Catch-22

by Joseph Heller

Simon & Schuster | September 4, 1996 | Trade Paperback

Catch-22 is rated 4.6875 out of 5 by 16.
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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 464 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 1.07 in

Published: September 4, 1996

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0684833395

ISBN - 13: 9780684833392

Found in: Literary

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from The twentieth century between two covers Not only an absolutely brilliant commentary on the absurdity of war (along with bureaucracy and capitalism thrown in for good measure), but a microcosm of the entire 20th century with all of its angst, humour, brutality, and tragedy. This deserves to be in a top ten list of 20th century novels for sure. I listened to the audiobook read by Trevor White which was fantastic.
Date published: 2010-08-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from If you haven't read this book you are missing out! This is probably the funniest book I have ever read. Yes there is war and gore but the humour in this book is unforgettable A protagonist you need to revisit again and again. Yossarian >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Holden lol
Date published: 2009-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Adsurd and brilliant I have read this book at least five times and it's still as enjoyable as the first time I read it. The absurd and hilarious antics of various members of the squadron make it a fun read. The book at the same time is also a brilliant critique of the military hierarchy and war. Yossarian's quest to stop flying missions, which will likely end only in his and other pilot's deaths, the war-profiteering of Milo, the cut throat quest of certain officers to rise in rank, despite their men. The combination of these two factors make the book probably the most interesting book on the second world war one would ever read.
Date published: 2009-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Timeless Hilarity. Random humor seems to be the shtick that most comedies go for these days, but before the Family Guy's and The Office's of the world were even a figment of someone's imagination, there was Catch-22. And holy crap is it ever halarious. As much of a challenge the dialogue is to follow at times, it is also insanely funny and masterfully written. Heller pulls off literary maneouvers so subtlety that English teachers all over must drool every time they pick up the book. So many ironic moments, so many unreal paradoxes. No conversation is boring. Each character has been crafted with such fine strokes. Everyone has a clear voice and identity, so much so that you do not even need indication on who is speaking. Heller actually chooses to do this numerous times throughout the book. But if you go beyond the comic genius of this work, there is a deeper message here. Following Yossarian's quest to get out of military service, the reader goes along on a clear cut critique on the pointlessness of war. Every character is supposed to be fighting for a greater cause, yet all that anyone seems to care about is themselves. I won't say Catch-22 was a surprise, it is a classic for a reason, but I will say that I did not expect it to be as funny as it was. I was laughing out loud throughout. Heller is some kind of writer, and he has made something in this work that will be beloved by readers for all time.
Date published: 2009-09-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Yossarian Lives! Catch-22 is an existential, antiwar satire told through asininity and disjointed logic, often running on bureaucracy and “military intelligence,” or a lack there of. Heller uses a non-chronological narrative which can be hard to follow at times, but eventually results in an affective lead-up to the novels important conclusions. We are presented with a military wrought with corruption and greed, whereby the senior officers pose more of a threat to the men then the actual enemy. This classic is a reminder that in a world of distorted values where success measures worth, we must question whose definition of success we will find validity in and ultimately find our individuality. We are left with the message that to be true to ones self is the only goal worth pursuing, and that often the only way for that to come to pass is to stand up against the masses and face adversity. But when all is said and done, as evidenced even today, weakness, greed and corruption prevail, and the soldiers march on. Yours truly, Washington Irving www.booksnakereviews.blogspot.com
Date published: 2008-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cleverly Satirical This book is a must read for anyone that wants to stand against any aspect of war. Heller spins this tale with hilarious fashion, filling the reader with gut-wrenching hilarity one minute, and depressing sadness the next. Yossarian, the anti-hero of the story, is not what you would expect the main character of the novel to be like, yet he is entirely real and true to life. This truly is a must-read classic.
Date published: 2006-11-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hilariously Clever Joseph Heller manages to create a web of hilarious experiences for his hero, Yossarian, who tries to stay alive for as long as possible, despite all his missions. The idea of Catch-22 itself is an ingenious concept; Everyone must fly missions if he is sane, and for those who continue to fly missions voluntarily are considered insane and eligible to be sent home. Yet he must request permission to be sent home, which renders him sane. Such is that the trap of Catch-22. So simple, yet so binding. Sometimes twisted and sly, the characters in the book weave the story, each alive with their own personalities that are stretched in every direction, yet mingle so well with each other in the context of the book. If anyone was to read only a single chapter, I must say, Milo the Mayor would be the one with the most outrageous intricacies of the entire book. For a good laugh, read and enjoy this delicious monument. A great post-war book for everyone to enjoy.
Date published: 2006-07-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hilarious! I absolutely loved reading Catch-22. It is an incredible classic and should be read by everone. Heller does the seemingly impossible by making the war seem like it is humourous. His characters go about their duties like it is no big deal and can always joke about their day. I have never read such a humourous novel and I definitely recommend that everyone reads it.
Date published: 2006-06-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Tastefully Comedic! If you like anti-war novels, then this is a must-read! Heller sets his satire amongst the chaos of World War II. We meet an array of idiosyncratic soldiers, struggling to survive the turmoils of war. Catch-22 unleashes a plethora of scenarios as ludicrous as the concept of war itself. This book will have you laughing and crying... simultaneously!
Date published: 2006-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from CLASSIC If I may in as few words as possible, this book was astounding. By chapter two I was laughing aloud on the subway almost missing my stop. The comedy was the type you either caught on to instantaneously or you didn’t. After reading Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut my friend recommended a read Catch-22 and once finishing it I determined it was the preeminent book I’ve read to date.
Date published: 2005-08-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Catch-22 One of the best books I've ever read, its as tragic and outrageous as it is funny. Heller manages to capture the feelings, emotions, and insanity and although it is output as a completely original story I can only compare it to M*A*S*H
Date published: 2005-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from whimsical Heller is a bodacious writer then never lets up on non stop laughing. gives you reason to laugh and cry as it carries you around on a magnificant circus of facetious characters and events. It asks big questions in small ways, it's funny. Colorful characters. heller is the quintessential Thomas Pain of today, he puts it in a light way, Common sense.
Date published: 2005-03-10
Rated 2 out of 5 by from The First in a Series of Horrible Books What's there to say about a boring book with no plot? Seriously, this book is so boring, that I told people not to read it. The sole purpose of this book is to exist for assigned english reading. I do admit, some parts were funny, but there are better books WITH PLOTS that will make you laugh harder. Considering people said it was his best book out of any others he wrote, I don't even want to start reading the others!
Date published: 2005-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly Recommended Catch-22 is probably the most original, humourous and outrageous novel I've read in a long time. Yossarian is a highly enjoyable character, and the ending counld not have been better. It's not another story about war, it's a story about a man we can all relate to. I highly recommend reading it.
Date published: 2001-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Catch 22 It is a truely wonderful book. It makes the reader think and keeps the reader thinking afterwards. The dogmas presented exposes the true philosophy behind what we are and what we ought to be.
Date published: 2000-08-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Brain Bender A great satirical look at war. Captain Yossarian is the subject of this mind-twisting book. Sometimes the book is known to make little sense to people, and yet it makes perfect sense. I had the fortune to be one of the few who it did make sense to and It was a wonderful look at humans and war and how the two do not mix.
Date published: 2000-03-09

