This is one of the most clever books I’ve had a chance to read. We’re so used to using the paradoxical idiom of a Catch-22 in our real lives. This is THE origin of the terminology. And what an amazing read this has been.
Catch-22 has its origin in the US Air-force rule that doesn’t let the airmen leave the services even when they wanted to, or even when they’ve flown a certain number of missions. The only way to get themselves out is to become crazy and then you’d not be allowed to fly planes. But, (here’s the catch) a crazy person won’t say he’s crazy as well ask to not fly. Hence, anyone saying he’s crazy really isn’t! And that’s Catch-22.
The book revolves around the central character of Yossarian, captain in the US Air force during WW-2( near Italy), for the most part. But usually takes in the POV of the entire characters one-at-a-time to show a continuous event.
The book has a range of interesting characters, each struggling through the war.
It’s Satire and Dark humour, with an exaggerating narrative on how war affects people. It’s a fight between individualism vs the collective good, a social commentary of the business of War, Corporate interests and a whole lot of unresolved human emotions.
It’s fun to read with full of aha! moments when you connect parallel narratives. Worth a read.
Loved Joseph Heller’s writing style. Highly recommend!