Catch-22 – Joseph Heller

Set during the closing months of the Second World War, in an American air base of the coast of Italy, Catch-22 is the story of a frustrated and furious bombardier named Yossarian who can’t understand why thousands of people he doesn’t even know keep trying to kill him!

The number of missions he has to complete to go home keeps rising, he can’t figure out who is in charge the squadron and there is a dead man in his tent no one will acknowledge or get rid of!

Utterly horrific yet beautifully comic, totally insane yet gritty and real, Catch-22 takes the reader from one extreme to the other on every single page. Although set during one of the darkest times of human history I found myself literally bursting out laughing at some points.

What makes Catch-22 so barmy is the sheer insanity of the characters and their mental attempts to peruse Italian prostitutes, make money out of the war and of course try every stunt possible to get out of duty and be sent home.

The book throws a depressing yet hilarious light on the War and is truly a one off book, well deserving of its place on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die List.

If you are not a fan of war novels please don’t be put off by the setting of the novel as it is so much more than a book about World War II, it is a great dark comedy, an insight into the complexities of the human mind and if nothing else an explanation behind the origin of the phrase Catch-22!

1 Comment

Filed under 1001 Books, Comedy, War

One response to “Catch-22 – Joseph Heller

  1. Sounds really interesting! I’ll definitely give this book a read. I can usually deal with gritty books if there are bits of humour in them as well….

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