“After being told repeatedly that this was a classic that I simply HAD to read, I decided to give it a second chance (the first time I'd had to put it down). This time, I managed to finish it, but I can't say the experience was particularly enjoyable.
Whilst I truly appreciate how groundbreaking this was at the time - Heller must have had serious guts to fundamentally undermine the patriotic notions of conflict so widely held in the 50s and 60s - the hugely repetitive style became tedious straight away. It took me a while to realise that the whole book was written as a kind of Catch-22 to the reader (with each event being constantly reiterated from a slightly different angle and very little actual plot development).
People have said to me that this is the funniest book they've ever read. I can see that it's amusing but it never made me laugh out loud. The humour was a little too laboured and cynical for me (it lacked any surrealism).
Whilst I am glad I got to the end, I wouldn't really recommend this one.”