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Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

Updated on April 17, 2014

Catch 22 is a Book You Will Love or Hate

This is a story that was first published in 1961 and has remained in print since that time. Its main character is Yossarian, a B-25 bombardier during World War II. However, few would categorize it is a war novel. It is a satirical book written in a free-form style where the same situation can be seen from the different viewpoints of the characters in the novel. For Yossarian the main enemy is not the Germans, but his commanding officer, Colonel Cathcart, who keeps raising the number of missions his men have to fly before they can go home.

Photo credit: B-25, Wikimedia Commons

Why Heller Wrote Catch 22

Joseph Heller was a bombardier during World War ii, and many of the feelings and problems of the characters in his novel were based on his own personal experiences. He flew 60 bombing missions in 1944 but didn't start writing his book until 1953, and it took him years to finish it. When published it had a cult following among teenagers and college students, and reviews either loved it or panned it. A film version was released in 1970 but was not a great success, however the book is still popular over 50 years after it was first published.

The 50th Anniversary Edition

For those who don't need to have a first edition, signed copy or a glossy hardback this is an excelllent edition.

Catch-22: 50th Anniversary Edition
Catch-22: 50th Anniversary Edition

This is one of the great literary works of the 20th century.

The phrase "Catch 22" has entered the English language and this was the book that put it there.

If you've ever been frustrated, appalled or just amused by bureaucracy then you'll love this book.


The Movie

The movie is available as a DVD or you can watch it now on Amazon Prime.

Have you already read Catch 22 or seen the movie?

Have you read the book or seen the movie?

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Guestbook Comments - What do you think about Catch 22?

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      pinoyrecipe 4 years ago

      haven't any ideas about that, however i think it's cool

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      I remember reading this in school.

    • tedwritesstuff24 profile image

      TedWritesStuff 5 years ago

      When my partner heard me say a situation was a 'Catch 22' she asked what I meant. I immediately went out and got the book for her. She, like I, loved it.

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 5 years ago from Orange County, California

      I loved reading Catch 22 when I was in high school. A fascinating look at war!

    • profile image

      MarcellaCarlton 5 years ago

      I'd like to read the book. When reading one get so much more of it. I think I just like the language. It expresses things that one can't in a movie.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 5 years ago

      I think it's time I reread this book. I know I liked it the first time, but now I'd have a different perspective. Thanks.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      I need to read this classic - thanks for sharing!

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 5 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I read Catch 22 when I was a teenager more than forty years ago, not long after it was published! Still memorable! Such a great writer!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Read the book a long time ago but it still holds up. A brilliant piece of fiction.

    • texan203 lm profile image

      texan203 lm 5 years ago

      I like both the book and movie. Great lens.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I saw the movie and enjoyed it. It is nice to know more about the author. Thank you!