A book review of Catch-22 is a difficult proposition but something I might as well try because of this gem of a book cannot go unnoticed without an opinion. It is a satirical work of fiction by Joseph Heller who creates Yossarian in the middle of a battle between 1942-1944 dring World War 2. There are many who have stopped mid-way through reading it and find it difficult to finish it but I am not one of those. I have read a few in my time and am planning to gift my son a collection that I am building for him through Amazon’s 100 best reads and I can safely say that this book is definitely a part of it.
John Yossarian the protagonist finds himself in the middle of the war spectacle and tries to provide perspective filled with humor towards the inadequacies of the theatre, the perpetrators from both the sides, the bureaucracy or even God himself. The following is an excerpt from the book to drive home the point.
“Don’t tell me God works in mysterious ways,’ Yossarian continued, hurtling on over her objection. ‘There’s nothing so mysterious about it. He’s not working at all. He’s playing. Or else He’s forgotten all about us. That’s the kind of God you people talk about – a country bumpkin, a clumsy, bungling, brainless, conceited, uncouth hayseed. Good God, how much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of creation? What in the world was running through that warped, evil, scatological mind of His when He robbed old people of the power to control their bowel movements? Why in the world did He ever create pain?’
‘Pain?’ Lieutenant Scheisskopf’s wife pounced upon the word victoriously. ‘Pain is a useful symptom. Pain is a warning to us of bodily dangers.’
‘And who created the dangers?’ Yossarian demanded … ‘Why couldn’t he have used a doorbell instead to notify us?”
MUST-READ, Thoroughly Enjoyable!