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Book Ramblings

Long winded reviews

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Kiln People
Beth Meacham, David Brin

Catch-22

Catch-22 - Joseph Heller I can't review this one properly I listened to it on audiobook over about a month and never really felt involved with it. Each time I resume reading it I can barely recall what happened when I last put it down. I find this to be a very hard book to engage with due to its non-linear and fragmented structure. Each chapter tends to be a little vignette about the absurd situations experienced by the soldiers of the 256th squadron on the island of Pianosa, and each chapter more often than not does not lead to the next chapter. While Yossarian is clearly the central character, the narrative point of view often switches to another character's who soon fades into the background or disappear from the story entirely. The frequent but temporary point of view switches make it hard for me to keep track of who all the numerous minor characters are.

On the positive side the book is very cleverly written and often very funny, especially when it is focused on the absurdity of circular reasoning favored by the bureaucratic colonels and majors. I can see why this is considered a classic even though it is not particularly appealing to me on the whole. If I really wanted to review this book properly and fairly I would have to read it properly over a week or so, but there is no point in doing that as I have absorbed enough of the content to know that it is not for me. I won't dissuade anybody from reading it because I don't really know who will enjoy this book and who won't. Catch-22 is known to be a humorous novel with serious undertones, but if you are thinking of reading it just for a quick laugh you may be in for a surprise (not necessarily in a good way).