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Catch 22

(14 Posts)
BeeBawBabbity Fri 09-Nov-12 23:19:23

Just about finished this, only 60 pages to go. It's been a real slog. I was expecting brilliance, and some of the prose, the mid-air battles for example, is great. The characters are interesting, too. But the whole book is weighed down by reams of meaningless dialogue. Is it a sense of humour thing, that I just don't find it funny, but I'm supposed to? Or is it a sort of panicky humour in the face of the awful reality of warfare that I'm not really supposed to laugh at?

In any case it feels far too long and jumbled to me. I'd be interested to know what others thought.

Alonglongway Fri 09-Nov-12 23:52:15

I just read it this year and really enjoyed. I know what you mean though - there were definitely parts where I kind of let the dialogue flow over my head. Very funny about the bureaucracy of the army and the decision making systems

BeeBawBabbity Sat 10-Nov-12 09:05:56

Yes, I can see why people celebrate it. I wonder if it was written today if it would be much more heavily edited.

Moln Sat 10-Nov-12 09:08:10

I've never been able to get past the first few chapters

Eggrules Sat 10-Nov-12 09:09:51

I love it, It's one of my favourites.

Have you finished it yet?

DawnOfTheDee Sat 10-Nov-12 09:12:17

I really loved it. Agree about there being parts where the dialogue got a big bogged down but I think it's very much part of the style of the book.

A lot of the dialogue in Catch 22 is quite sorts of reflects the concept of Catch 22 itself imo.

TheFoosa Sat 10-Nov-12 15:43:09

all of the threads and bits of dialogue come together at the end - some chapters only make sense when other bits of the story are in place

it's a great book

BeeBawBabbity Sat 10-Nov-12 17:32:36

OK Foosa I'll reserve judgement until I finish it completely (tonight, hopefully).

lalalonglegs Sat 10-Nov-12 18:24:07

Never mind the first few chapters, I've never been able to get past the first few pages blush. I take my hat off to you BeeBaw.

Bunbaker Sat 10-Nov-12 18:25:30

I read it years ago and found it very dull.

kdiddy Tue 20-Nov-12 00:03:27

I think it's definitely connected to your sense of humour. I absolutely love I and find it really funny (and sad). It's one of my favourite books. Like dawn said I think the randomness, and seemingly pointless dialogue is partly a reflection of the central point of the book. It's a very self-aware book though which I know isn't everyone's cup of tea.

thegambler Sat 10-May-14 23:09:37

This may seem like a random bump but reading through some of the book list threads I was surprised at how many had had trouble getting into this book. It is THE book that got me into reading fiction but it gets me wondering if there is a fiction divide between male and female ?. Obviously men may be more likely to go Jack Reacher and women for Bridget's diary but further along the reading scale is their a divide ?
Most of my book reading mates (male) loved Catch 22 but didn't get Catcher in the rye in the way, in general, my famale book reading friends did. In fact I bought both on the same day and my girlfriend of the time was in tears reading Catcher while I was telling her about how great Catch 22 was. Later we couldn't understand what each other thought was so good about "their" books and it's something I've seen repeated several times.

echt Sun 11-May-14 10:10:58

I read and re-read this book umpteen times in my 20s and loved it. In my late 50s I picked it up as an audiobook and sent it back after about one chapter, and no, it wasn't the reader, it was the novel. Awful, just monotone writing.

Oddly, I loathed "The Catcher in the Rye" on first reading it in my 20s, then had to teach it few years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I wouldn't bother reading it again, though.

hackmum Sun 11-May-14 12:40:41

I read it in my 20s and was able to admire it without really liking it. It's a very long time ago now so this is just a vague memory, but I thought it was very clever but also deeply misogynistic. Surprised no-one else has mentioned that.

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