Catch 22, what age to read it?(27 Posts)
I haven't read it for years, but it's a bit full on from memory. Has anyone read it more recently. If so, what age would you say it's okay for?
20s upwards. I agree, it's full on. Have read it twice though.
I thought so. Thanks Hope, it is fab, but DS is far too young for it.
I read and re-read it so many times from my late teens to early twenties. Loved it.
I picked it up again a about a year ago (early 60s now) and found it unreadable and annoying.
Same thing with some aspects of "The Godfather".
I never liked it. Always thought it was self indulgent and rambling.
Animal farm is a much better bet if you're looking for a book.
My 15 year old had to read it over the summer as part of the preparation for her global history class.
We read it along with her. I found it dated and tedious to be honest. She really didn't enjoy it.
I wish they had assigned her Slaughterhouse-Five instead. I reread that recently and it was as funny, insightful, moving as the first time I read it as a teen.
That's funny, as I remember finding it a bit tedious too - maybe it's a female/ male thing, as the only people I've ever met who loved it are men. It was a male friend who suggested it (grown up who DS adores). I said I thought he was too young, but friend was all for it (helpful, not..!).
What age do you think Slaughterhouse-Five is suitable for Pallisers?
To explain a bit, DS is only 12/ yr8. To give some context, he's just read 1984. For me that's far more suitable for late teens, but his teacher suggested it, so I let that one go. To be fair to her he really got into it and we've had all manner of discussions, so I can see that he's got a lot of the subtext and meaning, so clearly more than able to read at that level. For me it's more about what's age appropriate and I can' help but think he'll get more out of some things when he's a bit older. I'm just trying to police it all a teeny bit and keep a step ahead iyswim.
I read it in my late teens and hated it - I thought the narrator was a spoilt brat. I keep feeling that I ought to reread it and see what the fuss is about, but can't face it.
I've never got to the end of it. Started it a number of times over the past 15 year, but have finally resigned myself to the fact it's not for me. It's just too self indulgent and I lost interest quickly. I found that I was reading the words but not really taking it in as my mind was wondering elsewhere.
My friends and I read it when we were 15. Why don't you get a list of cult novels for your son? There should be something he'd enjoy there.
I love it. Read it for the first time in early 20's.
Interesting! Sounds like that's another marmite book.
A list of cult novels is a mighty good idea. A fab indie bookshop owner recommended 'Flowers for Algernon' the other day, so I'll mention that to him. He's got 'Empire of the Sun' off our bookshelves on Saturday, so is head stuck in that. No idea if he'll take to it. I've warned him it's a bit gruesome at times.
I'm a female and I love Catch 22! I read it before university, so must have been about 18. I absolutely love the structure of the book, the way linear progression seems to have become a casualty of the war in the same way as other kinds of sense. And the black, black absurdity. Twelve is probably too young though. I read 1984 when I was your DS's age and liked it, also Brave New World.
A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
The Kite Runner
These are all books ds (16 in February) has enjoyed from The Mum Pile in the last year. Happy to explain the concept of The Mum Pile if anyone's interested!
I'm female and I loved catch 22.
Brave New World and the Handmaid's tale both go really well with 1984, I think.
Have you thought about Hemingway? A Farewell to arms will probably be too old (similar to catch 22 in some ways) but the old man and the sea is a good gateway Hemmingway. It's a really short book as well, and simply written.
I read Animal farm when I was really young (too young). I liked books about animals, and farms and had never read a book without a happy ending (or at least a bittersweet one) before. It was very different to what I thought it would be.
The book thief is really good for his age range, I enjoyed it as an adult.
The wide Sargasso sea is one of my favourite books.
I read Catch 22 for the first time in my late teens. I absolutely loved it. Still do. It was one of those pivotal books for me; together with Animal Farm, The Handmaids Tale and The Women's Room.
It is scathing satire on the pointless futility of war. Yes, it's self indulgent in places but it's laugh out loud in others and makes you think throughout.
Our class teacher read us Animal Farm when I was in third year juniors (that would be Year 5 now I guess). Mr Jones. Still don't know what the hell he was thinking.
Squishy, Hemingway's 'The Old Man & the Sea' is one of my most favourite books ever. I re-read it recently. It's stunning how well he writes. DS tried 'The Book Thief', but didn't click with it. That was over a year ago though, so worth trying again.
Bonus he's taken against 'Lord of the Flies', I think because it was on a school reading list. Your Mr Jones sounds quite a character..!
The 'Catch 22' thing is interesting. I'll have to give it another go, but I think on balance 12 is a bit young, so I'm not going to get that one for him just yet. It will be interesting to see if he finds it in the library himself.
The basic problem is that he wants to find things himself - which is a good instinct, but means I suggest something he's far less likely to go for it. We have walls of books at home, so he has a lot to choose from.
Bertrand that's a great list thanks and we have most of those here, so I will dig them out. What's the 'mum pile'? Is that you putting a bunch of things together that you think your DS might like? I might get away with that so long as I don't babble on about them too much.
Thanks all for the suggestions. I'm keeping a list.
I read it age 17 and loved it. Was traumatised age 7 by Animal Farm and didn't learn the lesson of checking the author, so read 1984 about a year later...
For a 12yo, try Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, I, Robot and other Asimov and SF short stories, John Wyndham (some depressing ones), Roald Dahl's stories for adults. Flowers for Algernon is brilliant, often found in collections of SF stories.
James Herriot, Willard Price, maybe Agatha Christie short stories? And Jules Verne.
Read it at 17/18 and loved it. Tried it again in my early 40s and couldn't get past the first couple of pages.
Read 1984 when I was about 12 and Animal Farm (hated that one). NotCitrus's reading list is spot on I think. Ray Bradbury I remember loving at that age - but I don't know how dated he would seem now.
He's read 'Hitchhiker's Guide..' and loved it NotCitrus. All helped by RE teacher using it in class, which he enjoyed immensely. A few of you have mentioned 'I Robot', so I'll look into that. I've got some John Wyndham books here - definitely 'Day of the Triffids' and 'Midwitch Cuckoo', so will dig those out. And will look at Asimov, etc too.
He might go for Agatha Christie, not too sure as he may find them a bit old fashioned. He enjoys spy genre, so has read a lot of the Ian Fleming books, plus enjoyed the Anthony Horowitz one (I can't remember the title, but it's when they mimic Fleming's style to create a new one).
80's I've never read any Ray Bradbury. I'll have a look in a bookshop. Thanks.
If he likes spy stuff I really enjoyed Le Carre and Len Deighton when I was in my teens. Started with the Spy who Came in From the Cold.
Also Neville Shute - but I'm not sure he's even still in print.
First read it at 14 & have reread it, 3 times as an adult.
Traalaa, The old man and the sea was the most immersive book I have ever read. The way he wrote is amazing, so deceptively simple, but almost like a virtual reality experience when it sucks you in.
I missed the bit where you said he was 12 - I think that most of my recommendations are a bit dark, maybe better in a couple of years. Would also add Atwood's Oryx and Crake to the list when he's a bit older - it's dark, but there's a lot of adventure in the "post flood" part of the novel.
I second the John Wyndham recommendations - The Chrysallids is really good and, again there's a big adventure element alongside the serious ideas.
Life of Pi would be suitable for a 12 year old I think.
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