Catch-22 : A novel by Joseph Heller
New York : Simon and Schuster, 1961. First Printing. Stated. Hardcover. 443 pages ; 20 cm. Price clipped second state dust jacket. Blue cloths with white title at spine. Deckle side edge. Pages are age toned and unmarked. Binding is firm.
Catch-22 is set in the closing months of World War II, in an American bomber squadron on a small island off Italy. Its hero is a bombardier named Yossarian, who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him. (He has decided to live forever even if he has to die in the attempt.)
His problem is Colonel Cathcart, who keeps raising the number of missions the men have to fly.
The others range from Lieutenant Milo Minder-binder, a dedicated entrepreneur (he bombs his own airfield when the Germans make him a reasonable offer: cost plus 6%), to the dead man in Yossarian's tent; from Major Major Major, whose tragedy is that he resembles Henry Fonda, to Nately's whore's kid sister; from Dori Duz, who does, to the wounded gunner Snowden, who lies dying in the tail of Yossarian's plane and at last reveals his terrifying secret.
Catch-22 is a microcosm of the twentieth-century world as it might look to someone dangerously sane. It is, we believe, one of the strongest creations of the mid-century.
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