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This fiftieth-anniversary edition commemorates Joseph Heller’s masterpiece with a new introduction; critical essays and reviews by Norman Mailer, Alfred Kazin, Anthony Burgess, and others; rare papers and photos; and much more.
Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read.
Soon to be a Hulu limited series starring Christopher Abbott, George Clooney, Kyle Chandler, and Hugh Laurie.
Fifty years after its original publication, Catch-22 remains a cornerstone of American literature and one of the funniest—and most celebrated—books of all time. In recent years it has been named to “best novels” lists by Time, Newsweek, the Modern Library, and the London Observer.
Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy—it is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to excuse himself from the perilous missions he’s assigned, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.
This fiftieth-anniversary edition commemorates Joseph Heller’s masterpiece with a new introduction by Christopher Buckley; a wealth of critical essays and reviews by Norman Mailer, Alfred Kazin, Anthony Burgess, and others; rare papers and photos from Joseph Heller’s personal archive; and much more. Here, at last, is the definitive edition of a classic of world literature.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Catch-22 remains an unsettling read, at once a darkly hilarious survey of the absurdities of military life and a deadly serious meditation on the horrors of war. Inspired by Joseph Heller’s own experience as a World War II fighter pilot, the 1961 novel depicts an air force squadron where increasingly unhinged enlisted men and inept officers are each other’s worst enemies. Heller swerves between puckish satire, brutal drama, and a genuinely terrifying climax, introducing us to one-of-a-kind characters like Captain Yossarian, who consistently fails in his efforts to be ruled insane, and Milo Minderbinder, a ruthless war profiteer. This could be the 20th century’s most powerful—and funny—anti-war novel.