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There was a time when reading Joseph Heller's classic satire on the murderous insanity of war was nothing less than a rite of passage. Echoes of Yossarian, the wise-ass bombardier who was too smart to die but not smart enough to find a way out of his predicament, could be heard throughout the counterculture. As a result, it's impossible not to consider Catch-22 to be something of a period piece. But 40 years on, the novel's undiminished strength is its looking-glass logic. Again and again, Heller's characters demonstrate that what is commonly held to be good, is bad; what is sensible, is nonsense.
Yossarian says, "You're talking about winning the war, and I am talking about winning the war and keeping alive."
"Exactly," Clevinger snapped smugly. "And which do you think is more important?"
"To whom?" Yossarian shot back. "It doesn't make a damn bit of difference who wins the war to someone who's dead."
"I can't think of another attitude that could be depended upon to give greater comfort to the enemy."
"The enemy," retorted Yossarian with weighted precision, "is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on."
Mirabile dictu, the book holds up post-Reagan, post-Gulf War. It's a good thing, too. As long as there's a military, that engine of lethal authority, Catch-22 will shine as a handbook for smart-alecky pacifists. It's an utterly serious and sad, but damn funny book. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Starred Review. It would be difficult to imagine richer material for an audiobook reader, comedically speaking, than Joseph Heller's classic novel of wartime madness. Sanders is the lucky actor chosen to read Heller's masterpiece, and he does well by it, proceeding gamely through the novel's staggering array of comic set pieces and deliriously woozy dialogue. Heller's humor is straight-faced, requiring little more than a steady, sure voice, and Sanders offers just that. Line by line, joke by joke, Sanders reels through the marvelous phantasmagoria of Heller's World War II, tongue planted firmly in cheek. Caedmon's impressive package includes a 1970s-era recording of Heller reading selections from his book. Heller is a delightful contrast to Sanders, his slight lisp accentuating a marvelous Brooklyn accent. Heller reads as if with cigar perched on his lip and turns his novel into an extended borscht belt comic's riff.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
stupid and unfunny, written in a barley readable style, shouldint be a classic.Published 9 months ago by elliot wilson
How cool is this book? Weird and funny and frustrating. The paradox of Catch-22 is masterfully worked, no wonder it became a common expression. Read morePublished 13 months ago by George Hird
The first 50 pages were entertaining. After that, it was the same antics repeated more-or-less "ad nauseum" for another 400 pages. Read morePublished 15 months ago by CR
I've yet to finish this book and I've gone back and tried a few times. It's a literary work of art, challenging and worth the read if you can get through it. Read morePublished 20 months ago by LindsayHawes
An excellent book and I just love the writing. Heller is a genius writing a non-war story set during WWII. Read morePublished on May 29 2013 by shezzypants
I've suddently developed an urge to purchase books that I've never read, but without spending a whole lot of cash, so naturally I turned to Amazon. Read morePublished on March 13 2013 by J. Ward
I first read Catch 22 when I was 15. THe war in Viet Nam was still going on. Reading it again, I'm just as dazzled and amused by its tour de force absurdist satire.Published on July 19 2012 by zanderary