Whenever you pickup a classic there are high expectations and classics are supposed to fulfill those expectations and more. Now the book this week “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller is one such classic that everyone of us must have heard about, if not about the classic then at least the phrase itself “Catch-22” has become very popular. The popularity of this phrase is so much that even the building that I stay in has a sign on the entrance that says “Do not park your vehicle at the entrance or you would be caught in a Catch-22 situation”.
So you get what I am trying to say and going with all the craziness I have wanted to get my hands on this book for a while.
Now when I did get to this book I don’t know how to judge this book. Rarely I am unable to finish a book and unfortunately this is one such book, as much as I tried I could only finish half of it and then had to put it down finally. The preface by the author himself raised my expectations even more only to be crushed by the writing.
Now one thing is for sure I am not the only one who couldn’t finish the book (off course I did the research when I couldn’t bear it further), even one of my friend told me she wasn’t able to finish the book a few years back when she started. People have done 30, 60, 80, 100 pages and I did finish half of it so I deserve a pat on my back.
Now coming back to the book, I won’t reject this book as trash, whatever I read it was good. It was good satire (as far as I could tell) set in the time of war. Yossarian the main character (a fighter pilot) is very well defined, he doesn’t want to fly on missions and doesn’t see the point in wasting his life for other people in the name of country. Major cathcart keeps on increasing the flying missions. Now when I began the book it wasn’t making any sense, the writing style is unusual and it takes sometime to get a hang of it. Even after 30 odd pages it doesn’t make sense and I kept on going as I thought the plot might be building. There are just too many characters (and a chapter dedicated to each one). The underlying theme and the Satire is good and worth a read but after sometime the story goes no where, there was nothing happening, there wasn’t any hope of any change in the story line and it became boring, so boring that it became a real pain to turn a page. And it was then that I lost courage and put it down.
I sincerely hoped that I could finish it but it wasn’t to be. I hope I get a better one next time.
If you have read Catch-22, do tell about your experiences.