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Review: Catch 22 (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
So, in an effort to get discussions going about specific books rather than endless top 10 threads, I'll be posting reviews of books as I finish reading them. First off is Joseph Heller's Catch 22, which I completed about 5 minutes ago.


The book is satire set during WW2, and follows US Bombardier Yossarian and the members of his squadron on the island of Pinosa, Italy. It is spread out over atleast 30 different points of view, which Heller change frequently, sometimes in mid-sentence. The book is surprisingly easy to follow in spite of this, mainly because of the idiosyncrasies and eccentricity of each character.

The book is about the absurdities of war, and these absurdities - which abound - are occationally hillarious. Circular logic, paradoxes and no-win situations hide around every corner, and is is echoed by the style in which it is written: It uses repetition frequently and the story is presented in an disorderly fasion by jumping back and forth between time and characters.

Yossarian and Dunbar's POV represents a reflected mans desire to stay alive, and how he appears insane to those who put less thought into their decisions. Milo's cartel of international shipping shows the business side of war, and how a search for profit undermines everything. The last main view is that of the top leadership, who are safe from the actual war, and centers around climbing in the ranks through intrigue.

The first four parts of the book read as pure satire, the reader is presented with what can only be described as small skits, populated by entertaining characters in the face of their illogical superiour officers. There are few if any repercussions to the rules and behaviour, and you are free to enjoy every absurdity.

In the last part you are finally shown the consequences of the illogical actions and self-centered leadership, and the book turns a lot darker. The evilness is exposed with much clearity due to the conscience free build-up.

The book is perhaps too long. There is little in way of a plot or progression, this is left for the theme rather than the story. It can be forgiven for this, since it never feels trite. It is always entertaining in it's display of absurd anecdotes, even if they have little relation to any storyline. I believe it would be better if it was trimmed down to 1/5th of the length.

In short, Catch 22 is an superbly entertaining book. If you like satire.


Olly Buckle

I loved this book and gave it to my mother to read when I had finished, she was a retired literature teacher, then in her eighties. Later when she had read it she said "Wonderful, there is something in almost evey line, I don't think I've read a book so dense"


I strongly do not recommend this atrocious level of writing.

Him and Kurt Vonnegguet should be ashamed of their tell-no-show stories.


Senior Member
Catch-22 is, quite honestly, the funniest and wittiest book I've ever read.

The leaps of circular logic are mind-blowing -- partly because they're so fucking clever and partly because if you replace a few keywords they become arguments people use everyday for things. And the juxtaposition of absurdity and the real horrors of war? Perfect.


Senior Member
I strongly do not recommend this atrocious level of writing.

I don't think there are many here that care about your recommendations. Not that you are wrong by default, but you state your opinions (without citing or examples or any argument at all, of course) as a troll.

It wouldn't be more obvious if you were a 30 foot anthropomorph complete with rough green skin and saliva dripping from your mouth as you stomp gleefully on every post you don't like, waving a huge red flag that says, "I am a troll".


Mike C

WF Veterans
I strongly do not recommend this atrocious level of writing.

Him and Kurt Vonnegguet should be ashamed of their tell-no-show stories.

And stephen King is a literary giant. Sure, TT.

I strongly recommend that everyone does read both Heller and Vonnegut.