Sunday, May 20, 2007

33. "Catch-22" - Joseph Heller


How often do you use a phrase, never thinking of where it originated? With "catch-22," I never considered that its origin was a fairly recent 1960-something novel. Funny... and it could have been "catch-18" or "catch-11.".

Wikepedia: "Catch-22 is a satirical, historical fiction novel by the American author Joseph Heller, first published in 1961. The novel, set during the latter stages of the Second World War from 1943 onwards, is frequently cited as one of the great literary works of the Twentieth Century.[2]

The novel follows Captain John Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bombardier, and a number of other characters. Most events occur while the airmen of the Fighting 256th (or "two to the fighting eighth power") Squadron are based on the island of Pianosa, west of Italy. Many events in the book are repeatedly described from differing points of view, so the reader learns more about the event from each iteration. Furthermore, the events are referred to as if the reader already knows all about them. The pacing of Catch-22 is frenetic, its tenor intellectual, and its humor largely absurd, but interspersed with grisly moments of realism."

Thank you, wikipedia.

From the first few pages, I knew it was true love. Sarcasm mixed with a healthy dose of realism and a dash of snark? I'm in.

OK, long post about the wonderful-ness of this novel was accidentally deleted. Just trust me and read the book.

4.25 out of 5.0 Wrenches.

Banned - Lots of whores, sex, and blatant discrimination against every race/sex/military rank.

4 comments:

bhadd said...

Received thought is picaresque novels like Catch-22 and A Confederacy of Dunces are less serious because comedy is highly prized. I think received wisdom stinks!

The Hood Company

Literary Feline said...

I read Catch-22 at the beginning of the year and thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the humor and darkness of the story. It's nice to run into someone who enjoyed it just as much. :-)

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Bie said...

This is an accurate representation of the madness of war. I’ve learned something from the horrors and insanity. And yet Yossarian was able to find safety for himself and rise again. This books proves that “Life is crazy to those who think it is, and tragic to those who feel.”

Delightful war novel that is exceedingly fun book to read.