Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)

  • 25 Mar 14:06
  • 5 lists

A cruel and ironic novel by the American author Joseph Heller, laced with macabre and brilliant humour, it is one of the finest novels about the madness of war ever written. 

Set off the coast of Eastern Italy during the second world war, the novel follows Yossarian, a young bombardier based in the USAF. Yossarian longs to get out of the army and the trials of Yoassarian are written with devilish humour as he confronts 'Catch 22'; the ultimate paradox. There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's 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 'That's some catch, that Catch-22'.


First line: 

'It was love at first sight.'...


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