Customer Reviews for

Catch-22

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

My Book Review for English 9 due yesterday haha

When I think of the term "war story," I tend to think of the long grueling battles, the wounded dying in the mud, or the sounds of guns blasting in the distance. However, in Joseph Heller's great novel, Catch-22, the most significant and my favorite scenes are ones not ...
When I think of the term "war story," I tend to think of the long grueling battles, the wounded dying in the mud, or the sounds of guns blasting in the distance. However, in Joseph Heller's great novel, Catch-22, the most significant and my favorite scenes are ones not on the battlefield; they are the ones at camp. The ingenious (yet sometimes confusing) plot is centered around the main character in this novel, Yossarian, who has seen the inhumane and thoughtless actions of his superiors during the second half of WWII. He is an air force pilot stationed in the Mediterranean Sea conducting bombing raids that seem to never end. After enduring one mission after another, he stumbles on a way to be discharged from service if he is deemed insane. His never-ending search to get out of the military and his conversations with his friend Nately are humorous and entertaining. However, when Yossarian first claims to be "insane," he proves to the doctors that he truly IS sane because anyone who is really sane would want to be discharged. This confusing paradox, or circular reasoning, is Catch-22. Catch-22 is described in many other ways, mostly in other nearly incomprehensible paradoxes that "catches" its subject in its illogic, and always allows the government complete control over the pilots' lives. The theme of total power to the government can also be found in some other side stories (and flashbacks that happen at unspecified times) throughout the novel, such as when Officer Minderbinder can make himself immense amounts of cash just by trading amongst the companies he himself owns. You find yourself rooting for the soldiers, and wonder why they must die. I thought Yossarian's struggles with the law Catch-22 as amusing as no matter where you went, or which way, the government always ended up on top. And as the war goes on, Yossarian witnesses more tragedies among his men- murder, death, rape, and disease. When he is arrested in the streets of Rome, he is given a choice; Stay in the Air Force, or be honorably discharged. But there's a cache, if he is discharged, his men in his squadron must fly another eighty missions. Will Yossarian be tempted to regain a life of his own, and yet endanger the lives of his own men? Or will he continue to fly under the rule of Catch-22? Although the plot is hard to comprehend at first, is you persevere through the confusing flashbacks and characters whose names you forget, it will all make sense in the end.

posted by ms_t_is_da_bomb on January 13, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

58 out of 60 people found this review helpful.

Book is great - NookBook is sloppy OCR job

I'm not going to talk about the content of the book. People have covered that.

The NookBook of Catch-22 was generated from a scanned manuscript and then insufficiently copyedited. To pick one example, words that begin with "Li" are frequently rendered with a "U" inst...
I'm not going to talk about the content of the book. People have covered that.

The NookBook of Catch-22 was generated from a scanned manuscript and then insufficiently copyedited. To pick one example, words that begin with "Li" are frequently rendered with a "U" instead; so, say, "Lip" becomes "Up." It happened often enough to be distracting.

Considering we're asked to pay MORE than the paperback price for the NookBook, and we can't return the NookBook for being shoddy, this is unacceptable.

posted by 5394909 on August 12, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2011

    Book is great - NookBook is sloppy OCR job

    I'm not going to talk about the content of the book. People have covered that.

    The NookBook of Catch-22 was generated from a scanned manuscript and then insufficiently copyedited. To pick one example, words that begin with "Li" are frequently rendered with a "U" instead; so, say, "Lip" becomes "Up." It happened often enough to be distracting.

    Considering we're asked to pay MORE than the paperback price for the NookBook, and we can't return the NookBook for being shoddy, this is unacceptable.

    58 out of 60 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2012

    Disappointed

    I purchased this book believing it was the 50th anniversary edition, but sadly it was not. There are not essays at the end, and i would have really liked it since i needed this book for class. If i am mistaken then please disregard this comment.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Sadly disappointed

    I know this is supposed to be a great piece of literature, but I got exhausted trying to keep up with the author's train of thought. Each sentence began with one idea/character and somehow morphed into another. I wish I could love it as I've been waiting to read this for so long, and was bitterly disappointed.

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2006

    Something to think about..

    In the novel,you are shown the kind of anticipated fear that lies in front of soldiers in the past and today. I would definatley suggest reading this book for the understanding of the blood and tears in the middle of war.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2013

