Catch 22

Just reread Catch 22.

Still a stuning bit of work. Heller signed my copy form college about a year before he died. We spoke for almost 20 minutes. Just the two of us. I will never forget that day.

As an aside, if you want a great read, look at “Something Happened.” Hellers second book. Dark wiht Helleresque humor. Great book but overshadowed by his first. Sadly underrated.


Catch 22 changed my life and the way I looked at it. As did The Dice Man (by Luke Reinhart (??)).

We have a uni student at work who has never heard of Catch 22 - how is that even possible?

I bought Catch 22 in a book buying spree about 6 months ago, but it is one that has continually slipped away from the top of the pile.

Clearly, I should get to it.


Catch 22 should be one of the books you must read before considering monging words.

There are other book like this, must reads, but my neo-fascist brain isnt up to speed yet.


Catch-22 was published a couple years after I got out of the Army. I read it twice in a short time, amazed at how well Heller had captured military life. But I found this strange reaction among my friends. Without exception, those who like me had served in the military thought it was exceptional, remarkable, great, all the adjectives which have been heaped on it over the years. But those who had not served in the military thought it ordinary, or dull; some said they couldn’t even finish it. The novel now has reputation for greatness, but I wonder if there remains any of that difference in readers, between those who’ve experienced some of what Yossarian goes through, and those who simply accept it, or look for parallels in civilian bureaucracies.

The same thing seems to have happened with another great recent war novel, Tim O’Brien’s Going After Cacciato, about the Viet Nam war. (Can’t help hearing an echo of “catch” in “Cacciato,” the title character.)