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50th anniversary of Catch 22's publication. Yossarian lives!

Explosive, subversive, wild and funny, 50 years on the novel's strength is undiminished. Reading Joseph Heller's classic satire is nothing less than a rite of passage. Set in the closing months of World War II in an American bomber squadron off the coast of Italy, Catch-22 is the story of a bombardier named Yossarian who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he has never even met keep trying to kill him. Joseph Heller's bestselling novel is a hilarious and tragic satire on military madness, and the tale of one man’s efforts to survive it.

Reviews

Blessedly, monstrously, bloatedly, cynically funny and fantastically unique. No one has ever written a book like this

Financial Times

My all-time favourite war-novel

Andy McNab, Spectator

Catch-22 gave us a right to laugh at the macabre. Laughter is a soldier's response to a lot of absurdity and the terror of it all. The military machine does the strangest things that make no sense to the rest of us.

Tim O'Brien

Catch-22 is the only war novel I've ever read that makes any sense

Harper Lee, 1961

This novel is not merely the best American novel to come out of World War II; it is the best American novel that has come out of anywhere in years

Nelson Algren, The Nation, 1961

Written with brilliance. Echoes with mad laughter

Time, 1961

An astonishing range of imagination... exciting

Graham Greene, 1961

Catch-22 is the greatest satirical work in English since Erewhon...remarkable... This is a book that I could wish everyone to read. It is a book which should help us feel more clearly

Philip Toynbee, Observer, 1962

It is the Rock and Roll of novels

Norman Mailer

To my mind, there have been two great American novels in the past fifty years. Catch-22 is one.

Stephen King

My favourite book is Joseph Heller's Catch-22, which captures the black farce of war.

John Pilger, Guardian

Bitterly bouncy military farce, responsible for inventing the dilemma to which it gave its name

Daily Telegraph

It's a tremendously funny book, but it also makes you think..A masterpiece.

Andrew Davies

A hilarious but savage indictment of the mechanised military system that came to define the anti-Vietnam generation... Never has a book been laughed and wept over so many times. Today Heller's dazzling, surreal achievement is undimmed.

Guardian

I think this is possibly the funniest book that has ever been written. I love the constant invention and the absolutely relentless energy that it has. Like all the best satirical and absurd novels, it sticks really strictly to its own bizarre logic.

Christopher Brookmyre, Daily Express

In Yossarian, Joseph Heller minted a counter-culture Everyman for the late 20th century

William Sutcliffe

A wise-cracking, yarn-spinning Kafka of the Coca-Cola generation

Independent

The war novel to end all war novels

Independent

The greatest satirical work in the English language

Observer

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780099529125

    August 1, 2011

    Vintage Classics

    544 pages

    RRP $14.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Hardback

    9780099529118

    October 3, 2011

    Vintage Classics

    624 pages

    RRP $42.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Joseph Heller

Work
Good As Gold
Bodywise
Catch-22
Catch 22
Something Happened

Recommendations

To Kill A Mockingbird
The Handmaid's Tale
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Slaughterhouse 5
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory: A Play
Their Finest
The Unmourned
The Old Man and the Sea
Brave New World
Nineteen Eighty Four
Crimes of the Father
Dunstan
Outlander
The French Perfumer
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The 7th Function of Language
Life After Life
The Great Gatsby: Popular Penguins
Pride And Prejudice
The Award