“Why prolong the inevitable?” asks Fayd-Rautha Harkonnen in Dune. Didn’t he already review Dune? you may be asking. What has it got to do with Catch-22? That question sums up my reading experience, which began back in November and didn’t conclude until February. I intended to read it on the 50th anniversary of its publication, but it took me a few months to finish it. I got caught up in the inherent cyclical structure of the text, and had to break away to read some other books (such as Dune) before returning, inexorably, to Catch-22.

My grandfather was a bombardier in World War II like Yossarian, which compelled me to read a novel told from that particular point-of-view. I can only conclude that my grandfather was not much like Yossarian, with his disturbed points-of-view and review. I haven’t flown into combat or been caught in a tailspin, but it seemed to me that reading Catch-22 was like being in an aircraft in a tailspin: revolving past the same blurred scenes again and again until they reach an inevitable resolution.


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