- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 16 hours and 24 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 19 April 2011
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002SQ63DW
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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Catch 22 Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
The contrast between the breathtaking dialogue, tear jerking theatrics, laugh out loud comedy, un believable consequences, insanities euphoric state and humbling notions of this book simply leave you un able to find any sort of fault in it. A classic war story? Yes, but that's not all. It speak about humanity on a much, broader, wider and grimmer level than any event, war (OR BOOK ITSELF) should or could be able to and it does it fantastically. It's anti-hero climax and ability to laugh at itself is unique to its own. The book itself is like a deep breathe in. It's refreshing, elating and completely and utterly important for all of us to experience. I hate when it comes to this part of a review because you expect me to say something very `cliché' I'm sorely going to have to deprive you from that pleasure as this book is to `thought provoking' (there you go) to allow such horrors. If any one is reading over these reviews wondering if this book is worth their money- My answer is a simple yes. This book is humbling and most importantly extremely entertaining.
I had very positive memories of this book - but 45 years later how would I feel about it? Well, it is brilliant, iconic and groundbreaking. I can understand the impact it made on the literary scene all those years ago. But reading it now I found it - dare I say it - a trifle irritating. The humour and jokiness were just a bit too relentless and the circuitous dialogue a bit too repetitious. In many ways it is very much "of its time" inasmuch as the women are poorly represented.
However Yossarian remains one of the great fictional characters - mad as a hatter but at the same time absolutely sane. Catch 22 must rank among the best ever books about the futility of war. It is weird and wacky and is the ultimate black comedy about war.
* Been unable to talk to me about it because they laugh when they're half way through telling me what it is they want to say
* Glorified it as funnier than any book, film, comedy series or stand up performance they've ever seen
* Said that they found it so annoying they had to throw it away
* Asked me what was happening after reading the first 100 pages
* Considered never reading again because they'd decided they'd never read anything better
* Had to leave the tube due to annoying the other passengers by laughing
Why do people love it? Because it is dark, surreal, immoral, subversive and hilarious. It gets away with it because Heller finds the perfect setting (a small island) in the perfect time (World War 2 - a dark, surreal, immoral time). But it all rings true because Heller was a WW2 airman himself.
Why do people hate it? I can only speculate. Maybe it's because there is no traditional plot-weaving. Maybe because the chronology is all over the place. Maybe because the main love-interest is a whore. Maybe because it relies on being absurd.
Its humour lies in words mainly so maybe people who don't find wordplay funny don't find Catch-22 funny.
Everyone should TRY and read this book. Even if you do cast it aside and lament a waste of a week's reading after 200 pages. If you love it you will really love it. I did and it's led to me writing an amazon review - and I've never done that before.
Just don't read the sequel.
It's a lengthy, experimental (for its time) & often extremely funny read - but you need an incredible amount of patience & indulgence to stay the course of this voluminous book.
It tells the story of Yossarian - a world-weary America fighter pilot stationed on an island off the coast of Italy during WW2, & centres on his brushes with authority & ways of coping with the thought that death could easily be around the corner any day... all the while as his superior, the cold & feckless Col Cathcart, forever increases the squadron's missions.
For what seemed like the whole of the first half, there appeared to be no plot at all - just chapter after chapter introducing a new & increasingly bizarre & baffling array of characters who just seem to get on each others nerves in an overlong series of set-pieces.
But, if you can get to the second half, the book levels out & a story of sorts does emerge, along with an underlying anti-war message that resonates towards the end.
I'm glad I've read this book (I think!) but I can't say I loved it - it obviously had a new & satirical edge when it was published in the early 1960s, but that now seems rather dated. Despite the piled-on humour, it isn't always as funny as it thinks it is either.
But, all in all, it's worth it if you can stay with it, & there are certainly echoes here of the claustrophobia & humour of M*A*S*H (& even Blackadder Goes Forth) to come perhaps. There are also some well-observed insights into the human condition, & into the insanity & futility of war itself.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
'The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell madly in love with him' so begins for me the greatest work of fiction. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Maudsy
Well read and Well written.
Nothing else shows the doom and futility in modern life.
It is as current today as it was when it was set.
I first read this when I was 19 and now I'm getting on for 70 I'm about to read it for perhaps the six or seventh time. Read morePublished 1 month ago by neighbour