Ranked #2 in Sas, Ranked #3 in Satiresee more rankings.

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.

Now 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...

Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of Catch-22 from the world's leading experts.

William Boyd The most wonderful novel ever written, because of its absurdist sense of humour and the way it looked at war. (Source)

Mark Bittman I used to buy [this book] for a lot of people because I just thought if you hadn’t read it, you had to but maybe that era is over. (Source)

William Boyd The most wonderful novel ever written, because of its absurdist sense of humour and the way it looked at war. (Source)

Brian Burkhart This book is a masterpiece and absolutely hilarious. In subtle ways, you realize the main character is questioning not just the notion of authority, but the way authority thinks and how we must react to it. To me, a guy with the core belief “make waves,” it has a great message, which is, “It’s okay to question the status quo.” For people just starting their careers, it’s easy to think our superiors know everything—they’re not quick to admit their insecurities, flaws, and blind spots, but they have them. And having a healthy dose of skepticism isn’t such a terrible thing. Plus, it’s just a fun... (Source)

Mike Benkovich Honourable Mentions: Four Hour Work Week, The Happiness Hypothesis, Meditations, Catch 22, A Guide To The Good Life. (Source)

Lee Camp The plot defies summary. It follows Yossarian and his fellow airmen through the war and a series of insane events. It shows the insanity of war – from what the soldiers do day-to-day to the geopolitics. When Joseph Heller wrote Catch-22 he was being satirical, but he knew it wasn’t far off from reality. The plot might seem unbelievable but life has imitated art. The United States now funds both sides of the war in Afghanistan – we pay the Taliban millions so that they will let our trucks through so that we can then fight the Taliban. Catch-22 is incredibly funny but it’s also a prophecy. (Source)

Charles Glass It’s one of the funniest books ever written. It’s about the insanity of military life and the absurdity of a big institution. Heller was very good on the absurdity of big institutions. Catch 22 has every character in it that the American military did have at the time and still has today in Iraq and Afghanistan: The money-makers, the crooks, the officers who were trying to claw their way to the top where they get their men killed, the placing in order of priority the pretence of military success at the cost of many civilian lives. (Source)

Kate McLoughlin It gets you to the point where you can’t apply your reason any more and laughter takes over. It’s the laughter of the absurd. (Source)

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