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Extended Audio Sample Catch-22 Audiobook, by Joseph Heller Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.00001233733373 out of 53.00001233733373 out of 53.00001233733373 out of 53.00001233733373 out of 53.00001233733373 out of 5 3.00 (270,723 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joseph Heller Narrator: Jay O. Sanders Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2007 ISBN: 9780061262456
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Joseph Heller's now-classic satirical novel has captivated generations of readers since it was first published in 1961. Set during the final days of World War II, the novel offers a brilliant take on the perils and pitfalls of bureaucratic thinking. Captain John Yossarian, a U.S. Air Force bombardier, and his fellow airmen just want to fulfill their wartime obligations and get back home safe, sane and alive. The absurd and insane situations they encounter and how they overcome them is the basis of this fascinating novel. Based in part on Heller's own experiences during World War II, Catch-22 is a brilliant and cleverly insightful take on life and human reasoning.

Told from various points of view and uniquely sequenced in a non-chronological way that cleverly builds the plot, Catch-22 is quite unlike any other novel you have ever read. Absurdly funny and strikingly original, it is still considered to be a true American original in the world of literary fiction.

Catch-22 is like no other novel we have ever read. It has its own style, its own rationale, its own extraordinary character. It moves back and forth from hilarity to horror. It is outrageously funny and strangely affecting. It is totally original.

It is set in the closing months of World War II, in an American bomber squadron on a small island off Italy. Its hero is a bombardier named Yossarian, who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him. (He has decided to live forever even if he has to die in the attempt.)

Catch-22 is a microcosm of the twentieth-century world as it might look to someone dangerously sane. It is a novel that lives and moves and grows with astonishing power and vitality. It is, we believe, one of the strongest creations of the mid-century.

Performed by Jay O. Sanders

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Quotes & Awards

  • Catch-22 is the only war novel I've ever read that makes any sense.” 

    Harper Lee

  • “To my mind, there have been two great American novels in the past fifty years. Catch-22 is one.” 

    Stephen King

  • “It’s the rock and roll of novels . . . There’s no book like it. . . . Surprisingly powerful.” 

    Norman Mailer

  • “This novel is not merely the best American novel to come out of World War II, it is the best American novel that has come out of anywhere in years.”

    Nelson Algren 

  • “One of the greatest anti-war books ever written.” 

    Vanity Fair

  • “Sanders is the lucky actor chosen to read Heller’s masterpiece, and he does well by it, proceeding gamely through the novel’s staggering array of comic set pieces and deliriously woozy dialogue. Heller’s humor is straight-faced, requiring little more than a steady, sure voice, and Sanders offers just that. Line by line, joke by joke, Sanders reels through the marvelous phantasmagoria of Heller’s World War II, tongue planted firmly in cheek.

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Heller’s celebrated novel of WWII is given an entertaining reading by actor Jay O. Sanders. The novel itself is a high-energy, absurdist romp through the machinations of governmental bureaucracy, the labyrinth of circular and paradoxical military ‘reasoning,’ and larger questions of rationality, sanity, war, and peace…Sanders brings a friendly, earnest tone to the production, and offers accomplished and consistent characterizations of all the novel’s main characters.

    AudioFile

  • One of Modern Library‘s 100 Best English-Language Novels of the Twentieth Century
  • One of Time Magazine's Best 100 English-Language Novels from 1923–2005
  • Audio Publisher’s Association “Audie” Award

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katharine | 2/13/2014

    " This book is a classic, and also the basis for the saying "so here's my catch 22". I feel as though these sayings and their origins are lost on people when they don't know it's history. Phrases such as these, devil's advocate, etc, all have their origins somewhere, and if nothing more, it is important to know where these saying came from. Beyond that, this book is stellar. Advanced in thought, so reserved for higher, high school, grades, I will for sure use this in my future classroom when appropriate. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jp | 2/6/2014

    " For my $$$ the funniest book ever written. I re-read it in 2005 as the Iraq War became the Iraq fiasco and realized Heller wasn't giving his reader a look back at WWII as much as he was predicting the future. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carey Shea | 2/4/2014

    " It's been a while since I read this book but I do remember this what a wonderful and funny book this was. Highly recommend. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 dave rangel | 2/3/2014

