Catch-22 (Book 1)

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Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read.

Now a Hulu limited series starring Christopher Abbott, George Clooney, Kyle Chandler, and Hugh Laurie.

Fifty years after its original publication, Catch-22 remains a cornerstone of American literature and one of the funniest-and most celebrated-books 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.


Yossarian was in the hospital with a pain in his liver that fell just short of being jaundice. The doctors were puzzled by the fact that it wasn’t quite jaundice. If it became jaundice they could trea...

About the Author:

Joseph Heller was born in Brooklyn in 1923. In 1961, he published Catch-22, which became a bestseller and, in 1970, a film. He went on to write such novels as Good as Gold, God Knows, Picture This, Closing Time, and Portrait of an Artist, as an Old Man. Heller died in 1999.

Ratings (68):

Incredible (19)
Loved It (22)
Liked It (15)
It Was OK (7)
Did Not Like (4)
Hated It (1)

Reader Stats (133):

Read It (62)
Currently Reading (3)
Want To Read (44)
Did Not Finish (6)
Not Interested (18)


Loved It
wry and witty

This book had me in stitches. Lots of interesting characters, quotes that you may recognize and depressingly realistic.

11/21/2022 9:26:18 AM
Loved It
amusing, excellent writing, the madness of war

Best anti-war book ever published -loved Heller's scathing wit and humor. Very few anti-war books have the right mix of humor and seriousness to really drive home the message.

11/19/2022 9:13:47 AM
Loved It
war and bureaucracy

Well-written book. Took me several tries to really understand this book.

11/18/2022 7:29:33 AM
Loved It
satirical anti-war novel

One of the best I've read, veering wildly between the absurdly funny and the bleak.

11/21/2022 8:27:37 AM

What can you read after