Review: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

A tale of a young US bombardier based with his squadron in Italy in WWII, Catch-22 is considered a modern classic and is on many people’s must-read list (perhaps because the term is in our everyday lexicon).

The main character Yossarian is tired of flying missions and has been plotting various schemes to get himself sent home.

The author Joseph Heller was an advertising copywriter and his no-nonsense style has produced a sharp, witty tale.

I really enjoyed the writing of this book. You can tell it was written by a former copywriter – nothing flowery about it. Descriptions were to the point, dialogue was realistic and concise and it was an easy-to-imagine setting.

However there was no plot. The story was flimsy. The dialogue was too realistic (it was like listening in on a conversation, word for word). The main character Yossarian dances around the main premise, Catch-22, for the entire book but it seems like the reference is only thrown in as an after thought to tie the plot together during a random sequence of events.

Unfortunately the book doesn’t really flow. It feels more like a collection of short stories involving the same characters rather than one continuous story. In the end, that lets it down.

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