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4.3 out of 5 stars
683
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 4 September 2017
Very good service and good book.
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on 20 July 2017
Great book great delivery
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on 14 May 2017
Great book!
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on 12 August 2015
Good
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on 6 June 2017
Good
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on 16 August 2017
*Minor spoilers*

The quirky characters and dialogue are the stars of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, with the actual plot-line enjoyable but a a tad drawn out.

The story follows John Yossarian as he repeatedly tries to get out of missions as a member of the US Air Force in World War Two. There’s a sense of dark humour as the characters’ efforts to evade their duty is the primary focus, while deaths and injuries are just taken for granted and part of the norm from chapter to chapter. As more of Yossarian’s friends are stricken down or battle with sanity, the horrific ordeals of WW2 are described almost in a blasé fashion. This unique descriptive method actually serves as a breath of fresh air in a twisted way, and actually helps drill home the horrors of the story.

The dialogue too nearly made me laugh out loud on several occasions, with characters failing to understand each other and repeated statements bringing a surreal, often comical juxtaposition to the topic that’s actually being discussed. This meant that, although similar conversations do take place throughout the novel, there can usually be a refreshing take each time and characters become more memorable via their quirky speech patterns.

The book did tail off towards the end, as the repeated issue of the squadron being punished by having their required number of flight missions raised again and again did get a bit old. Again, it’s done in a knowing way that it’s exaggerated and over-the-top, but it did eventually get a bit stale.

If nothing else, I was pleased to finally learn the origin of the saying ‘catch-22’; being the paradox that an insane military man would be relieved of service, but anyone declaring themself as insane in a bid to get out of their duty would be rejected, as they are deemed sane enough to be looking out for their well-being.

It’s well worth a read, but could’ve done with being maybe 50-100 pages shorter. The characters will live long in the memory though, and it’s certainly a unique read.
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on 22 October 2015
The Catch-22 itself is a bureaucratic idiocy so sublime it leaves you staring out the window with wonder. As many of you will already know, the novel is set on a made-up island off the coast of Italy during the second world war, where an American bombing group is stationed. Desperate to impress his superiors, Colonel Cathcart keeps raising the number of missions his men have to fly. Our hero, Yossarian, has flown 50. Driven half-mad by his will to live, he wants out. But he's thwarted by Catch-22, a clause which states that pilots don't have to fly if they are certified as insane, but that being driven mad by fear is fundamentally rational. As it's described in the novel: "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." The result, put simply, is that no one can get off the ride.
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on 21 February 2017
This is my husbands all time favourite read so we bought it for my daughter!
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on 17 January 2017
Why do people who don't like this book accuse those who do like it of trying to feel important etc.?

I absolutely love Catch 22. It made me reevaluate the way I see the world. It captures the absurdity of life like no other book I've read.

Catch 22 is without a doubt a masterpiece. If you don't like it fine. There's plenty of great works I don't care for - Shakespeares Macbeth for example, but I understand it's a great piece of literature and don't criticise others for enjoying same.

Grow up children...
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on 6 June 2015
it is slightly overwritten; everything is spelled out in big, bold prose that doesn't really leave anything to the imagination - there's nothing wrong with that if you have a your head but for younger readers it asks more questions. Curiously unengaging Catch 22 is a character-driven comedy with very little action. Yes, there is some fabulous prose and the characterisation is superb, but they are sort of stock characters with nicknames and habits, and not the sort of people you bump into in everyday life.
Time has moved on past the sixties and the seventies and this sort of prose style (Portnoy's Complaint, The Graduate) has sort of gone with it. Good for its time with the joy and optimissm but not a forever book.
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