A darkly comic and ambitious sequel to the American classic Catch-22. In Closing Time, Joseph Heller returns to the characters of Catch-22, now coming to the end of their lives and the century, as is the entire generation that fought in World War II: Yossarian and Milo Minderbinder, the chaplain, and such newcomers as little Sammy Singer and giant Lew, all linked, in an uneasy peace and old age, fighting not the Germans this time, but The End. Closing Time deftly satirizes the realities and the myths of America in the half century since WWII: the absurdity of our politics, the decline of our society and our great cities, the greed and hypocrisy of our business and culture -- with the same ferocious humor as Catch-22. Closing Time is outrageously funny and totally serious, and as brilliant and successful as Catch-22 itself, a fun-house mirror that captures, at once grotesquely and accurately, the truth about ourselves.
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.
Yossarian is a hero endlessly inventive in his schemes to save his skin from the horrible chances of war, and his efforts are perfectly understandable because as he furiously scrambles, thousands of people he hasn't even met are trying to kill him.
An aging writer attempts to pen one last great American novel to be remembered by--but what should he write? This book follows the journey that Eugene Pota undertakes as he sifts through the detritus of his life in an effort to settle on the subject of his final work.
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.
The real-life companion to the literary classic—written and illustrated by the daughter of the 340th Bomb Group’s commander, Catch-22’s Col. Cathcart. After the publication of his bestselling novel Catch-22, Joseph Heller usually chose to deny that any of his richly drawn characters were based on his actual war mates. However, to those who served with Heller in the 340th Bomb Group, the novel’s characters were indeed recognizable—the hard-drinking, vengeful, and disillusioned Chief White Halfoat; young, sliced-in-half Kid Sampson; shrieking, frenzied Hungry Joe; Col. Cathcart; Gen. Dreedle; Yossarian; and that capitalist supreme, Milo Minderbinder. In this book, written and colorfully illustrated by the daughter of the 340th Bomb Group’s commander, Col. Willis Chapman, we finally encounter the real men and combat missions on which the novel was based. While Heller’s fully developed characters stand solely, solidly, and uniquely on their own merits, The True Story of Catch-22 proves that any resemblance to persons living or dead is, in fact, actual. This three-part book blends fact, fancy, and history with full-blown original illustrations and rare, previously unpublished photos of these daring USAAF flyers and their Corsica-based B-25 Mitchell. Along with descriptions of the 340th’s real wartime experiences, the work includes twelve men of the Bomb Group relating richly told tales of their own. “In these pages it is a great pleasure to finally see the real story behind the fictionalized account, and to be even more impressed.” —Scott Carpenter, NASA astronaut “Heller’s satiric caricatures are here shown to have stemmed from patriotic, courageous, highly decorated airmen who daily performed heroic wartime feats against overwhelming obstacles.” —Library Journal