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Publisher's Summary

Fifty years after its original publication, Catch-22 remains a cornerstone of American literature and one of the funniest - and most celebrated - novels of all time. In recent years, it has been named to "best novels" lists by Time, Newsweek, the Modern Library, and the London Observer. Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardier Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy - it is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to excuse himself from the perilous missions he's assigned, he'll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: A man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.

Since its publication in 1961, no novel has matched Catch-22's intensity and brilliance in depicting the brutal insanity of war. This 50th-anniversary edition commemorates Joseph Heller's masterpiece with a new introduction by Christopher Buckley; personal essays on the genesis of the novel by the author; a wealth of critical responses and reviews by Norman Mailer, Alfred Kazin, Anthony Burgess, and others; rare papers from Joseph Heller's personal archive; and a selection of advertisements from the original publishing campaign that helped turn Catch-22 into a cultural phenomenon. Here, at last, is the definitive edition of a classic of world literature.

©1955, 1961 Joseph Heller. Copyright renewed (c) 1989 Joseph Heller. All rights reserved (P)2017 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved

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Average Customer Ratings

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    3 out of 5 stars

Great book, tough as audiobook

The reading of this book is top notch. Very enjoyable to listen to.

Nothing wrong with the book itself either, however the many characters with unusual names like Major Major, the dead man in Yossarian’s tent and Major <ahem> de Coverley become really confusing when you can’t really flip ahead to find out- and it takes (for example) about 8 hours of listening to find out that Major Major is a persons name, not the narrator stuttering. The other thing is that this book is non-linear in format, but the audiobook makes it hard to flip to a ‘page’ and recall an earlier event that is later referenced.

My recommendation is that if you have not read this book, read about the characters online first so you have some background before being thrown into it. Otherwise, you will spend the first few hours confused and disinterested in what should be an exciting and engaging story.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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A Win

This book makes no sense half the time, but that adds to the charm and humour of the story. Would highly recommend to anyone with a warped sense of humour! #Audible1

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  • tox
  • 2018-05-03

Makes me want to get in a fight

There are a number of characters in this story that only succeed in making me want to punch them in the face... Irritating

The story also reads like an upside down Christmas tree... A whole bunch of branches all lead into one main trunk, some branches are bigger than others

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 2017-12-19

Anyone who wants to fly combat missions is crazy!

One of the joys of specifically seeking out unabridged versions of classic novels is discovering how much is lost when publishers are permitted to take an axe to a great work. I read an abridged version of Catch-22 decades ago and thought it was okay. The true madness and beauty of the work can only be fully appreciated in the multiple overlapping viewpoints of the unabridged version. While you do not have to have a military background to appreciate the insanity of the circumstances, it helps. And while an absolutely masterful satirical work, so many of the scenarios ring home so true. As a young enlisted Marine I became painfully aware of the silly games those with rank play in order to fulfill their obligation to follow orders no matter how ridiculous. Now, dealing on a daily basis with Air Force culture where people do ridiculous stuff not even knowing why they do it and never questioning it because to do so would suggest one is not a "team player," Heller perfectly captures a culture that still exists 60 years after the writing. The upshot is that a measure of insanity is natural and necessary in a business which exists only for the sake of killing with discipline. No one could be truly sane and do what needs to be done in the profession of arms, and Heller captures that truth magnificently.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Stan
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 2018-09-27

Great Story...Bad Production

I have read this book several times, and wanted to "re-read" it on my commute. Listening to books can be fantastic, but in this case, the production made a great story confusing, slow and disjointed. For some reason, march music is inserted between some chapters, but not others. There was no point to the music since the narrator read the new chapter heading. It just took up time, and it ruined some of the clever segues between chapters. The narrator was all over the place, and I felt that he was on stage in an empty theater, literally shouting any line with an exclamation point, or that included "...he shouted." With earphones or in a car, it was really too much. It also took away from the subtle humor of the book. Finally, he could not seem to stick to a single voice or accent between the characters, which was confused an already complicated plot. I love the book, but I cannot recommend this audiobook.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kenneth S. Clark
  • 2018-08-31

Stop randomly adding music

Great narrator. He gets voices that are unique and easily identifiable. The story of course is a classic. Overall it's a fantastic audiobook except for one annoying thing. Randomly. Out of nowhere. Music just comes blaring in. Interrupts the entire flow of the story. I have no idea why it's there, it serves no purpose in the story. I've been noticing some audiobooks doing this and it's just awful. Please. Just stop.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-08-09

Very strange

I’m not going to lie, I didn’t think I was going to enjoy this book. Based off of the first half of it. Luckily I can’t start a book without finishing it and it turned out that the book has a interesting and very unique story. The narration was above par. I’m glad I listened to catch 22

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Morgan
  • 2018-12-28

I plan to live forever

easily one of my favourite books of all time, I'm glad my high school English teacher recommended it to some of us to read all those years ago.

Jay O. Sanders does a great job in the taking of this story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • di)(y
  • 2018-12-25

Full day of Abbot & Castello meets MASH

Full day of Abbot & Castello meets MASH. Funny moments, but it can get old quick.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Zak
  • 2018-11-12

One of the most entertaining books I’ve read

and the reading was superb as well! It also expanded my vocabulary quite a bit because I had to look up so many unknown words.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • HugeHobbit
  • 2018-11-09

A Laurel and Hardy routine stretched into a novel

It was funny at first, but the same old "Who's on First" routine gets tired fast.
If I were to read only 5 minutes of this book a day for a year or so I might like it; small doses.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jesse
  • 2018-09-25

Not for me

Hated this book, the story, and the chaotic dialog. Not recommended and can’t understand why this book is so highly regarded.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Frank 7SFG
  • Norman, Oklahoma
  • 2018-03-02

One of the Best Books ever written!!!

I’ve read this Book Many Time’s and I try to always keep at least one copy in my possession atAll Time’s. I haven’t read many books that spoke to me this way in a very long time. God Bless You Mr. Heller. R.I.P.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-01-17

Quel chef d'oeuvre!

Incroyablement futé, drôle et désespéré en même temps. Les paradoxes et la dimension absurde sont vraiment fascinants. Le lecteur fait un travail remarquable et donne vraiment vie aux personnages. Je me suis régalée. Merci !