Catch-22

Catch-22

A Novel

Book - 1961
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For use in schools and libraries only. Set during World War II, this grotesque, comic novel recounts the amazing adventures of a bomber squadron.
Publisher: New York : Simon and Schuster, c1961.
ISBN: 9780671128050
0671128051
9780440111207
044011120X
9780684833392
0684833395
Characteristics: 443 p.
Alternative Title: Catch- twenty-two

Opinion

From Library Staff

Catch-22 is one of the great satires of war. The novel follows Joseph Yossarian, a member of the Air Force who, along with his other pilots, struggle to maintain their sanity while surviving the war and carrying out what they're commanded to do.


From the critics


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HCL_featured Sep 19, 2018

"Challenged at the Dallas, TX Independent School District high school libraries (1974); in Snoqualmie, WA (1979) because of its several references to women as "whores." from www.ala.org American Library Association

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SusyHendrix
Sep 05, 2018

One of my favorite books. It is a difficult read at times, I will admit: it's told out of chronological order, the dialogue exchanges are bizarre. But it's ultimately a hilarious and horrifying satire, featuring one of my favorite novel heroes, John Yossarian. If you want a good, offbeat read with cult appeal, you can't go wrong with Catch-22. (The 1970 movie is also excellent and worth seeing.)

k
Kaelbe
Jul 26, 2018

I wanted to read this because it is a recognized classic. However after 70 pages I had enough. Skipped 100 pages ahead a few times to see if the style changed, but it didn’t. I couldn’t continue. If Groucho Marks wrote a novel this would be it. Insane and inane.

p
pjllkl
Jun 03, 2018

An awful book! It discredits the men and women who fought and died to save the world in the 40's, portraying them all as crazies. It was obviously written in the 50's for the Beat Generation who denigrated everything this country stands for.

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editorjo
May 08, 2018

This book is so excellently written. The humorous absurdity is only broken by moments of grim "realness" that is the reality of war and its effects on people. I first picked up this book because I felt that it was finally time to read this classic. I'm so glad I did; I will be revisiting it again.

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zvanstanley
Jan 04, 2018

One of my favorite satires.

j
johnbacich
Jul 17, 2017

I've often felt there are some things in life that are a litmus test for having a bright mind and this book is one of them. It's in my top ten list of the greatest novels of all time.

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darcyhudjik
Mar 28, 2017

This book has the most hilarious dialogue, circular arguments, and the like. I definitely recommend it.

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okridgway
Jan 04, 2017

This book is absolute genius, although it may take more than one read to fully appreciate it as such. Joseph Heller spent TEN YEARS writing it, and I can honestly say that each time I read it (just finished re-reading it for the 4th time) I discover new connections that I didn't realize were there before. Often cited as the best book of the 20th century, Catch-22 is incredible. Check out squeedunk.net/catch-22 for a literary analysis of the book, and an annotated bibliography.

c
chadwickh
Oct 05, 2016

Very witty and entertaining. I got a little tired of the wit toward the end.

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Quotes

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okridgway
Jan 04, 2017

"it was neither possible nor necessary to educate people who never questioned anything."

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miss_moneypenny
Dec 06, 2013

“The frog is almost five hundred million years old. Could you really say with much certainty that America, with all its strength and prosperity, with its fighting man that is second to none, and with its standard of living that is highest in the world, will last as long as...the frog? ”

h
harkij
Jun 08, 2012

The soldier who saw everything twice nodded weakly and sank back on his bed. Yossarian nodded weakly too, eyeing his talented roommate with great humility and admiration. He knew he was in the presence of a master. His talented roommate was obviously a person to be studied and emulated. During the night, his talented roommate died, and Yossarian decided that he had followed him far enough.

"I see everything once!" he cried quickly.

hippyheart Jul 17, 2010

I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

Good morning Vietnam!

d
DavidB
Feb 20, 2009

Major Major had been born too late and too mediocre. Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them. With Major Major it had been all three. Even among men lacking all distinction he inevitably stood out as a man lacking more distinction than all the rest, and people who met him were always impressed by how unimpressive he was.

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Dylan J. Knoll
Oct 23, 2008

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.

Notices

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o
okridgway
Jan 04, 2017

Frightening or Intense Scenes: There are several scenes that depict a bombardier dying from shrapnel in gruesome detail.

d
Dylan J. Knoll
Oct 23, 2008

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

d
Dylan J. Knoll
Oct 23, 2008

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

Age Suitability

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okridgway
Jan 04, 2017

okridgway thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Summary

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okridgway
Jan 04, 2017

Set in the midst of World War II, Catch-22 is a satirical novel about the folly of humanity and the bureaucratic lunacies that exist throughout society. (Check out squeedunk.net/catch-22 for all things catch-22)

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