Search - Catch-22

Author: Joseph Heller
Catch-22 is one of this century's greatest works of American literature. First published m 1961, Joseph Heller's profound and compelling novel has appeared on nearly every list of must read fiction. It is a classic in every sense of the word. Catch-22 took the war novel genre to a new level, shocking us with its clever and disturb...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780440204398
ISBN-10: 0440204399
Publication Date: 8/5/1989
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.

4.1 stars, based on 67 ratings
Publisher: Laurel
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Catch-22 on + 472 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
"Catch-22" is a classic war satire and while some aspects of it are a little dated, it still rings very true in the contemporary political climate. Heller's characters are all quirky, intense and unique, but their conversations and actions really penetrate the absurdity of war and are very entertaining.
reviewed Catch-22 on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Well, I wanted to know where the phrase "Catch-22" came from. I consider myself a smart person, and I'm a copy editor by trade, but I tend to like books I can sort of be absorbed by, not books where you are constantly aware you are reading because you have to work at it. That's just my preference, maybe because I read plenty of boring things for a living and when I get my dinner break I want to read something else.
I thought this book was really amusing, and I generally enjoyed it. But I also felt it that it never fully pulled me in -- I was pretty much always aware that I was reading and never got lost in it.
It was weird for me that I could so much enjoy and dislike reading a book simultaneously. In the end, I quit reading it because I felt like there was no plot. Maybe one developed later, but the whole part I read was just talking about this character or that character -- if I had to tell you what was happening in the book, well, nothing was happening. So, as much as I hate to not finish something I've started, I had to heed my mother's advice: "Life's to short to read a bad book." I wouldn't call this a bad book by any means, but maybe not my style.
reviewed Catch-22 on + 201 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Perhaps this was an important book when it was written, perhaps it was new and different, but I found it dull and not even remotely funny. It's supposed to be a classic, but it didn't even work as farce for me. I wish I felt differently. I wanted to like this book.
reviewed Catch-22 on + 164 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I've noticed a lot of the reviews of this book mention that the person never finished the book - the usual petering-out point is about page 100.

And I can see why - there's a smug humor in the book that is just annoying by about that time. Well, really annoying by that time. For whatever reason (thanks be to God), Heller changes tack somewhere around there, and although it's still a lot of nonsense and surreal humor, and characters that are more caricature than human, at least it seems like the reader is no longer the butt of the joke.

I was ready to say this was the most cynical book ever, but then I finished it, and it's not. Also, while it's enjoyable and a must-read and blah-blah-blah, it does feel like different books at different points. Sometimes I felt like I was reading a Monty Python script, sometimes it was like "Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern," sometimes it was like a Dali dream sequence, and every once in a while it was just, you know, Hemingway or something.

I think I could really have used a study group or a college class to help me with this one. But I'm glad I read it anyway.
reviewed Catch-22 on + 36 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I started this book several times,losing interest before getting too far into it; when I committed to reading it I became hooked, & thoroughly enjoyed it. Really a very funny book.
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reviewed Catch-22 on + 146 more book reviews
I enjoyed this book but found it hard to read. It is about a man named Yossarian who is just trying to stay alive during World War II. Each chapter is named after a different person and in the chapter they explain their side of the story. A couple of times you will read the same storyline from a different point of view. AT times the dialog is hard to follow, but after a few chapters you get used to it. It took me a long time to read, but I can see why it is on the list of the 100 great books of the 20th century. I am so glad that the U. S. Military does not really operate like they do in this book, or we may have not won World War II.
reviewed Catch-22 on + 6 more book reviews
You'll want to read it twice.

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