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Catch-22 by Joseph Heller


Catch-22 is a satirical and somewhat historical novel by the American author Joseph Heller.  It is set during World War II in 1943 and is frequently cited as one of the great literary works of the twentieth century. It uses a distinctive non-chronological third-person omniscient narration, describing events from different characters' points of view and out of sequence so that the time line develops along with the plot.

The novel follows Captain John Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bombardier. Most of the events in the book occur while the fictional 256th squadron is based on the island of Pianosa, in the Mediterranean Sea west of Italy. The novel looks into the experiences of Yossarian and the other airmen in the camp, and their attempts to keep their sanity in order to fulfill their service requirements, so that they can return home. The phrase "Catch-22", "a problematic situation for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem or by a rule," has entered the English language.

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  • John

    BBC is reporting an actual Catch-22. The story is about a woman who was declared dead although still alive. The article describes what can and can't be undone when the declared dead person reappears.

    1 · May 3, 2013

  • Will L.

    I can not force myself to read any more of this.

    April 25, 2013

    • Dennis T.

      Really? I found it hilarious. You should still come by and tell us why you didn't like it.

      April 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Too much end of Semester grading to finish the book. I hope to join you guys after I defend my dissertation in July.

    April 29, 2013

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