Catch-22 - Book Club April 2023
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Set in Italy during World War II, the story follows Yossarian, a pilot of the fictional Protected content squadron, stationed on the fictional island of Pianosa. Yossarian had enough of the war and his main ambition in life is to ‘live forever or die in the attempt’. As far as he's concerned, the enemy ‘is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on’.
Yossarian has flown the required number of combat missions several times, but each time the army superiors keep raising the number of missions required to go home. Yet if he makes any attempt to excuse himself from a mission, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule, stating that a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved. As he becomes more and more insane (sane) he becomes more and more qualified to fly combat missions as far as the military is concerned.
Skilful and humorous satire on the insanity of war, with witty irreverence and cringing dark moments, the novel’s title has become a synonym for an absurd or contradictory choice.
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