Monday, 12 May 2008

No, its not a book based on the English term catch-22. THIS is the book that fathered and mothered the term (Is that biologically possible?). The book, by Joseph Heller, revolves around Yossarian, a bombardier for the Allies, whose primary objective is to stay alive (what’s the point in winning The War, if you’re not around to enjoy the spoils…), and those around him. This seems quite obvious to us but Yossarian’s superior, Colonel Cathcart, seems to think otherwise.

So, Yossarian does all he can to ensure that he stays out of sight of a million strangers trying to kill him. Unfortunately, he is trapped by a clause in the hilarious Great Loyalty Oath Crusade which states – “A man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes the necessary formal request to be relieved of such missions, the very act of making the request proves that he is sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.”

Initially, you might believe that for Yossarian insanity is not an excuse to stay away from flying, but is the essence of his being. But soon, you realise that the only fault with him is that he is dangerously sane. The only man on the planet who can clearly see through all the pointless madness and wants nothing to do with any of it.

This is the by far the most bitter and funny book I have ever read. In fact, bitter does not quite fit the bill. Its wickedly funny. Its so wicked that it would make the fairy tale witches cringe.

More pictures here.

PS – KK, I finally found your book!!!