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Catch-22

Cover of Catch-22

Catch-22

Catch-22 is like no other novel we have ever read. It has its own style, its own rationale, its own extraordinary character. It moves back and forth from hilarity to horror. It is outrageously funny and strangely affecting. It is totally original.

It is set in the closing months of World War II, in an American bomber squadron on a small island off Italy. Its hero is a bombardier named Yossarian, who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him. (He has decided to live forever even if he has to die in the attempt.)

Catch-22 is a microcosm of the twentieth-century world as it might look to someone dangerously sane. It is a novel that lives and moves and grows with astonishing power and vitality. It is, we believe, one of the strongest creations of the mid-century.

Performed by Jay O. Sanders

Catch-22 is like no other novel we have ever read. It has its own style, its own rationale, its own extraordinary character. It moves back and forth from hilarity to horror. It is outrageously funny and strangely affecting. It is totally original.

It is set in the closing months of World War II, in an American bomber squadron on a small island off Italy. Its hero is a bombardier named Yossarian, who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him. (He has decided to live forever even if he has to die in the attempt.)

Catch-22 is a microcosm of the twentieth-century world as it might look to someone dangerously sane. It is a novel that lives and moves and grows with astonishing power and vitality. It is, we believe, one of the strongest creations of the mid-century.

Performed by Jay O. Sanders

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    9 - 12

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Awards-
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Heller's celebrated novel of WWII is given an entertaining reading by actor Jay O. Sanders. The novel itself is a high-energy, absurdist romp through the machinations of governmental bureaucracy, the labyrinth of circular and paradoxical military "reasoning," and larger questions of rationality, sanity, war, and peaceâ featuring a sizable cast of characters presided over by the paranoid and put-upon bombardier, Captain Yossarian. Sanders brings a friendly, earnest tone to the production, and offers accomplished and consistent characterizations of all the novel's main characters. The sound level of the recording itself is inconsistent--Sanders drops to near inaudibility in the quieter passages. M.G. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 30, 2007
    It would be difficult to imagine richer material for an audiobook reader, comedically speaking, than Joseph Heller’s classic novel of wartime madness. Sanders is the lucky actor chosen to read Heller’s masterpiece, and he does well by it, proceeding gamely through the novel’s staggering array of comic set pieces and deliriously woozy dialogue. Heller’s humor is straight-faced, requiring little more than a steady, sure voice, and Sanders offers just that. Line by line, joke by joke, Sanders reels through the marvelous phantasmagoria of Heller’s World War II, tongue planted firmly in cheek. Caedmon’s impressive package includes a 1970s-era recording of Heller reading selections from his book. Heller is a delightful contrast to Sanders, his slight lisp accentuating a marvelous Brooklyn accent. Heller reads as if with cigar perched on his lip and turns his novel into an extended borscht belt comic’s riff.

  • AudioFile Magazine In Jim Weiss's performance of Heller's uproarious WWII novel, the characters are practically cartoons. That is no insult, but the highest admiration for Weiss's choices and his verve. Heller's characters are meant to be absurdities. His U.S. Army is peopled with men of outlandish traits; they're monumentally corrupt, buffoonish, overweaning characters whose self-involvement places the actual fighting men, including the novel's recalcitrant hero, Yossarian, into the most ghastly jeopardy. Weiss's exuberance never lets up. He captures the comic lunacy of Heller's genius and--even more impressively--intercuts its moments of sheer terror and despair to devastating effect. It is precisely the bravura performance that this, arguably the greatest war novel ever written, deserves. M.O. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine
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    HarperCollins
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Catch-22
Catch-22
Joseph Heller
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