[ADHD Book Review] Catch-22

catch-22

My Quick Impression: It’s about laughing at and recognizing tragedy. Its my favorite book.

Review of “Catch-22”

Written by Joseph Heller.

Narrated by Jay O. Sanders.

Quick Summary: Catch-22 is the most confusing, funny, frustrating, and rewarding book I have read. The book shows the illogical aspects of war and life. This focus on illogical systems makes the book difficult to read. The book uses circular logic, contradictions and non-linear story telling to disorient the reader.

Quick Recommendation:

Should you read it? Yes.

What should you know before reading? You should not attempt to understand the plot or characters to begin. The plot is out-of-order. The story often talks about characters who appear to have nothing to do with the story. The plot comes together half way through the book. Until then, treat every section in the book as a simple short story, not connected to anything else. It is difficult, but it will be worth the effort.

Quick in Depth Overview, Spoilers:

Catch-22 is about the absurdity of war and bureaucracy. Heller uses circular logic to show the struggle and triviality of war and bureaucracy.
The prominent case of circular logic is the catch the book takes its name from, Catch-22. the protagonist, a WWII bomber named Yossarian, wants to leave WWII. He discovers there exists a means to leave, Catch-22. He learns that this means is only an illusion

Orr [Anyone] would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to.

– Heller, Catch-22

On first glance, I find it hilarious that something this absurd could exist. Yossarian undergoes many wacky high jinks trying to out think the catch. As the story progresses, the horrific effect the catch has on the characters becomes known. The comedy ends when Yossarian learns Catch-22 does not exists. There is no documentation of its existence. A destitute old woman tells Yossarian the catch’s definition after the military removes her from her home.

Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can’t stop them from doing

– Heller, Catch-22

It was here that I realized all Yossarian’s struggles were for nothing, the system would never let him go. The original phrasing of Catch-22 only existed to give Yossarian a reason to chase his tail. All his efforts were for nothing. He comes to realize the only way to beat the system is to not be apart of it. He ends the book running away.
Quick Final Thoughts:
This book is my favorite book and has shaped much of my view on the world. I strongly recommend this book to anyone. Though, one should prepare themselves for confusion.
Edit: 
There should be a heads up when approaching this book. It was written in the 60’s by a WWII vet. It has old fashioned views of women and work place sexual harassment. User cravenwild discusses it better in her blog

The American

Preface: This is a short story of a simple misunderstanding I had. Very little is actually true.

There was a miscommunication. The American had not realized it yet.

“The toothbrush, lock, and ‘teen’ gigabytes of data will come out to thirty quid.” The clerk repeated to the American.

The American was confused. He thought he heard ‘fifteen gigabytes’, but he had asked for only ten gigabytes of data for his dorm. The American wasn’t upset; he had wanted more than just ten gigs, but the service sheet before him showed only a ten and one gigabyte data plan. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, the American decided to accept the clerk’s generous offer.

“Sure, I’ll take the fifteen gigabyte option.” The American was excited to get fifteen gigs of data for the price of ten.

“We don’t offer fifteen gigabytes, only one and ‘teen’.” said the clerk.

The American heard her say thirteen. “That was an odd number of gigs to sell,” thought the American. He was even more confused as the clerk had implied that she did not sell ten gigabytes of data, as the sheet of data below him had said.

“Thirteen will be fine.” Said the American slowly, not as confident as he was earlier.

“We don’t give thirteen gigs. Just one and ‘teen’.” Said the clerk.

The American could have sworn she said nineteen. Why would they serve nineteen, why not round up to twenty? Nineteen was such an ugly number. The American was beginning to think there may be a communication error. The American chose to visit this English-speaking country to avoid these miscommunication; regardless, he pushed forward. He just wanted his data.

“I’ll take the most gigs you guys offer then.” Said the American.

“Great!” said the Clerk, happy finish this transaction. “So ‘teen’ gigs will cost—“

“Sorry,” interrupted the American out of reflex, “how much will that be?”

“ ‘Teen’!” yelled the Clerk, waving her hands at the American.

The American was uncertain what jazz hands had to do with anything, he just wanted his gigabytes.

“I’m sorry, how much is that?” asked the American earnestly. After asking, he thought the Clerk might have been saying ten all along, she would pronounce it ‘teen’, not ten. The American felt confident that he was going to get his data. Before he could confirm the mistake between the two, the clerk continued:

“’Teen’, rhymes with ‘peen’.” She said, gesturing with her hand, stroking the air with an almost-closed fist.

“Wait, is she hitting on me?” Thought the American.

“Okay…” said the American uncertainly.

“’Teen’ like ‘teen’!” Said the clerk, flashing her hands in the American’s face.

“Ohh… Ten, you mean ten!” Exclaimed the American.

“Yes!!” Said the clerk with a sigh of relief.

The American, feeling foolish, paid for the items he came for and made his way out of the shop. He was happy to have the whole experience over with. He was thankful to have this experience, certain he would not make the same error ever again.

On his way out, the American noted he should return later. The clerk seemed to be hitting on him. Maybe he could show her his ‘peen’.

First Post. Ramblings

This is my first post. I figure I’ll describe myself, what this post is for, and anything else that will pop in my head before this is done. First thing to say is that I am a traveler who loves seeing the world. That is my passion. As a person with ADHD, I have a lot of passions; though no passion has stuck with me like my wanderlust. It is a goal of mine to publish something Five times a week, some long, some short. I’ll make it up as I go.

I have been writing stories lately and will try to post some excerpts here. I have been listening to stories on Audible and figure I’ll write what I thought of the stories. If no one reads this blog, I’ll live. If people like it, wonderful. I hope you, the reader could give feedback on how I can improve my writing.

I ramble. I assume that’s the ADHD, but maybe it’s just me. Some post I’ll proof read, some I’ll leave the first draft. Those first drafts will be rough, but I find it interesting to see what are my first thoughts. I reckon that’s all I got to say. If anyone reads this, Hi!

-sweetaskiwi