Challenge Criteria: A book you have previously abandoned; A classic from the 20th century; A satirical book
I was really killing multiple birds with one stone with this book, on account of the fact that it’s mid-December and I still have lots of categories to fill. I’m almost certain it could also be classed as ‘a book that’s more than 600 pages’ as well, but I’ve already got that one done, so let’s not go too overboard.
At the heart of Catch-22 resides the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero endlessly inventive in his schemes to save his skin from the horrible chances of war.
His problem is Colonel Cathcart, who keeps raising the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempts to excuse himself from the perilous missions that he’s committed to flying, he’s trapped by the Great Loyalty Oath Crusade, the bureaucratic rule from which the book takes its title: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes the necessary formal request to be relieved of such missions, the very act of making the request proves that he’s sane and therefore, ineligible to be relieved.
I started reading this book on my mother’s kindle about three years ago, read 11%, got bored, and abandoned it. As far as satirical books are concerned, I had to google what a satirical book even was, and Catch-22 was consistently high on the lists. It’s also a 20th Century classic, so it really ticked a lot of boxes, even though I had abandoned it because I really wasn’t enjoying it, so I borrowed my dad’s kindle (they share an account) and started reading.
It’s been more than a week now, and I still have 20 minutes to go in the book, but it’s lunchtime on a Wednesday, and I need to write a blog post, so this is what’s going in here.
I haven’t really enjoyed Catch-22 at all. It’s not exactly plot-heavy, and is quite frankly ridiculous. While there are many parts of it that are laudable, including its commentary on the bleakness of war, and occasional humorous intervals about the nature of bureaucracy, overall, this hasn’t been a winner for me. I’ve plodded through it reluctantly.
Ronan told me last night that there’s a sequel to Catch-22, about Yossarian, but not the rest of the characters (understandably, since most of them are dead). I will most definitely not be picking it up any time soon.