– More About This Product –

Catch-22

by Joseph Heller

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 464 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 1.07 in

Published: September 4, 1996

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0684833395

ISBN - 13: 9780684833392

Read from the Book

Chapter 1: The Texan It was love at first sight. The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell madly in love with him. Yossarian was in the hospital with a pain in his liver that fell just short of being jaundice. The doctors were puzzled by the fact that it wasn''t quite jaundice. If it became jaundice they could treat it. If it didn''t become jaundice and went away they could discharge him. But this just being short of jaundice all the time confused them. Each morning they came around, three brisk and serious men with efficient mouths and inefficient eyes, accompanied by brisk and serious Nurse Duckett, one of the ward nurses who didn''t like Yossarian. They read the chart at the foot of the bed and asked impatiently about the pain. They seemed irritated when he told them it was exactly the same. "Still no movement?" the full colonel demanded. The doctors exchanged a look when he shook his head. "Give him another pill." Nurse Duckett made a note to give Yossarian another pill, and the four of them moved along to the next bed. None of the nurses liked Yossarian. Actually, the pain in his liver had gone away, but Yossarian didnt say anything and the doctors never suspected. They just suspected that he had been moving his bowels and not telling anyone. Yossarian had everything he wanted in the hospital. The food wasn''t too bad, and his meals were brought to him in bed. There were extra rations of fresh meat, and during the hot part of the afternoon he and the others were
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From the Publisher

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.

About the Author

Joseph Heller lives with his wife in East Hampton, New York. He is also the author of Closing Time and other novels.

From Our Editors

Catch-22 is like no other novel we have ever read. It has its own style, its own rationale, its own extraordinary character. It moves back and forth from hilarity to horror. It is outrageously funny and strangely affecting. It is totally original. National ads/media

Editorial Reviews

“Wildly original, brilliantly comic, brutally gruesome, it is a dazzling performance that will probably outrage nearly as many readers as it delights.” —Orville Prescott, New York Times Book Review
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