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Catch-22

by Joseph Heller

Review of Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

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       I had a really hard time getting into this book.  I can usually get into ANY book, but I almost put this one down.   The main problem for me was the non-sequential nature of the narrative.  I realize that this is a method the author is using to further emphasize the main themes of the book.  But for me,  I found it difficult to become engaged with the characters and storyline with this approach.  But I pushed my way through it, and I have to say it's a good story and, narrative style aside, very well written.  I can see why it's a "Top 100" book.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller was reviewed by JB

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       This is certainly one of the best books ever written! Extremely sharp wit, deep insights, character detailing and the real powerul and sad messge on the uselessness of war is brilliant!

       This can be read over and over again, and it seems fresh every time. It takes a couple of chapters in the beginning to get the flow of the book, but once you get the flow, it just takes you on a joyride. Highly recommended.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller was reviewed by Ashutosh

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       One thing I don't normally do is read a book in a week, especially one of this size.  I am a painfully slow reader, and I have many other things that consume much of my time.  This book, however, I finished in a week.  I found it very difficult to put down at times.  Catch-22 was definitely one of the funniest things I've ever experienced.  The story was innovative and interesting, and Heller demonstrated just about the smartest nonsence humor ever devised.  The was that the book showed the utter ridiculousness of war and the bureaucratic system was simply brillaint.  I did think that too much time was devoted to the Chaplain, but the other characters were perfectly deveopled and balanced.  I also would've liked to have seen more of Nately's Whore trying to kill Yossarian.  That was my biggest issue.  It would've been funnier if a good half of the book was devoted to Nately's Whore popping out randomly mid-sentence to try to kill Yossarian...again.  But all in all, it was one of the most enjoyable reading experiences of my life.  It managed to be funny and deeply moving at the same time, which in and of itself requires brilliant talent.  Catch-22 deserves its place on this list, and I would highly recommend it to almost anyone.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller was reviewed by Count Orad

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       Outrageous events occuring in rapid fire succession grow quickly tedious. Slapstick in prose.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller was reviewed by andy friedhofen

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       I hate this book. My love for reading was KILLED after finishing. This should be on the 100 worst novels of all time, but I would read this book over and over 100 times if it came down to this and "The Sound and the Fury." .

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller was reviewed by Shannon

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       LIterally just finished reading this book an hour ago and I thought it was amazing. The first 100 pages or so are rather confusing due to the fractured time line and dozens of characters but if you push through it gets very enjoyble towards the middle and end. Its full of brilliant wit, and is times very moving and shocking. Whats especially noteworthy is that Heller sets up many jokes at one point in the novel and than delivers the punch line many chapters later, really making the book come together near the end. Overall, its a must read for any literary afficianado. In my opinion it deserves to be higher on this list.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller was reviewed by Charlie

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       I just finished reading this book, at first the books size seemed very intimidating but I managed to finish it in 2weeks.

       I read this book because it was number 8 on this list and I'm glad that I did. At first this book was very confusing due to all the characters mentioned and due to Heller repeating some story lines but in a differrent characters perspective. I soldiered on through the first few chapters but the more I read the more I began to enjoy it. Their were part of the books that were very humerous and exciting. Overal I would recommend it, its not my favourite book in the world but was most certainly exciting.

       'There was only one catch, and that was Catch-22. '

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller was reviewed by NatalieC

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       This book is the best book that I have ever read (and I have read all ten of the current top ten in this list!). I thought it was brilliant the first time I read it, and it just gets better every time I revisit it. A great novel could be made out of any one of the ideas and characters in this book- but crammed with ideas and humour as it is, I personally am stunned by its brilliance every time I open it at random and laugh out loud.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller was reviewed by Cliodhna

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       do not this book I like.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller was reviewed by Jeff

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       Quite a long book, this. Well, considering that practically every chapter is a repeat of every other chapter but with different wording. I soldiered on through it but when I came within the last 50 pages or so, I just couldn't bear it any longer and I gave up. I never went back to finish it. It's so boring and samey that it's like Chinese water torture. Awful.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller was reviewed by Elliot

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       This novel has inspired many things -one reviewer has already mentioned the tv series MASH which was CATCH 22/Lite of course . Whilst putatively about the 2 nd World War it is (deliberately) full of anachronisms  and  is entirely non-chronological teaching  lessons about the military mind and buereaucracy which are bang up to date and relevant to  current conflict s.Understandably it was extremly popular with US troops in Vietnam.Yossarian one of the novels central characters as an anti-hero archetype has been served up to us in various forms  in just about every Hollywood blockbuster about Vietnam ever since.

       Heller  would have acknowledged his debt to Kafka and Orwell  in portraying an individual trapped within a nightmarish system with its own  illogical internal logic however to Kafka's suffocating nightmare Heller added his own highly original brand of humour and of course use of language .   Nothing is what it seems jokes are not to be taken lightly and you can gasp with horror and laugh outloud reading  not just the same page but the same sentence .

       Returning to this book after many years and with the benefit of more experience it becomes even more richly rewarding .It is amongst the best 10 twentieth century novels I have read and that is good enough for me.
 

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller was reviewed by Major Major

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       Catch-22 by Joseph Heller is a cross between M*A*S*H and Abbott and Costello's "who's on first".  Its a story of the Fighting 256th Squadron and the men in it.  I have to admit that the first time i tried to read it I just didn't get it.  I was in my early teens at the time and to me Heller just seemed to write in circles and never got anywhere.  When I recently revisited Catch-22 years later I was able to see the genious in the work.  While the book does seem to go in circles, each time around you get more information and the story progresses forward. 

       There are a lot of characters and at first it seemed like the book was moving too fast to keep everyone straight.  After reading Catch-22 I recommend that you just don't worry too much about keeping all the characters straight because chances are that before too long the book will loop back and revisit the same scene from a different angle.  This will allow you to catch up on who is who.

       The thing that surprised me about Catch 22 was that on several occasions I found myself laughing out loud to myself one minute, and the next minute cringing.  While the book is meant to show the absolutely absurd nature of bureaucratic reasoning, it also shows some of the horrors of combat and the life of a soldier.  All in all I'd say a pretty good book. 

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller was reviewed by Dave Patron

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       Read the novel once in the underground and found myself laughing out loud by myself (people around me must have thought either I am out of my minds or the book must be really funny) finished the novel 2 weeks back.

       started reading the novel (again!) and found myself laughing out loud by myself (again!)

       they've even made a movie based on this novel (back in 1970's) trying to get my hands on that at the moment.

       all in all people, this book is brilliant. an absolute master piece...

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller was reviewed by Anonymous

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