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» One Touch Football - Archive » Books » Catch 22 - over-rated? (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Catch 22 - over-rated?
GIK
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No, I'm struggling to compare the two.

Both are fantastic books, and both were devoured whilst in my mid teens. Real revelatory stuff, along with Salinger, Kesey, Cottonwood and Roth.

I think Heller is the better writer but I enjoy Kurt's stuff more. 'Breakfast of Champions' is probably my favourite Vonnegut novel.

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fritz in a fez
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Catch 22 is one of my favourite books.

I'm with Janik, the last third is the part I lke the least.

The best parts are the insane descriptions of the characters.

I love Clevinger's court marshal. The first time i read that I was crying with laughter. I must have read it a hundred times and it still makes me laugh.

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Ginger Yellow
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I can't choose between Major Major's chapter, the Milo Minderbinder jaunt around the Mediterranean, and the court martial. All of them have me in hysterics.
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ale
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Catch-22 is one of the greatest novels ever written full stop...

and yet its not even Hellers best novel...that honour goes to 'Good As Gold'...

though he should never have bothered with the sequel to Catch-22 'Closing Time'...

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Amor de Cosmos
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Lord. Catch 22 was...is such a big part of my teens that I've never wanted to read it since. Arfy and the maid in the lime green panties haunted my dreams for years. I can't possibly evaluate it objectively, it was the touchstone book of the early to mid 60s, it separated us from the On the Road/Catcher in the Rye generation (though they were cool reads they weren't ours in the same way). You asked everyone, on first meeting whether they dug Dylan and had read C22. If they said yes, they were on your team. If they could quote passages, you were friends for life. I'll read it again in my 70s, the mojo's way too strong to revisit it any sooner.

[ 04.04.2006, 19:10: Message edited by: Amor de Cosmos ]

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and I am the life
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I thought it was pretty good, though I suspect he could have got it across in about 250 fewer pages. At times it dragged like the lord of the rings.
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fritz in a fez
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I hated Arty. The chapter where he blocks tunnel into the plane had me almost yelling with frustation at him.

aiatl - as ever you are brilliantly wrong.

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Janik
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I think Heller is the better writer but I enjoy Kurt's stuff more. 'Breakfast of Champions' is probably my favourite Vonnegut novel.

Same for me. Well, similar, I'm not convinced that Heller was a better writer than Vonnegut overall, but he reached a higher peak. Would certainly agree with Breakfast of Champions as the favourite Vonnegut book. It's the one I go back and read again.

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Balderdasha
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I'm with aiatl on this one. You'll all think I'm a heretic who deserves to be burned at the stake, but Lord of the Rings and Catch 22 are the only two books I've ever given up reading just because they were so damn tedious. It's not that I shy away from books that are hard to get into either. There are many books where I only really start to get into them after a few hundred pages. I'm a voracious consumer of all forms of literature, but LotR and C22 just did nothing for me.

I tried LotR twice to try and see what the hype was but still didn't make it past about halfway. I haven't retried C22 since my late teens, but there are other books I want to read before I'd consider giving it another shot.

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Inca
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My favorite Vonnegut book shifts between Breakfast of Champions, Slaughterhouse-Five, and Cat's Cradle--each one is my favorite right after I re-read it (I've done so more than a few times for each), but then I'll pick up one of the others and it starts all over again.
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Lardinho
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My favourite Vonnegut is Cats Cradle. I really like Galapagos, but mainly because of its theme - it's clearly not his best book.
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Inca
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Clearly. Galapagos was the one Vonnegut book that I didn't enjoy reading, something that I thought would be impossible. I kept falling asleep on the bus whenever I started reading it on my way home.
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Wolf 2
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I'm not sure I could love Catch 22 more. its a book that seems to go on forever, in a good way, a fantastic way. every time i (re)read it, something I'd forgotten leaps out at me. I can understand why some find it tedious, and I'm sorry for people who do, cos its a book that needs to be read carefully, but at the same time you need to let your mind slip into Yossarian's/Heller's world, which ain't easy. if you can't get in there, you're never going to truly enjoy this book. i'm not sure that part of me has ever really left it. do you think I could find some crab apples around here somewhere...?
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JtS
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I thought Catch 22 & Slaughterhouse five were written about the second world war... sometime after Gangster Octopus would have been a teenager, surely.
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Mr. Wind-Up Bird
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Catch 22 is my favourite book of all time, and the only autographed book I own. I first read it when I was 12 or 13 (one of the first "adult" books I borrowed from the library) and I go back to it every couple of years. It's a funny, tragic and surreal novel that I love just as much every time I re-open it.

It's strange to read what GFDC, Jimski and GY's said: that is exactly my experience. I liked Slaughterhouse 5 - but it didn't resonate with me in the same way as Catch 22. Maybe because I was 20, and not 12. And because I already had Heller in my mind as the definitive novel about the madness, terror and tedium of war.

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