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Catch-22 (Everyman Classics) by Joseph…

Catch-22 (Everyman Classics) (original 1955; edition 1995)

by Joseph Heller

Series: Catch-22 (1)

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29,74839031 (4.13)803
Title:Catch-22 (Everyman Classics)
Authors:Joseph Heller
Info:Random House (1995), Hardcover, 480 pages
Collections:2012 reading, Your library
Tags:classics, comedy, World War II, American literature, absurd, war, Italy

Work details

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1955)

Recently added bytvpirate, private library, LitaVore, mccbookdrive, Cubanana, marykaterennie, zummwold
Legacy LibrariesJack Kerouac, Sylvia Plath
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    Closing Time by Joseph Heller (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Joseph Heller's sequel to "Catch-22" set in the early 1990s.
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    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.
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  10. 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)
  11. 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
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    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)
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    chrissybob: Similar views on mental health
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English (374)  Swedish (4)  Norwegian (2)  Danish (2)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  Hebrew (1)  Russian (1)  All (390)
Showing 1-5 of 374 (next | show all)
This was a tough read. It's really not a comedy, but more of an absurd tragedy. if you don't believe me, try applying a "divine fulcrum" to an acquaintance, and wait for the hilarity to ensue.

I am sure this book allowed Heller to work through his PTSD, because I felt it myself. ( )
  scbarton | Apr 22, 2017 |
I didn't like a single character, and the entire book was a messy knot of a plot you had to weave yourself in and out of due to the author's inability to stick with a time period. The amount of sexism and misogyny in this book was unnecessary, and did not serve a purpose- especially the remorseless rape and murder of Michaela at the end. I understand that they are lonely men at war but the fact almost every woman was first described sexually and were only significant due to their relation to men was overdoing it by a lot. More often the characters view the entire female species as a tool to have sex with and later discard when they decide to actually talk. For example, a nurse was sexually assaulted by our main character and he called it doing her a favor. If none of the aforementioned points were in there though, I do admit that it'd be a great book about no win situations. But they are in there, and unlike a majority of the population I can't easily look over them. This book is just not for me. ( )
1 vote JessC123 | Apr 17, 2017 |
I chose to read this book, among other classics, for my English independent study class, and I wish I had read reviews before selecting it. Catch-22 was written in a stream of consciousness sequence of events, which made it very difficult to follow, especially when Yossarian had flashbacks. Joseph Heller did not start a new paragraph or use a symbol to indicate a flashback or a flash forward.

Also, the constant reference to sex and whores was a bit much. Yes, I understand that most of the characters were men, and men are definitely more likely to talk and think about those things, but why could they not have any moral values? The chaplain even began to doubt God and his morals! The characters, themselves, were one-dimensional. They all acted the same and had no individual personalities, except the chaplain. I guess I expected to feel a connection with at least one of the characters, like most of the other books I read.

When I read the back of Catch-22, the idea of the catch-22 unwritten rule was so intriguing, but the story did not expand on it. I understand the book was meant to portray the chaos and liberal politics of WWII, concerning a bombardier named Yossarian. Yossarian and other soldiers are never able to fly enough missions before Colonel Cathcart raises the number required to be able to go home; Colonel Cathcart and the catch-22 rule kept them from going home.

There was one aspect of this book that I liked: the stupid-funny humor. Although, Catch-22's humor is more masculine, I enjoyed it a bit. The stupidity of the characters' discussions and their ridiculous actions were somewhat amusing. My interest in the humor did not last very long, as it was repetitive and got more annoying over the 400+ pages.

I would not recommend Catch-22 to anyone, and I hope it is not a requirement for high school students. ( )
1 vote Cross18 | Feb 7, 2017 |
One of the most important works of the century in English. Go out of your way to read this book. ( )
1 vote ProfH | Jan 15, 2017 |
There was only one catch…

Catch-22 has been at the top of my all time favorite novels list since I first read it as a high school senior. It was my inspiration for In the Black. I figured if any decade deserved the Joseph Heller Treatment, it was the Sixties.

Anyway, I recently read The Bridgebusters, The True Story of the Catch-22 Bomb Wing as well as The True Story of Catch-22: The Real Men and Missions of Joseph Heller’s 340th Bomb Group in World War II, written by the real Colonel Cathcart’s daughter. There was nothing left to do, but come full circle and read the novel itself again–for probably the fourth or fifth time. Knowing the history of the 57th Bomb Wing in which Heller served as a bombardier made his story resonate even more.

All I can say is that it remains at the very top of my favorites list. Humor is highly subjective and the novel may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it still makes me laugh out loud.

“That’s some catch, that Catch-22,” he observed.

“It’s the best there is,” Doc Daneeka agreed. ( )
  mtbass | Dec 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 374 (next | show all)
Also, the constant reference to sex and whores was a bit much. Yes, I understand that most of the characters were men, and men are definitely more likely to talk and think about those things, but why could they not have any moral values? The chaplain even began to doubt God and his morals! The characters, themselves, were one-dimensional. They all acted the same and had no individual personalities, except the chaplain. I guess I expected to feel a connection with at least one of the characters, like most of the other books I read.
"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 johnsmithsen | editTime (Oct 27, 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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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.
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.
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.
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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)

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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.

(summary from another edition)

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