Book - 1995
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One of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read and a highly touted Hulu series starring George Clooney, Christopher Abbott, Kyle Chandler, and Hugh Laurie.

One of the funniest books ever written, Joseph Heller's masterpiece about a bomber squadron in the Second World War's Italian theater features a gallery of magnificently strange characters seething with comic energy. The malingering hero, Yossarian, is endlessly inventive in his schemes to save his skin from the horrible chances of war, and his story is studded with incidents and devices (including the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade and the hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule that gives the book its title) that propel the narrative in a headlong satiric rush. But the reason Catch-22 's satire never weakens and its jokes never date stems not from the comedy itself but from the savage, unerring, Swiftian indignation out of which that comedy springs. This fractured anti-epic, with all its aggrieved humanity, has given us the most enduring image we have of modern warfare.

This hardcover Everyman's Library edition includes an introduction by Malcolm Bradbury, a chronology of the author's life and times, and a select bibliography. It is printed on acid-free paper, with sewn bindings, full-cloth covers, foil stamping, and a silk ribbon marker.

Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 1995
Copyright Date: ©1961
ISBN: 9780679437222
Branch Call Number: FIC HEL
Characteristics: xxxix, 568 pages ; 21 cm
Alternative Title: Catch twenty-two


From the critics

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Aug 04, 2019

While I did not find this book enjoyable I can understand how it has maintained its stature in the literary world.

May 12, 2019

A book filled with dark humour and satire, for anyone interested in that stuff. This book has some humour that I personally found offensive, but not offensive enough to make me stop reading the book immediately. The book also seems nonsensical at the beginning, eventually providing you with enough information to allow you to understand the various (maybe dubious) actions of the different characters. I did not finish the book, only getting up to the point where Yossarian almost gets killed by Nately's whore and her kid sister. This was towards the end of the book

Apr 11, 2019

I tried reading Catch-22 in junior high. I couldn't finish it, and the only thing I remembered was how Major Major got his rank. Fast forward 4 decades, and I decide to give it the ol' junior high try. I got through it this time, but it was a slog.

I didn't find the continuous repetition funny; I didn't enjoy the antics; I didn't like the characters. I did, ultimately, find purpose in the final quarter or so of the story; I appreciated the incompetence on display on so many levels, and could see many of life's situations represented on Pianosa. I'm not sure it was worth the journey.

Jan 30, 2019

I read this book in Junior High when it was new and of course saw the flick. Both of them remain fondly in my memory.

IndyPL_MikeH Nov 07, 2018

What do you do when you're trapped in a giant bureaucracy and can't find the door? Oh, and there's World War Two. One of the great American novels.

Nov 06, 2018

This is a horrible book. One of the worst books that I’ve read.

HCL_featured Sep 19, 2018

"Challenged at the Dallas, TX Independent School District high school libraries (1974); in Snoqualmie, WA (1979) because of its several references to women as "whores." from American Library Association

Sep 05, 2018

One of my favorite books. It is a difficult read at times, I will admit: it's told out of chronological order, the dialogue exchanges are bizarre. But it's ultimately a hilarious and horrifying satire, featuring one of my favorite novel heroes, John Yossarian. If you want a good, offbeat read with cult appeal, you can't go wrong with Catch-22. (The 1970 movie is also excellent and worth seeing.)

Jul 26, 2018

I wanted to read this because it is a recognized classic. However after 70 pages I had enough. Skipped 100 pages ahead a few times to see if the style changed, but it didn’t. I couldn’t continue. If Groucho Marks wrote a novel this would be it. Insane and inane.

Jun 03, 2018

An awful book! It discredits the men and women who fought and died to save the world in the 40's, portraying them all as crazies. It was obviously written in the 50's for the Beat Generation who denigrated everything this country stands for.

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Jan 04, 2017

"it was neither possible nor necessary to educate people who never questioned anything."

Dec 06, 2013

“The frog is almost five hundred million years old. Could you really say with much certainty that America, with all its strength and prosperity, with its fighting man that is second to none, and with its standard of living that is highest in the world, will last as long as...the frog? ”

Jun 08, 2012

The soldier who saw everything twice nodded weakly and sank back on his bed. Yossarian nodded weakly too, eyeing his talented roommate with great humility and admiration. He knew he was in the presence of a master. His talented roommate was obviously a person to be studied and emulated. During the night, his talented roommate died, and Yossarian decided that he had followed him far enough.

"I see everything once!" he cried quickly.

hippyheart Jul 17, 2010

I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

Good morning Vietnam!

Feb 20, 2009

Major Major had been born too late and too mediocre. Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them. With Major Major it had been all three. Even among men lacking all distinction he inevitably stood out as a man lacking more distinction than all the rest, and people who met him were always impressed by how unimpressive he was.

Dylan J. Knoll
Oct 23, 2008

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. 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. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.


Add Notices
Jan 04, 2017

Frightening or Intense Scenes: There are several scenes that depict a bombardier dying from shrapnel in gruesome detail.

Dylan J. Knoll
Oct 23, 2008

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

Dylan J. Knoll
Oct 23, 2008

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

Age Suitability

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Mar 16, 2019

jackycwyeung thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Jan 04, 2017

okridgway thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over


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Jan 04, 2017

Set in the midst of World War II, Catch-22 is a satirical novel about the folly of humanity and the bureaucratic lunacies that exist throughout society. (Check out for all things catch-22)

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