Catch-22

Front Cover
Simon & Schuster, Sep 4, 1996 - Fiction - 464 pages
14 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
10
4 stars
0
3 stars
2
2 stars
1
1 star
1

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mirikayla - LibraryThing

I've thought about this for a long time, and I'm still not sure what to say about it. It took me nearly five months to read, and I think the only other book I've ever spent so long reading (without ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dbsovereign - LibraryThing

One of the best anti-war books ever written - mostly because it is told with such biting humor and wit. There have been many written, but few with a sense of hilarity that succeeds in making the point that much more compelling. For showing us that zany, chaotic aspect of war, Heller is my hero. 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