Cover Story Excerpt:
The experience was too extravagant to be fiction and too real to be borne. Heller furnished the corpse with a vaudeville wardrobe, mixed in '50s America, and called his novel Catch-22. Black, mad and surreal, it told of a bombardier named Yossarian impaled on the insanity of war and struggling to escape. Undergraduates still see Yossarian as a lionly coward, the first of the hell-no-we-won't-go rebels who had to go anyway. To them, the book's final sentence limns the human condition as well as the hero's: "The knife came down, missing him by inches, and he took off"... Read the full story.