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Catch-22

by

Catch-22 Cover

ISBN13: 9780684833392
ISBN10: 0684833395
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Out of Print

Staff Pick

If your only experience with Catch-22 was reading it for a class in high school — or if you haven't even read it at all — you owe it to yourself to revisit this book. It's a comic masterpiece, yes, but more than that: Catch-22 is a blast of anarchic mayhem that flies in the face of the accepted madness that is society, especially in a time of war — which makes the book that much more relevant today.
Recommended by Chris Bolton, Powells.com

Biting, black, bitter, and very, very funny, Catch-22 is the greatest war satire in the language and one of the greatest satires of the 20th century, period. If you haven't read it, lay in a case of bourbon and get reading.
Recommended by Tate, Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"Like all superlative works of comedy — and I am ready to argue that this is one of the most bitterly funny works in the language — Catch-22 is based on an unconventional but utterly convincing internal logic. In the very opening pages, when we come upon a number of Air Force officers malingering in a hospital — one censoring all the modifiers out of enlisted men's letters and signing the censor's name 'Washington Irving,' another pursuing tedious conversations with boring Texans in order to increase his life span by making time pass slowly, still another storing horse chestnuts in his cheeks to give himself a look of innocence — it seems obvious that an inordinate number of Joseph Heller's characters are, by all conventional standards, mad. It is a triumph of Mr. Heller's skill that he is so quickly able to persuade us 1) that the most lunatic are the most logical, and 2) that it is our conventional standards which lack any logical consistency. The sanest looney of them all is the apparently harebrained central character, an American bombardier of..." Robert Brustein, The New Republic, 1961 (read The New Republic's entire review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"An apocalyptic masterpiece." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"A monumental artifact of contemporary American literature, almost as assured of longevity as the statues on Easter Island....Catch-22 is a novel that reminds us once again of all that we have taken for granted in our world and should not, the madness we try not to bother and notice, the deceptions and falsehoods we lack the will to try to distinguish from truth." John W. Aldridge, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Below its hilarity, so wild that it hurts, Catch-22 is the strongest repudiation of our civilization, in fiction, to come out of World War II....To compare Catch-22 favorably with The Good Soldier Schweik would be an injustice, because this novel is not merely the best American novel to come out of World War II; it is the best American novel that has come out of anywhere in years." Nelson Algren, The Nation

Synopsis:

Joseph Heller's manic, bleak, blackly humorous, and brilliant novel has become a classic of American literature, and Catch-22 has entered the language as a term describing a no-win situation. Set during the last months of World War II, Heller's novel tells the story of a bombardier, the hapless Yossarian, who is convinced — quite rightly, of course — that people are trying to kill him.

About the Author

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

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 7 comments:

Allan Van Vliet, August 4, 2012 (view all comments by Allan Van Vliet)
Catch 22 is one of the most bizarre and unique novels I've ever read. Start to finish, it rejects in full the standard model of storytelling. Joseph Heller is, I can now safely say, a bit of a genius. I won't lie, this is a book that requires you to think, and if you aren't interested in doing that, you won't enjoy this at all. If you're willing to tackle it, it's well worth the effort. The commentary on capitalism, the military, government, bureaucracy, and more is legendary, and it's voice is darkly hilarious. The seamless weaving between timelines and locales makes the book wonderfully surreal, and adds to the impression that nothing in the world is quite as it should be. I want to go on, but I would hate to spoil the fun. Read Catch 22, it rocks.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
Beverly Nelson, January 15, 2012 (view all comments by Beverly Nelson)
This isn't a review of the book but about how much I appreicated your review of Catch 22 Chris. I have not read the book but it's been on my shelves for years knowing it was a classic and worth my time. I haven't come across anything that inspired me to delve into it and there's always something I feel I need to be reading so it constantly gets relegated farther down the priority list. The details you shared in your review have me chaffing at the bit to get at it�"-hopefully today! Your review was a refreshing encounter from the usual literary esoteric jargon of other publications. Thank you!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
Ricky Messmann, January 12, 2012 (view all comments by Ricky Messmann)
This might be my favorite book I've read ever. I found myself laughing out loud throughout. Some parts made me uncomfortable but were simultaneously hilarious. It's quite powerful as well. There are characters like a Major named Major Major Major who decides he is never going to see anyone again, and Colonel Cathcart who simply cares about being on the cover of Lifetime Magazine and raises the number of missions for his soldiers to more than twice the required amount, and a soldier named Dunbar who thinks that time goes slower when you are bored, so seeks out boring situations in the attempt to lengthen his life. Breathtakingly brilliant and impossibly hilarious stuff.
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(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 7 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780684833392
Author:
Heller, Joseph
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Preface by:
Heller, Joseph L.
Preface:
Heller, Joseph L.
Author:
Heller, Joseph L.
Location:
New York, NY :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
World war, 1939-1945
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
War stories
Subject:
World War, 1939-1945 -- Fiction.
Subject:
World War, 19
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Edition Description:
B102
Publication Date:
September 1996
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
8 x 5.25 in 13.895 oz

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Catch-22 Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 464 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9780684833392 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

If your only experience with Catch-22 was reading it for a class in high school — or if you haven't even read it at all — you owe it to yourself to revisit this book. It's a comic masterpiece, yes, but more than that: Catch-22 is a blast of anarchic mayhem that flies in the face of the accepted madness that is society, especially in a time of war — which makes the book that much more relevant today.

"Staff Pick" by ,

Biting, black, bitter, and very, very funny, Catch-22 is the greatest war satire in the language and one of the greatest satires of the 20th century, period. If you haven't read it, lay in a case of bourbon and get reading.

"Review A Day" by , "Like all superlative works of comedy — and I am ready to argue that this is one of the most bitterly funny works in the language — Catch-22 is based on an unconventional but utterly convincing internal logic. In the very opening pages, when we come upon a number of Air Force officers malingering in a hospital — one censoring all the modifiers out of enlisted men's letters and signing the censor's name 'Washington Irving,' another pursuing tedious conversations with boring Texans in order to increase his life span by making time pass slowly, still another storing horse chestnuts in his cheeks to give himself a look of innocence — it seems obvious that an inordinate number of Joseph Heller's characters are, by all conventional standards, mad. It is a triumph of Mr. Heller's skill that he is so quickly able to persuade us 1) that the most lunatic are the most logical, and 2) that it is our conventional standards which lack any logical consistency. The sanest looney of them all is the apparently harebrained central character, an American bombardier of..." (read The New Republic's entire review)
"Review" by , "An apocalyptic masterpiece."
"Review" by , "A monumental artifact of contemporary American literature, almost as assured of longevity as the statues on Easter Island....Catch-22 is a novel that reminds us once again of all that we have taken for granted in our world and should not, the madness we try not to bother and notice, the deceptions and falsehoods we lack the will to try to distinguish from truth."
"Review" by , "Below its hilarity, so wild that it hurts, Catch-22 is the strongest repudiation of our civilization, in fiction, to come out of World War II....To compare Catch-22 favorably with The Good Soldier Schweik would be an injustice, because this novel is not merely the best American novel to come out of World War II; it is the best American novel that has come out of anywhere in years."
"Synopsis" by , Joseph Heller's manic, bleak, blackly humorous, and brilliant novel has become a classic of American literature, and Catch-22 has entered the language as a term describing a no-win situation. Set during the last months of World War II, Heller's novel tells the story of a bombardier, the hapless Yossarian, who is convinced — quite rightly, of course — that people are trying to kill him.
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