This fiftieth-anniversary edition commemorates Joseph Heller’s masterpiece with a new introduction; critical essays and reviews by Norman Mailer, Alfred Kazin, Anthony Burgess, and others; rare papers and photos; and much more. Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read. Soon to be a Hulu limited series starring Christopher Abbott, George Clooney, Kyle Chandler, and Hugh Laurie. Fifty years after its original publication, Catch-22 remains a cornerstone of American literature and one of the funniest—and most celebrated—books of all time. In recent years it has been named to “best novels” lists by Time, Newsweek, the Modern Library, and the London Observer. Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy—it is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to excuse himself from the perilous missions he’s assigned, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved. This fiftieth-anniversary edition commemorates Joseph Heller’s masterpiece with a new introduction by Christopher Buckley; a wealth of critical essays and reviews by Norman Mailer, Alfred Kazin, Anthony Burgess, and others; rare papers and photos from Joseph Heller’s personal archive; and much more. Here, at last, is the definitive edition of a classic of world literature.
Explosive, subversive, wild and funny, 50 years on the novel's strength is undiminished. Reading Joseph Heller's classic satire is nothing less than a rite of passage. Set in the closing months of World War II, this is the story of a bombardier named Yossarian who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. His real problem is not the enemy - it is his own army which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. If Yossarian makes any attempts to excuse himself from the perilous missions then he is caught in Catch-22: if he flies he is crazy, and doesn't have to; but if he doesn't want to he must be sane and has to. That's some catch...
Comic novelist and critic, Paul McDonald, provides an accessible, revealing guide to Joseph Heller’s seminal anti-war novel, Catch-22. In order to help readers deepen their understanding of this perplexing comedy, McDonald succinctly contextualises it both in relation to the author’s life, and key developments in modern American literature. The book offers a thorough summary and analysis of the plot of Catch-22, addresses important characters such as Colonel Cathcart, Lieutenant Scheisskopf, Milo Minderbinder, Major Major, and Doc Daneeka, and explains the various ways in which Yossarian’s hilarious predicament has been interpreted. Among other things it considers Yossarian’s status as a mythic hero, an individualist hero, and a postmodern hero, assessing his relevance to contemporary America, and his re-emergence in the sequel to Catch-22, Closing Time, published in 1994. It also offers a descriptive bibliography of important secondary sources, and links to useful online texts.
In the first comprehensive reading of dozens of American literary and social culture classics, Tom Cronin, one of America’s most astute students of the American political tradition, tells the story of the American political experiment through the eyes of forty major novelists, from Harriet Beecher Stowe to Hunter S. Thompson. They have been moral and civic consciousness-raisers as we have navigated the zigs and zags, the successes and setbacks, and the slow awkward evolution of the American political experiment. Constitutional democracy, equal justice for all, the American Dream, and American Exceptionalism are all part of our country’s narrative. But, as Imagining a Great Republic explains, there has never been just a single American narrative—we have competing stories, just as we have competing American Dreams and competing ways of imagining a more perfect political union. Recognizing and understanding these competing values is a key part of being American. Cronin’s book explains how this is possible and why we should all be proud to be American.
Mike Nichols burst onto the American cultural scene in the late 1950s as one half of the comic cabaret team of Nichols and May. He became a Broadway directing sensation, then moved on to Hollywood, where his first two films--Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) and The Graduate (1967)--earned a total of 20 Academy Award nominations. Nichols won the 1968 Oscar for Best Director and later joined the rarefied EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) club. He made many other American cinematic classics, including Catch-22 (1970), Carnal Knowledge (1971), Silkwood (1983), Working Girl (1988), Postcards from the Edge (1990), and his late masterpieces for HBO, Wit (2001) and Angels in America (2003). Filmmakers like Steven Spielberg and Steven Soderbergh regard him with reverence. This first full-career retrospective study of this protean force in the American arts begins with the roots of his filmmaking in satirical comedy and Broadway theatre and devotes separate chapters to each of his 20 feature films. Nichols' permanent achievements are his critique of the ways in which culture constructs conformity and his tempered optimism about individuals' liberation by transformative awakening.
The New York Times bestselling writer Tracy Daugherty illuminates his most vital subject yet in this first biography of the Catch-22 author Joseph Heller Joseph Heller was a Coney Island kid, the son of Russian immigrants, who went on to great fame and fortune. His most memorable novel took its inspiration from a mission he flew over France in WWII (his plane was filled with so much shrapnel it was a wonder it stayed in the air). Heller wrote seven novels, all of which remain in print. Something Happened and Good as Gold, to name two, are still considered the epitome of satire. His life was filled with women and romantic indiscretions, but he was perhaps more famous for his friendships—he counted Mel Brooks, Zero Mostel, Carl Reiner, Kurt Vonnegut, Norman Mailer, Mario Puzo, Dustin Hoffman, Woody Allen, and many others among his confidantes. In 1981 Heller was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a debilitating syndrome that could have cost him his life. Miraculously, he recovered. When he passed away in 1999 from natural causes, he left behind a body of work that continues to sell hundreds of thousands of copies a year. Just One Catch is the first biography of Yossarian's creator.