Catch-22

Front Cover
Simon & Schuster, Sep 4, 1996 - Fiction - 464 pages
216 Reviews
Catch-22 is like no other novel. It is one of the funniest books ever written, a keystone work in American literature, and even added a new term to the dictionary.

At the heart of Catch-22 resides the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero endlessly inventive in his schemes to save his skin from the horrible chances of war. His efforts are perfectly understandable because as he furiously scrambles, thousands of people he hasn't even met are trying to kill him. His problem is Colonel Cathcart, who keeps raising the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempts to excuse himself from the perilous missions that he is committed to flying, he is trapped by the Great Loyalty Oath Crusade, the hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule from which the book takes its title: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes the necessary formal request to be relieved of such missions, the very act of making the request proves that he is sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.

Catch-22 is a microcosm of the twentieth-century world as it might look to some one dangerously sane -- a masterpiece of our time.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
97
4 stars
57
3 stars
38
2 stars
14
1 star
10

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Daniel.Estes - LibraryThing

Comical and lively, and yet each scene seethes with a choked bleakness. For me, the real joy of Catch-22 is the sing-song banter. I love conversation as exposition and Joseph Heller is one of the best ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dangnad - LibraryThing

I read this when it came out, understood the catch and marveled at the total inefficiency of the military (as with Hemingway). Then I read it again in 2013 while vacationing in Scotland. It is still a ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (1996)

Joseph Heller was born in Brooklyn in 1923. In 1961, he published Catch-22, which became a bestseller and, in 1970, a film. He went on to write such novels as Good as Gold, God Knows, Picture This, Closing Time (the sequel to Catch-22), and Portrait of an Artist, as an Old Man. Heller died in December 1999.

Bibliographic information