Catch-22

Catch-22

You’ve just read a book so good that you want everyone else to read it immediately, but you know that if you approach the subject with too much enthusiasm, you risk overselling the book and causing the opposite outcome. In fact, the more you say, the more likely you’ll mention something that person hates about books, thus ensuring they never read it. Or, in your haste and excitement, you might offer your own rash interpretation, implying the book is about something it isn’t, and thereby cause yet another person to pass on a wonderful piece of literature. Such is the unresolvable dilemma I find myself in with Catch-22.

Suffice it to say, I absolutely loved reading this book. It starts slowly, as Heller’s writing style (and the way he jumps back and forth through time) has its own unique rhythm. Once you grow accustomed to it, however, it becomes utterly engrossing. This is an especially odd thing to say because there’s nearly zero plot in the book. Instead, it focuses almost entirely on characters, and the crazy, bizarre, emotional, disturbing, horrifying, hilarious antics that fill their lives during war.

Yes, Catch-22 is a book about war. Or rather, it is a book that takes place during war. Don’t be discouraged, though, if you don’t usually gravitate to such books, because it’s more about the people than the fighting.

All I really want to say is please read this book. It is a beautifully crafted work of literature that has easily catapulted into my top 5 favorite books. I cannot wait to read it again, as it really is a masterpiece.

"It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all." (363)

Comments

Kathleen
Kathleen on 01/30/2012 9:33 a.m.

You make me want to read it again. I think I'd like it better the second time around. However, I don't think I'll ever like it as much as you did; I just don't think it's my style in general. I do agree that it was really well done, though.

Scott
Scott on 01/30/2012 5:57 p.m.

The structure of the book definitely lends itself to a second reading. I hope to get to it again within the next year or so. And thanks for letting me borrow your copy :)

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)
Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) on 03/14/2012 8:08 p.m.

You make this one sound so good. I can't wait to have a long period of time to dive into it... not in the next few weeks though, I'm afraid.

Scott
Scott on 03/21/2012 1:12 p.m.

I tried my best not to over-hype it, but in the end I couldn't help myself. I hope you enjoy it when you get around to it!

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