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Description - Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

At the heart of Joseph Heller's bestselling novel, first published in 1961, is a satirical indictment of military madness and stupidity, and the desire of the ordinary man to survive it. It is the tale of the dangerously sane Captain Yossarian, who spends his time in Italy plotting to survive. Arguably the best novel to come out of World War II, in which Heller strips away the veneer of martial glory to expose its insanity, and gives our language a new paradoxical phrase to describe mankind at the mercy of its own institutions.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099470465
ISBN-10: 0099470462
Format: Paperback / softback
(198mm x 129mm x 34mm)
Pages: 544
Imprint: Vintage Classics
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 2-Feb-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Book Reviews - Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

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Book Review: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller - Reviewed by (22 Sep 2011)

A tale of a young US bombardier based with his squadron in Italy in WWII, Catch-22 is considered a modern classic and is on many people’s must-read list (perhaps because the term is in our everyday lexicon).

The main character Yossarian is tired of flying missions and has been plotting various schemes to get himself sent home.

The author Joseph Heller was an advertising copywriter and his no-nonsense style has produced a sharp, witty tale.

I really enjoyed the writing of this book. You can tell it was written by a former copywriter - nothing flowery about it. Descriptions were to the point, dialogue was realistic and concise and it was an easy-to-imagine setting.

However there was no plot. The story was flimsy. The dialogue was too realistic (it was like listening in on a conversation, word for word). The main character Yossarian dances around the main premise, Catch-22, for the entire book but it seems like the reference is only thrown in as an after thought to tie the plot together during a random sequence of events.

Unfortunately the book doesn't really flow. It feels more like a collection of short stories involving the same characters rather than one continuous story. In the end, that lets it down.


Author Biography - Joseph Heller

Joseph Heller was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1923. In 1961, he published Catch-22, which became a bestseller and, in 1970, a film. He went on to write such novels as Something Happened, God Knows, Picture This, Closing Time (the sequel to Catch-22), and Portrait of an Artist, as an Old Man. Heller died in December 1999.

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