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.