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Catch-22

Written by: Joseph Heller
Narrated by: Jay O. Sanders
Length: 19 hrs and 58 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (83 ratings)

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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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What listeners say about Catch-22

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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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.

10 people found this helpful

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Amazing from start to finish.

This is one of my all time favourite books. I’ve read the physical book but this audiobook blew me away !! The narration, the acting, the sound effects and music was all just FANTASTIC. Amazing job. Highly highly recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

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Too much yelling

This book is hilarious, and I quite enjoyed reading it. But I cannot get through the audible version. I listen to books in the car and I have the volume turned up to hear the words over the sound of the engine. Far too often the narrator abruptly starts yelling and I have to keep fussing with the dial. How does he succeed at making Yossarian sound so obnoxious?

1 person found this helpful

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The rare instance where the movie is better ...

For me it was too drawn out. I thought reading the book would answer some questions about the movie instead I found myself losing interest and wishing for the end. The movie was better than the book which is rare. Cheers

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Amazing experience

This story is such an emotional rollercoaster, mind bending experience. Just when you think things can not become any worse, they do. Following the timeline feels like riding on an angry bull at times, yet you will feel accomplished after successfully doing so. The voice actor is a great reader, easy to follow along. This is definitely a "must read" novel.

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Truly Awful

Please don't waste your time or money. I must include more to submit my review. it is awful.

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Hilarious

A satirical no handed solute to military intelligence. Very, very funny with great character development. If you enjoyed the humour in MASH, you will love this book.

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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

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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funny, witty and deep

excellent narrator, excellent story. One of the best books I've ever 'read', probably. Audible review wordcounts are pretty stupid.

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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.

63 people found this helpful

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  • Chad L. Gentry
  • 2019-04-15

Sound balance between talking and yelling was not good.

Book is okay.. I know it’s I mportant to the story and style but characters talking in circles this annoying. Sound volume between talking and yelling was not good.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Stan
  • 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.

58 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    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.

35 people found this helpful

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  • Kirby C.
  • 2020-01-03

Didn't expect to finish and ended up laughing

I didn't expect for even a few minutes that I was going to enjoy this book. I was only a few chapters in, and I noted in the "Private notes" section of Goodreads things like What am I reading? Seriously, who cares? The word "gibberish." What the actual f*** am I reading? I thought this book would be a DNF for me, but again, as with A Tale of Two Cities, I was wrong. The members of a reading group I belong to on Facebook urged me to stick with it a little longer, and I'm glad they did and that I listened to them. The novel does begin with a lot of gibberish arguments between characters. There are funny flashes in those first few chapters among and between the gibberish arguments. It's also a book that remains nonsensical throughout on several levels. You have the baseline nonsense like a conversation between characters that goes like this Character 1: *says something* Character 2: Why? 1: Why what? 2: Why the thing you JUST said?! This happens repeatedly at the beginning of the novel. Conversations are illogically circular and repetitious. Then there's the real meaty nonsense of the book - the overwhelming, crushing bureaucracy and Catch-22 itself, which is a policy that doesn't actually exist on paper but is used to control the men. Catch-22 is funny and horrible and sad and horrifying and gruesome and hilarious. There were plenty of scenes where I literally laughed out loud or chuckled or smirked. I was almost convinced that Milo made a profit buying eggs for 7 cents and selling them for 5 cents and thought for a moment that I might be losing it. I even shed a tear over McWatt. Of all the deaths in the novel, McWatt's touched me the most because it felt the most senseless and unnecessary. It was also really sudden and unexpected and shocking. Narration by Jay O. Sanders was excellent. I loved the way he voiced the characters. The voices were distinct and easily recognizable. This book certainly isn't for everyone, and I can understand the reasons why people may not like it. Honestly, I consider myself to be an intelligent person, and it made me feel smart that I "got the joke" and saw the humor in Catch-22. For me, it was a complete sleeper that I didn't see coming and thought I wouldn't finish but genuinely enjoyed reading.

5 people found this 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.

5 people found this 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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Micah Balch
  • 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

17 people found this helpful

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  • Frank Anderton
  • 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.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

9 people found this 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 !