People talk about having “book hangovers” where you can’t start reading another book because your mind is still caught up in the world of the book you just finished. I can totally relate to this feeling.
I’ve just finished reading ‘Catch 22’ (Joseph Heller) a few days ago, but I haven’t been able to really start reading anything else. However, aside from the “book hangover” effect, I’d say my mind is also kind of tired in a way. It’s like how you should have rest days between days of intense exercise.
‘Catch 22’ is definitely a “thinking” sort of book. As such, I kind of feel like I need a bit of down time before I start reading another novel. That’s not to say that it was hard to read, but rather that the plot and character development was complex. I think the way it was written was very unique, too (based on my reading history, anyway).
I found the segues from one scene to another were quite smooth (not sure of a better way to describe it, but the transitions were good even if they were sometimes quite abrupt and, in a few instances, I was kind of caught off guard by scene changes). The other thing that really stood out, for me, was the use of irony and contradictions and, in some cases, just plain nonsense (in a good/funny way).
Overall, I think ‘Catch 22’ has a good balance of seriousness and humour. It is a war novel, and there are solemn moments, but you really don’t have to be into war stories to like ‘Catch 22’ (although it might help a bit to have some basic military knowledge, such as the difference between a colonel, captain, general, etc).
I wouldn’t say it’s laugh-out-loud-funny, but it’s hard not to crack a smile in some parts. Some of the characters are just so bizarre – I don’t think there’s a sane one in the lot (maybe Yossarian?). I found Doc Daneeka and Orr quite amusing. Even Milo Minderbinder, who was hate-able and frustrating at times, is also memorable character (in a good way).
I enjoyed reading ‘Catch 22’ so much that I wish I could recommend it to everyone, but I know that it isn’t a book that everyone will like (which is a shame, if you ask me).