    I found Catch 22 in the ¿Comedy Classics¿ section in my local li

    I found Catch 22 in the “Comedy Classics” section in my local library. It was recommended to me by my friend and mother, so I decided to check it out. When I checked it out the librarian said it was her favorite book. I went home and sat down to read it and a book mark with page numbers of it; I guess it was favorite quotes or something. It is about the story of a military outpost on an island off Italy during world war two. At least, I think.
                This Book is awful. It really seems that Joseph Heller has some deep hatred for plot, or continuity. It starts with a bombardier Named Yossarian and talked about him for three pages. This is the longest that this book discusses any one character at one time. Seemingly every paragraph is about a different character, or situation at a different point in time it is confusion and chaos at the military outpost where this book seems take place. On top of the incomprehensible flow, the characters suck. Almost every character is a total jerk to everyone else. Most conversations are comprised of one or more characters trying to frustrate the hell out of the other.
               Granted it is often funny to see the other characters trying to deal with the incompetence and zany shenanigans of the units men. I mean, the way everyone says Yossarian is crazy because he thinks everyone is trying to kill him, except, everyone IS trying to kill him, because they are at war, it pretty funny, and clever, so kudos to Joseph Heller on that one. 
             Come to think of it, allot of the events discussed are mentioned more than once often in some passing manner, and later explained in more detail later, out of the blue. I am reminded of how it was explained how Milo, the mess officer, had the Camp bombed. It was later revealed that he did it because he had set up trade deals to get food and supplies for the camp with the Germans. He also set up some deals to do some bombings for the US independent from the military with the military planes. The Germans got word of this and hired Milo’s services to bomb at his own camp. He did and he put the money into his syndicate which he said everyone at the camp had a share of. Very funny. It kind of makes me want to read on, to see what else I can figure out. 
              It makes me wonder whether he had planned all these foreshadows in advance or wrote it and then wrote in the references.  Joseph Heller did it very, very well. Now that I think about, this book is really cool. It is funny, witty, and dark sometimes, but fun all the time. It occurs to me I want to rate this higher than one star but I already set the rating. I can still give it a cool name though. One to suit this remarkable book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2011

    I don't get it.

    Not sure why everyone raves about this book. It must be like the movie "Mona Lisa". Nobody gets it and is afraid to admit it.

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2010

    NOT a good book.

    I understand that this book has a lot of meaning to it and it is supposed to be some kind of "revolutionary" novel filled with satire, but I found the way it was written completely absurd. I had to read it for a literature class, and I will certainly not be reading it again.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2005

    What¿s the Catch?

    9/27/05 Catch- 22 is about a nice young man, Yossarian, who is fighting cautiously in WWII. But what¿s the catch? He¿s flown over fifty missions and they¿re being raised, someone¿s trying to murder him, and there¿s a dead man in his tent. Yossarian, an innocent Assyrian drafted to the U.S. to fight went on an incredible journey. Although he tries to avoid any drama by staying in the hospital, drama always comes to him. Yossarian¿s best friend, Dunbar, is also in the hospital when they meet the Soldier in White, a mysterious man covered in plaster from head to toe. The Soldier in White has but one friend, the Texan. A couple of days later the Soldier in White is dead. Everyone starts to blame Yossarian, while it¿s really one of the nurses, who didn¿t bother checking the temperature of the quiet soldier. Weeks pass by until Yossarian and Dunbar are thrown out of the hospital and into their tents, their temporary home until the war ends. Unluckily for Yossarian, there¿s an anonymous dead man in his. The corpse lies in the tent for days, and I start to wonder why nobody even bothers to bury him. I think it¿s because everyone is so busy with other deaths, like Snowden¿s, one of the likable characters in this book. As Orr steers the plane, Yossarian and Snowden are in back throwing bombs and flak at the enemy. Suddenly Orr loses control of the plane and it starts to fall as it picks up speed. Orr screams over the intercom, ¿help the bombardier¿, but Yossarian doesn¿t realize what Orr¿s trying to tell him until he sees Snowden, his blood, and his insides. The flak has tore a hole through his body. Everyone mourns the death of Snowden. Many other exciting events happen to Yossarian, but I will only mention the best of them all: the attempted murder of Yossarian. Nately¿s Whore, the name of the killer, loves her boyrfriend Nately very much and becomes angrier than ever when Yossarian tells her Nately has died. Nately¿s Whore soon screams and reaches for a butcher knife. The rest of the chapters share the following disturbing details: Nately¿s Whore continuously attempts to stab Yossarian. When he finally holds her down Nately¿s Whore pretends to give up, and when Yossarian lets her go she wounds him seriously. As Yossarian runs onto the street he vows to do anything in his power to avoid Nately¿s Whore. As the number of missions continues to increase, Yossarian has finally had enough. He decides he will simply leave the United States. Yossarian¿s generals become too tired to stop him, and fortunately he flies over to Rome. But as I said before, drama and unfortunate events always strike him, and the police forced Yossarian to leave Rome because he didn¿t have a pass to stay there. On the trip back to the US, Yossarian comes up with a brilliant plan: why not row to Sweden? His friend Orr did a couple days ago! When Yossarian tells his generals the idea, they hesitate but finally agree to allow him to leave. Finally, Yossarian opens the door to freedom and he jumps in joy, missing Nately¿s Whore¿s knife by inches! I do not recommend this book to people who are not very strong readers, because there is a large amount of difficult vocabulary words. I didn¿t even understand the book title until the end of the book! There is also adult language and content, and many things in this book are too confusing to understand. Personally, I dislike this book so much that it deserves a rating of zero. Unless you¿re interested in the war or sexual content I don¿t suggest the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2004

    Makes no sense

    I had to read this book for English 20 and I love to read all sorts of books. But this book was the worst one I have ever read. What a disappointment.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted July 6, 2010

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