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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 12 April 2017
Pick it up and enjoy one of the best books ever written.
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on 28 July 2014
One of the best books of all time.
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on 12 April 2017
As relevant as ever on the ridiculous futility of war
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on 12 April 2017
Very good condition, great value for money
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on 4 November 2014
Initially I struggled with this book and It took some considerable effort to bear with the confusing narrative. My initial difficulty meant I found I was reading and re-reading chapters because they were entertaining and yet also contrary or confusing. However once I 'got it' I couldn't stop reading. I found myself absorbed and unable to put the book down. (I was reading both paperback and kindle versions)

There were plenty of times I found myself snorting or guffawing at the hilarity and absurdity of the situations in which Yossarian finds himself.

It seems to me that Joseph Heller discovered a vein of comedy which later authors like Douglas Adams then mined to similar effect.

It's a truly entertaining and magnificent read for anyone, especially those with a taste for more peculiar comedic writing. But some like me may need to persevere to get to the best part!
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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 12 October 2013
I'd always been fascinated to read this book, whose reputation seems to have gone before it - & whose title of course has become indelibly embedded into our language.

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.
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on 16 December 2013
I never give up reading a book I have started but this was hard work getting to the end. I can see why some people might like it but I found it dreary, unfunny, and repetitive. The first quarter of the book made no sense whatsoever, the rest of it had a story of sorts but I just don't get the hype surrounding this book. The humour consists of several people endlessly repeating what someone else has said "That Yossarian the two officers laughed, shaking their heads, and got another ball from the box on the shelf. "That Yossarian", Yossarian answered them. "Yossarian", Nateley whispered cautiously. "You see what I mean?" asked Cleverley.The officers laughed again when they heard Yossarian mimicking them. "That Yossarian" they said more loudly. "That Yossarian" Yossarian echoed" is just one example of many excerpts I found extremely irritating to read. I will probably be slated for lacking the intellect to understand the subtleties of the author's humour, or for failing to grasp why this is one of the greatest books ever written. My answer to that is that novels are written to entertain and this failed to entertain me in the slightest.
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VINE VOICEon 26 October 2011
Having first read this in the 60s I came to Catch 22 again as it was one of our reading group choices.

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.
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on 18 September 2011
the book tells the tale of yossarian, a military pilot/bomber in the 2nd world war for the american army. yossarian is desperate to get out of the war - in order to do so he has to be certified insane, but if he's insane then he's absolutely fine to fight in the conflict - thus catch 22. the book tells of the absolute madness from the american army, sad tales of loss, the darkness that consumes the characters, the love between the troop - it's brilliant. definetely worth a read...
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