Review: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

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Catch-22Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
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Catch-22 falls into the category of books I can’t believe I didn’t read sooner. I loved this book. It made me laugh aloud multiple times. Reading it so soon after All Quiet on the Western Front added a sort of poignancy, but did not in any way detract from my ability to enjoy and be amused by the antics of Yossarian and the others. The name Major Major Major was one I have long heard, but now can truly understand. Milo, the black marketeer operating out of the camp’s mess hall is one of my favorite characters. Among other antics, he is frequently involved in different incidents on both sides, the American and the German, but he keeps himself in good with both by telling everyone they are “part of the syndicate and everyone gets a share.” The highly confused chaplain who just wants to go home to his wife and children is another favorite. The book is not always so lighthearted though; there are some scenes which are filled with horror, and when they came along I found myself consistently shocked. They are mixed in skillfully, though, and added to the story while still being jarring. Overall, this is a smart, funny book which deserves its place in the canon.

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