I'm not quite sure how I got to age 39 without having read Catch-22. I think I thought to myself, "Surely you've read that," and just went along thinking, "Yes, surely." On a whim, I picked it up at the library last week and realized, no, I most certainly had NOT read it, and I'm really glad I took the time to check.
In the first parts of the book, I found myself snickering and shaking my head, because I could identify with Yossarian. I spent four years in the military, and married a retired Air Force Chief, and there were a few Lieutenant Schiesskopfs and Colonel Cathcarts out there. The black humor, the satire -- I liked that.
But then it truly started getting dark for me. Here I'd be laughing over something and WHOOMP, an innocent character gets senselessly killed. Which really, is what the story was all about to me -- the idiots seem to make it out all right, but the good guys, they seem to get some truly bad breaks.
After reading the book, I did some research, learned what I was "supposed" to think about it, what each character was supposed to stand for, etc etc etc. Essentially, I got all that. But one thing I've enjoyed as an adult is not having to sit in a classroom and pick apart a perfectly wonderful book, and just let it stand on its own merit as superbly readable.
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