Catch-22: 50th Anniversary Edition

Joseph Heller
Fifty years after its original publication, Catch-22 remains a cornerstone of American literature and one of the funniest—and most celebrated—books of all time. In recent years it has been named to “best novels” lists by Time, Newsweek, the Modern Library, and the London Observer. Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy—it is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to excuse himself from the perilous missions he’s assigned, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved. This fiftieth-anniversary edition commemorates Joseph Heller’s masterpiece with a new introduction by Christopher Buckley; a wealth of critical essays and reviews by Norman Mailer, Alfred Kazin, Anthony Burgess, and others; rare papers and photos from Joseph Heller’s personal archive; and much more. Here, at last, is the definitive edition of a classic of world literature.


Reviewed: 2021-03-18

This was another one read for school. I remember not liking it at all - very confusing with the time stuff. Not my cup of tea. 

Reviewed: 2019-06-18

National Book Award Finalist for Fiction (1962)

Haven't read this since 1982 (good thing I keep in touch w/ people from high school or I'd have no idea when we read these books,) so The Great American Read seemed a good time to start it again and give it a reread. Plus I recall it being very funny. I don't recall a lot more than than and the main double-bind in which Yossarian is caught. So I wiped my old score, given by my addled teenaged brain remembered sometime in 2010 (insane of me to think I could actually award stars to books read a decade or more previous to joining GR.) It was a good score. Let's see if it holds up to my old addled brain.

Reviewed: 2019-05-17
I should have stuck to my first reading from High School, rather than reading it again. Now, it seems even more annoying, slightly pompous, a product of its racist times in terms of taking the mistreatment of Black folks and even white women for granted, and just too snarky for me to like. Sorry.
Reviewed: 2018-11-19
Islamic Book Service, New Delhi
Reviewed: 2017-03-10

Classic, hilarious, masterpiece.

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