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Satirical masterpiece
Oct 12, 2003 05:53 AM 5772 Views
(Updated Oct 12, 2003 05:53 AM)



I was bored before I could finish the first fifty pages, and I told so to the guy who had recommended the book. He said, ''Carry on till about a hundred pages, and if you don't find it appealing, drop it. It's not your kind of book.''

Catch 22 may or may not be your kind of a book. But if you like satire, and don't mind a touch of idiosyncracy, then I am sure yoiu will find reading the book an experience.

For the narrative is a journey into the mind of an individual, and the collective consciousness of the society he's pitched against. The satire is contained in how both look upon each other with mistrust, and fail to see even the most obvious of truths.

The story is based in american air-force base off Italy, soon after the second world war, and tells about a wonderfully intelligent ''insane'' pilot, Yossarian, and his equally absurd companions.

The book deals in absurdities. Like someone selling his products at a lower rate then what he bought it at, and still managing to make a profit. Like being insane enough to be sent back home, but sane enough to ask for it.

The absurdities are witty enough, but its the sense lying underneath that's exhilarating. The joke is not on the one who plays the fool, but on the one who is fooled by it. The satire on the society and its own absurdities is unmistakable.

It was an experiment when it was written. Apparently, it paid off. It will be an experiment when you read it. Hope you like it.

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Catch-22 - Joseph Heller