (John_Vaughan)
  11. 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)
  12. 53
    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.
  13. 20
    The Bamboo Bed by William Eastlake (alaskayo)
    alaskayo: 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)
  14. 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.
  15. 10
    And No Birds Sang by Farley Mowat (ShaneTierney)
  16. 21
    Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho (chrissybob)
    chrissybob: Similar views on mental health
  17. 11
    Crash Gordon and the Mysteries of Kingsburg by Derek Swannson (jasbro)
  18. 11
    War Story by Derek Robinson (Polaris-)
  19. 11
    Cancer Ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (fundevogel)
  20. 13
    The House of God by Samuel Shem (mcenroeucsb)

(see all 22 recommendations)

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English (410)  Swedish (4)  Norwegian (2)  Danish (2)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  Hebrew (1)  Russian (1)  All languages (426)
Showing 1-5 of 410 (next | show all)
I had to force myself to finish this book. I've been told by others it was hilarious (in a dark way). I can see the humor but did not find myself laughing very much. If I had been taking notes as I read it I might have been able to remember who was who and what their particular quirks were. But I did not. So the storyline did not flow smoothly for me. I plan on watching the movie and there's a TV series (Hulu) now streaming. I hope it helps me put the characters in their proper place. This might be the kind of book you have to read at least twice to appreciate. Sorry. That's not going to happen. ( )
  LJCain | May 24, 2019 |
I will have to reread this, since I remember this book as the origin of the phrase snafu, and found it depressingly realistic. Not so funny back then, but maybe now, 35 years later and having gotten out of the environment, perhaps I can enjoy this book. I should try. ( )
  FourFreedoms | May 17, 2019 |
I should have stuck to my first reading from High School, rather than reading it again. Now, it seems even more annoying, slightly pompous, a product of its racist times in terms of taking the mistreatment of Black folks and even white women for granted, and just too snarky for me to like. Sorry. ( )
  FourFreedoms | May 17, 2019 |
The classic American novel for me. If you wish to understand that perfectly American process of taking a very serious matter such as WWII, and then giving it an artificial structure, the American army's Air force, then recruiting a number of fairly normal people to run it, and to be in it, then setting a minor role for those people, in this case, bombing Bologna, a fairly obscure target in the minor Italian theatre, and then cluttering this dangerous role with an arbitrary set of standards for success, and pursuing those standards to the extent of hampering that mission, this is the perfect novel. Heller's book has multiple levels of symbolism, and one finds that even the huge undertaking of WWII is but a symbol for American life overall, then Heller's novel has worked its wonders in your world view for the rest of your life. He did it to me, and I am not ashamed. The only flaw is that there are no well developed female characters in this book.... ( )
  DinadansFriend | May 14, 2019 |
Listened to the Books on Tape audiobook version of this. The reader sounds like a 50s radio announcer, which totally adds to the experience. The Marx Brothers style dialogue really lends itself to audio as well. The work itself is a masterpiece of poignant satire and absurdity. Can be read and re-read -- there are many subtleties to pick up in each re-reading. Highly, highly recommended. ( )
  xiaomarlo | Apr 17, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 410 (next | show all)
added by jay10 | editMaria Johnson
 
"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
 
"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
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Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
This is the story of Yossarian, a man trying to survive during WW2. Unable to go home because he hasn't 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 World War II bombardier who is frantic and furious because people he doesn't know keep trying to kill him.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 23 descriptions

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