Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Firstly, my apologies if anything I say in this review makes no logical sense. I have a cold, and it tends to mess with my ability to say what I am thinking.

So, to business! I reread Catch 22 recently, and realised that I had forgotten quite how excellent it is. This may sound strange, since I had always considered it to be one of the best books I have ever read. But it was better than I remembered.

The reason for this was that I had forgotten how well it is written. It is possibly one of the cleverest books I have read, simply because its style is so interesting. For those who don’t know it, Catch 22 is about a group of pilots and bombardiers stationed on an Italian island during WWII. They are all going slightly insane from the stupidity that is war, and this is reflected in the style of writing a great deal. An example of this can be seen in one instance of the catch after which the book is written, Catch-22:

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.

Catch 22 is possibly one of the bleakest books I have ever read, as well. People keep dying, and nobody really sees them die. They die at the end of chapters in one sentence, or fly into clouds and are never seen again. One character, Major Major Major Major, appears to go missing after he demands that nobody come to his office except when he is not in it. It’s a world of complete confusion, and it is amazing. I highly recommend it, although possibly not when one is feeling sad or confused with the world.


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