CATCH-22 : book review
✯✯✯✯✯ READ THIS BOOK.
A brief intro:
Catch-22 is set in Italy against the backdrop of WWII, but it is not a book solely about the atrocities of war as people might think. In a clever literary maneuver, Mr. Heller creates a comical microcosm and tells the story of Yossarian, the American bombardier, in his plight to avoid being killed, all the while pointing with more tact and sagacity at the consequences and insanity of blindly following a self-serving authority. The madness of war and its effects are also a major theme, though the reader arrives at its different implications more serendipitously.
The entire setting of the book serves as a metaphor in itself, and presents “the twentieth-century world as it might look to someone dangerously sane…” I would say that the central problems that are discussed through the book are still very much relevant for the 21st century, and for any thinking individual. But even as it endures as a classic for its brilliant plot and overall execution, Catch-22 still ranks as number one on Goodreads’ list of most begun but unfinished books . Admittedly, it took me more than three tries to finally reach glorious and long awaited success (high five!), but believe me, friends - when you find yourself in the final stretch of the book, your heart will be breaking, your heart will be mending, and you will be so emotionally invested and mentally stimulated that you’ll wonder why the initial chapters were so flipping difficult to get through when the last 100 pages felt like a minute. With that said, I cannot do it justice with a 5/5 star review. It seems completely irrelevant whether or not I found pleasure and enjoyment in a book of this stature (though I did enjoy it very much). The fact of the matter is, I think we all have a moral duty to think about the nature of authority, our place and responsibilities in relation to it, and the ideal leadership that we should strive for. You can find other works that will open up dialogue for these matters of course, but I’m not sure they will deliver quite as well as Mr. Heller does in Catch-22. Please, please, please read this. Especially at a time when intellect seems so removed from the normal human experience, I can’t stress enough how important works like these are.
for friends who would like to try reading the book, I have some notes that might be helpful; for friends who have read the book & are up for discussion - my reflections