Catch-22 by Joseph Heller


A Catch-22 is “a dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions”. (Thank you, Google)  The book is about a number of these situations that occur in the army during a war, centering around a schmuck called Yossarian, who wants to get out but can’t because of the bureaucracy that surrounds him.

This book is a like a punchline that keeps going to fill a whole book. It’s very clever, it’s quite stylised, and when it came out it was very controversial and innovative. It’s one of those books that is a true classic for a reason, and since it’s publication in the 60’s it’s been on best seller and must read lists.

I have to admit, I was a bit depressed by the way that the women in this book are really badly written, and usually being abused or are just sexual objects. It’s kind of uncomfortable to read. But perhaps I just didn’t get the joke? I guess the 60’s was quite a sexist era.

But that said, the book is quite funny in it’s indictment of the system and the kinds of people who run the system, which you can extrapolate to be a metaphor for anything really.

Read It If: You’re the kind of person who likes to read the classics, like me, or if you feel like a rat on the exercise wheel of life. It’s a good book, but a little tedious towards the end.

9 thoughts on “Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

  1. Just finished the audiobook a few weeks ago. It’s been years sense I read it last in high school. Still find the book just as hilarious as ever. Though listening to it again, I did realize a lot of those gendered issues you touched on. But yeah… it’s difficult to hold the 60’s and WWII’s culture to standards we still are struggling with today.
    Regardless, an amazing book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is very funny, isn’t it? Perhaps even more so in audiobook format. Yes, I know what you mean, you can’t judge those old cultural things by today’s standards. I guess I was just thinking modern readers might like the heads up? What do you think?


  2. Pingback: [ADHD Book Review] Catch-22 | Sweet as Kiwi's sweet blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.