Book Review: Catch-22 – Cynical!

This satirical novel is no wonders a classic. The book begins with so many introduction of characters that you get jumbled but that wont let you put down the book. The superlative comedy in the book will just want you to come back to it and have a laugh. Gradually within the first 100 pages (we promise) you will get a good hang of the characters and the events in the book, for the book goes back and forth to various events.

The book will take you on a ride during the World War II 1943. The Author Joseph Heller narrates the story of Captain John Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bombardier who is in the fictional 256th squadron. Heller’s novel develops the characters and the chronology such as the ‘Great Big Siege of Bologna’ and the origins and growth of Milo’s syndicate with such prominence jelled with heroics and fantastic exaggeration.

Heller narrates Yo-Yo’s (Yossarian) as he is popularly known (towards the end of the novel) and this fellow airmen stationed on the island of Pianosa, in the Mediterranean Sea west of Italy, attempts to keep their sanity to fulfill their service requirements, so that they can return home.

Chapters involving despair (Doc Daneeka and the Chaplain), disappearance in combat (Orr and Clevinger), disappearance caused by the army (Dunbar) or death of most of Yossarian’s friends (Nately, McWatt, Mudd, Kid Sampson, Dobbs, Chief White Halfoat and Hungry Joe), culminating in the unspeakable horrors to the end of the novel, in particular the rape and murder of Michaela, who represents pure innocence, are fluid and filled with comedy – vulgar, bitter and cynicism.

The crazy patch work of anecdotes, the bureaucratic idiocy and struggle to make it home safe has been woven so beautifully by Heller that the book becomes a companion. The novel is one of those few that you want to indulge (literally) in and take a moment to close the book and guffaw.

Read this for your complete dose of missing mockery, cynicism, gruesomeness, vulgarity and sheer fun!

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