    " I really want to like it... its just too much "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Caitlin Michelle | 1/23/2014

    " I hated this book so much. I rarely will not finish a book but I just couldn't get into this one. Unbelievably confusing and yet not interesting, so boring. There were so many characters with long names, plot - if you could say it had one - hard to follow, it really is about nothing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patty | 1/8/2014

    " I read this book for a college course, and have re-read numerous times. It is irreverant, witty, smart, sad, sarcastic and has some of the most quoteable lines ever. A favorite and a must read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Madara | 1/7/2014

    " I love, love, loved it. Hilarious and catchy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Teresa | 1/3/2014

    " excellent read if your into reading about a bunch of characters with their own perception of each other and the characteristics of such characters that would have you in stitches of laughter. Have read the book a few times when boredom has surfaced and its still as good as ever. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anna | 12/30/2013

    " one of my favourites. not a typical war story but it has a great sense of humor, erotica and wonderfully describes how pointless war actually is. doc daneeka was my ever favourite "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 12/9/2013

    " Great book. Fun, smart, well written. I would highly recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Long Williams | 11/18/2013

    " Funny .... But disturbing funny. Like a nervous laugh. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peter | 11/5/2013

    " One of funniest and craziest books about war I've read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gloria | 10/8/2013

    " This Book bring in view how there is always something to get in your way of succeeding, at least, until you find the loop-hold to get around it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eva | 3/27/2013

    " In high school my teacher read the Snowden part out loud and it affected me so much that it made me sick. I almost had to run out of the classroom. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elise | 3/5/2013

    " Everyone needs a "war is hell" fix from time to time, yeah? Catch-22 certainly merits a re-read...lots to keep track of and I think I'd get even more out of it on a second go. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Therese | 11/14/2012

    " One of the few books when I liked the movie better than the book. Couldn't finish the audio version. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Patrick | 8/2/2012

    " Loved the movie. The book has always left me cold. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brian Leibinger | 12/15/2011

    " Literally the best book ever written. Literally. A book not worth reading a 2nd time was never worth reading once. On my third time. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dinakara | 9/7/2011

    " Got this book because of its popularity ! Couldn't stand it beyond 30 - 40 pages. Looks like a majority of people have liked this book a lot. May be its me..not the book !! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daria | 7/10/2011

    " A must read for every fan of Franz Kafka. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sara | 7/3/2011

    " Nah, not my type of books. Boring, confusing and very stupid. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Louis | 6/30/2011

    " Read this as a young man after seeing the movie. Loved its dark humour. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Crystal | 5/22/2011

    " Another must read for everyone. I think everyone should read it. Most school kids do read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paige | 5/21/2011

    " I cried when Nately died. Books that make me cry are usually superb. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steef | 5/19/2011

    " funniest book that i have read in years period "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Clare | 5/17/2011

    " Misogynistic drivel. Hated it. Perhaps it appeals to teenage boys that have been brought up to know no better??!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pete | 5/14/2011

    " Brilliantly funny anti-war book. I've read this several times over the years.

    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stetsenko | 5/14/2011

    " This is one of my most favorite books. It's like Gogol' of America. After this book (+One Flew Over The Cuckoo Nest) I changed my attitude to American nation (to better). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Niko | 5/12/2011

    " A bit too-streched towards the end, but still great reading. "

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About the Author
Author Joseph Heller

Joseph Heller (1923—1999) is the highly acclaimed author of Catch-22, a story loosely based on his own experiences during World War II. A bestseller, instant classic, and later feature film, Catch-22 secured his place in literary history. He later went on to write such novels as Good as Gold; God Knows; Picture This; Closing Time; and Portrait of an Artist, as an Old Man

About the Narrator

Jay O. Sanders began his acting career off-Broadway in Shakespearean roles then went on to appear in numerous films and television series, including Revolutionary Road, The Day after Tomorrow, and Kiss the Girls, based on the novel by James Patterson. He has narrated more than fifty audio books over the years, including the bestselling My Losing Season by Pat Conroy and Dean Koontz’s Dragon Tears and Mr. Murder. He also won six AudioFile Earphones Awards.