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Thursday, October 09, 2003
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. 

Title: Catch-22
Author: Joseph Heller

"Catch-22?" Yossarian was stunned. "What the hell has Catch-22 got to do with it?"

It took a very long time for me to finish this book - because I had to keep re-reading certain chapters to make my brain work and fully understand the words. While I was reading it, various adjectives sprung to mind: confusing, ridiculous, logical, frustrating, clever, silly, illogical, funny, wacky. Then I was thinking, how can something be rational yet appear the opposite at the same time? It could get just so wearisome at times, attempting to comprehend the absurdity of it all.

But that's not to say that I did not enjoy the book at all.

In fact, it was one of the best books I have ever read. It brings you through a whirlpool of emotions, tragedies, and comedies; yet it joins together seamlessly to produce this classic of a book.

Catch-22 revolves around Yossarian, a bombardier during the World War II - although he is constantly surrounded by such colourful and eccentric characters (Major Major Major Major, Nately, Milo, Hungry Joe, Doc Daneeka, Major ----- de Coverley) that he barely stays under the limelight for long. The story does not flow chronologically - rather, the character names also make up the names for each chapter. It is full to the brim with smart-alecky responses, twists your mind, and simply ensures that you would have to stop and think carefully every now and then. It shows you the unmistakable fear for death soldiers experience while out in a war, then plunges you into the thrill of being in a battle, and thrusts you back into the world of the bizarre.

Heller has indeed written intelligently, giving elaborate and interesting descriptions that will not make you lose interest in the story. I think it is almost impossible to describe this book to its fullest. Just make sure that you are all prepared for one hell of a wild ride with one of the best books of our time. You may be crazy to miss this one. But then again, you would not know that you are crazy...

Strizzt  # 12:13 AM
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