Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Book 145: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”

It dawned on me last night that I hadn't written anything about my thoughts on Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. I read the book with my students near the end of the school year for an independent novel project.

The project went fine until the kids seemed to fizzle out of their enthusiasm. :) Only half of them really liked their books-the other half realized a few days into the project that they didn't like the books they picked. And then they decided to just stick with their books rather than starting something new.

Anyway, we made it through the project just fine, and the end of the school year, and I have completely failed at discussing my thoughts past this first post.

I did end up finishing the book in time to talk about it with them. And while I enjoyed it and thought it was pretty funny in some parts (not always "ha-ha" funny...you know what I mean), I'm having a hard time remembering those specific details I wanted to talk about. :)

I think what I mentioned in that first post with my initial thoughts was true even as I finished it. To put it bluntly, Catch-22 is a book that doesn't seem to make a ton of sense as you read. However, once you DO finish it, it seems to make all the sense in the world. Events and characters are sometimes introduced and seem out of context, but pages or chapters later, it would all click into place. It's almost as if the novel was like a big puzzle, with bits and pieces here and there that needed to be placed together slowly.

“They're trying to kill me," Yossarian told him calmly.
No one's trying to kill you," Clevinger cried.
Then why are they shooting at me?" Yossarian asked.
They're shooting at everyone," Clevinger answered. "They're trying to kill everyone."
And what difference does that make?”

It was a book that I definitely need to read again, and I wish I would have written this when the book was fresh in my mind. :)

What did you think of this one?

15 comments:

  1. I love that last quote you highlighted. It's crazy how we forget the details about what we read so quickly. That's why I love rereading. (And blogging!) :)

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    1. Ugh, I know! I'm so mad at myself for forgetting to write about it, but I've had a lot going on! :) But yes, I do plan on rereading it!

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  2. This is one of those books that really does get better (and more comprehensible) every single time you read it. I've read it four or five times now, and the last time I read it (in 2007) it was so powerful that I haven't been able to pick it up again since then. Though I really ought to, soon.

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    1. I'm excited to read it again. I think I just read this at a bad time-the end of the school year and all the drama that came with it. That's probably why the details are so fuzzy!

      I know that I'll love it the next time I read it too!

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  3. In some dark comedy world, it's actually a very appropriate title to think about on the 4th of July.

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    1. Ha. I thought about that when I scheduled this... :)

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  4. It is interesting that after letting the book settle in your mind, it makes more sense. The entire thing sounds pretty intriguing. Thank you for your informative post.

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    1. Wish i could have been more informative!

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  5. I loved this one and as Amanda said, I think it gets better every time you read it.

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    1. Glad to hear it! I definitely need to reread it. Like I told Amanda above, it was the wrong time to power through it and everything that happened at the end of the school year is why i forgot so much of it already!

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  6. Tried to read this one in high school and just couldn't do it. I've been haunted by that failure ever since... I still have a copy of the book, but haven't managed to bring myself to attempt it again. There's another Heller novel on my shelf, called God Knows, which I think I'll try to read pretty soon... at least then I can get some Heller under my belt.

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    1. I tried reading it in college when my sister was assigned to read it in high school and couldn't make it through...but it's one of her favorite books! I liked it, but so much of it is fuzzy that I don't know why. I am definitely going to try more by Heller!

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  7. This is one I want to read eventually. Glad to see you enjoyed it for the most part.

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  8. I started this years and years ago, but stopped because I couldn't wrap my head around it. Maybe I just need to keep pushing through. I don't think it's on my Classics Club list, so I'll have to tackle it again later in life.

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  9. Does anyone know what chapter that quote is found in the book?: "just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean...etc,etc."

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