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» One Touch Football - Archive » Books » Catch 22 - over-rated? (Page 3)

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Author Topic: Catch 22 - over-rated?
JtS
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If you like Catch 22, or Slaughterhouse 5 you'd love Bombardiers
Posts: 7076 | From: The North London | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The cantering captain
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I hated Arty. The chapter where he blocks tunnel into the plane had me almost yelling with frustation at him.

God I hated him. For me, I don't think any book has ever managed to replicate the feeling of sheer frustration I get when Yossarian tries to fight him, but finds himself unable to make any impression. A truly great book, I should know, I'm in it.

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Wyatt Earp
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Mrs E recently re-read Catch-22, and reported the same feelings of disappointment. I haven't read it for decades, but I liked it a lot when I did read it.

Slaughterhouse 5 is horribly marred, for my money, by Vonnegut's excruciatingly affected monosyllabic, short-sentence, Hemingway-squared style, which just gets in the way.

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Jimski
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Heh, I really liked Vonnegut's style in Slaughterhouse Five. I've not actually read any of his other books, so I don't know if it's normally his style, but I recently read an essay by him and it was written in a similar manner. Immediately draws me in. Still, different strokes...
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Gas Filled Dolphin Carcass
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Catch-22, I should point out, would be my desert island book, not because I think it's the best book ever, just that it bears up to repeated reading. I think I've read it about ten times.
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Purves Grundy
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A bit like Bravo Two Zero then?
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Gas Filled Dolphin Carcass
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It's better than the Target novelisation of 'Horror At Fang Rock'.
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Mat Pereira
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Ah, thats got the full poem by Wilfred Gibson the story was based on in it hasn't it? 'The Ballad of Flannen Isle'

It took me two goes to finish 'Catch 22', but I did end up really enjoying it. The final 100 pages are the best bit, where the light satire on war goes out the window, and it all turns horribly bleak.

I think enjoying the novel all depends on ho wmuch you enjoy the minor characters. I loved Milo Minderbender, and Major Major Major, they were great, those two.

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Spock na Escada
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Did any post-Great War Czechs actually finish their books?

Leo Perutz finished 11 of which I've read two - 'The Marquis of Bolibar' and 'The Master of the Day of Judgement', both excellent fast paced historical novels with strange and bizarre twists. Borges, Greene and Ian Flemming were fans, apparently.

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smallweed
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quote:
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'...

Blimey, what a thing to say. Don't think I even finished Good as Gold.

Catch-22 I read in my teens and read again several times in the few years just after, and for a long time I'd have said it was my favourite book (before I discovered Pale Fire, obviously). I wouldn't now rate it as being quite as awesomly brilliant as I once would (though obviously that's all relative and I can only dream of being able to write anything even slightly as good) - it's not beyond criticism.

Slaughterhouse 5 I didn't read until adulthood, and it's also great. Technically the writing is probably better, and for what it is it's difficult to see how it could be improved upon. But I'd still probably say I enjoy Heller more. The evidence of this thread would suggest it maybe does depend on what stage of your life you first read these things at.

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mafu
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i think i tried to read it once when i was young and didnt quite get it

then i read it again a while later and realised it was hysterically funny and brilliant

i've picked it up a couple of times since and read the first half or so, laughed myself daft but not got around to finishing it again.

on balance i'd say it's very very good.

svejk is very funny too, but a bit too baggy and aimless for my liking. it starts brilliantly and then drifts rather.

slaughterhouse 5 i never got through because the copy i had was some sort of printers bungle and literally turned into a kinseyesque sex study halfway through. i thought it was part of the novel for a couple of pages, then twigged. never got round to finishing it after that.

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