Books 1963: Jabberwock: CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller


Joseph Heller's Catch-22, the first novel by this 39-year-old escapee from McCall's promotion department, is powerful, clumsy, angry and comical, somewhat in the manner one would expect of a half-grown rhinoceros. The author seems only occasionally and precariously in control of this Jabberwock of a book, but since Catch-22 is a wild war satire, it does not much matter that the book tramples what scenery it does not chew. The novel's hero is Yossarian, an Air Force captain whose maladjustment is that he is sane. He is stationed in Italy and has flown 40 or 50 missions, and he tries to...

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