Why Not Catch-21?: The Stories Behind the Titles

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Frances Lincoln, Sep 23, 2008 - Literary Criticism - 238 pages
21 Reviews
Most book titles simply describe the contents of the book they are attached to. Crime and Punishment is about crime and punishment, and Brideshead Revisited is about revisiting Brideshead. But a small number of book titles have a rather odd, separate existence, almost as independent literary artefacts. The stories behind them are quite different from the stories behind the actual books. Winnie-the-Pooh, for example is to do with a swan on a pond at a holiday cottage. The Postman Always Rings Twice is about the travails of a screenwriter. And Catch-22 only got that way after a clash with another author, and via a route that included several other numbers.

In Why Not Catch-21?, Gary Dexter looks at 50 iconic books and explores the fascinating stories behind how they got their titles.

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Review: Why Not Catch-21?: The Stories Behind the Titles

User Review  - Dan Smith - Goodreads

I can't remember who recommended this book to me. It must have been the author or a friend of his, because it's a fairly shallow dive into a seemingly random array of books, many of which I've never ... Read full review

Review: Why Not Catch-21?: The Stories Behind the Titles

User Review  - Fred Forbes - Goodreads

Easy to get through, mainly because I blew by the literary areas that hold little interest for me such as poetry and plays but the explanations of the titles for the books I am familiar with were fun ... Read full review

About the author (2008)

Gary Dexter is the writer of a long-running column for the Sunday Telegraph.

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