Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

At the heart of Catch-22 resides the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero endlessly inventive in his schemes to save his skin from the horrible chances of war.

His problem is Colonel Cathcart, who keeps raising the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempts to excuse himself from the perilous missions that he's committed to flying, he's trapped by the Great Loyalty Oath Crusade, the bureaucratic rule from which the book takes its title: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes the necessary formal request to be relieved of such missions, the very act of making the request proves that he's sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.


So, this is one of those novels that I feel like everyone read in high school, but I somehow managed to avoid. Not for any particular reason, it just never ended up on any of my reading lists. As an endearing example of the American novel (and parent to the phrase "catch-22"), it always seems to show up on those "must read" book lists. So, when I needed a book with a number in the title for my 2015 reading challenge, I decided to take the opportunity to finally read it.

This was an interesting read for me. From all the reviews that I have read, it seems like a book that people either love, or hate. I'm in between. I didn't love this book, but I didn't hate it either. I simply appreciate it for what it is. I appreciate it's ironic and often disturbing sense of humor. I appreciate it's disjointed plot line and how it reflects the chaos of war. I appreciate Yossarian's desire to live and the lengths he took to avoid the war going on around him. I can understand why this book makes those "must read" book lists.

I am glad that I read it, but it is not a book that I will re-read and recommend to others (although I wouldn't not recommend it either). For me, it will simply live on as one more book that I can cross off on those "must read"  lists.

2015 Reading Challenge: A book with a number in the title

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