Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Rating: 5/5

Genre: Humour, War Fiction

A Catch-22 You Wouldn’t Mind Being In
I must say it took me a few (just a few though) pages to get hooked to the book but when I did, it was for life. This is one amazing book. The kind which when I had just finished, I knew I wanted to read it again!

The humour is definitely dark but it makes you snigger, smile and laugh out loud. Set in one of the most trying times in world history, WW II to be precise, it is a very unlikely place to dig for a funny bone. But Heller does it so well. He brings forth all the trials and tribulations of those involved in a senseless war (not that the others are sensible anyway) with an unusually amusing style of humour.

The characters are very real although their idiosyncrasies are hard to grasp. Some situations and characters are too farfetched  at times but that doesn’t stop you from enjoying the book one bit. The character of Yossarian is as amusing as his name.

I kept thinking of M*A*S*H the whole time I read the book, although I have no idea if there is any influence in any way. Even the characters could be compared to a large degree.

Given the negative tone to the whole story, the end is quite positive, kind of ‘feel good’. That was very heartening for me, a sucker for happy endings.

The Catch-22 logic drives you crazy, especially the one about ‘being crazy’; but you have to read the book to really get it. Apparently, before finalising on the number 22, the numbers 11, 14 & 17 were also given a thought. Wonder what went behind that one!


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