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Catch-22   by Joseph Heller

Read: 2002-01-04 Reviewed: 2004-03-12
Re-read factor:
So this is where they got the drift behind M*A*S*H! It must be that all American general infantrymen's response to shell shock is abominable dead-pan sarcasm. Of course, it's easy to pull that off on television with characters like Alan Alda's and some visual slapstick, but much harder in a book. Joseph Heller manages to pull it off brilliantly.

A man wants to get out of the army, trying to plead insanity (``They're all trying to kill me! They keep shooting at me!'' ``They're supposed to - they're the enemy, stupid, and they're trying to kill all of us!''; I don't know if he's really going insane or faking it, but that's totally beside the point). His journey through fighting fronts, CO's offices, and various medical institutions brings him into contact with a fabulous range of characters and situations, all with a story to tell and an attitude of their own.

I can't sum this book up. Suffice it to say that its value can only be seen by those who have read it, and reading it is compelling.

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