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Sarah's Library

I read pretty much anything, from fantasy (City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett) to romance (Bared to You by Sylvia Day) to classics (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad).  The only genres I don't read are self-help and comic books/graphic novels.

Currently reading

The Last Honeytrap
Louise Lee
Progress: 100/346 pages
Complete Works of William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare

Catch-22 (Catch-22, #1) by Joseph Heller

Catch-22 - Joseph Heller

7/4 - So far I've only read the introduction by Howard Jacobson and the preface by Heller himself (I enjoyed those two 'chapters' a lot, Heller's description of his attempts to get Catch-22 published were quite amusing) and a few reviews of it here.  I am now feeling scared and unsure about the success of my attempt to read this classic.  Most of the reviews talk about writing styles I have either avoided or attempted and failed, like stream of consciousness and disjointed timelines (I absolutely COULD NOT finish The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner, I had no idea what was going on or who anyone was).  So now I'm scared this is going to be another of those 'classics' that everyone's read, and understood, but me.  I just finished The Lord of the Flies and while I obviously read it, I'm not sure I understood it.  Oh well.  Isn't there a song along the lines of 1 out of 2 ain't bad?  I don't imagine they were singing about the reading and comprehension of books but I guess it still works.  To be continued...

8/4 - Heller writes a sentence like I did when I was 10 - rambling and never-ending.  Fortunately his exceedingly long sentences make more sense and are more interesting than my 10-year-old attempts.  Love Dr. Daneek who does nothing but complain about his bad luck in being dragged into the war and visit his own medical staff everyday to find out what's wrong with his health, only to find that there's nothing wrong and complain about that too.  That's my attempt at a Hellerish sentence (I never liked punctuation anyway, sometimes it's just too hard to know where and when to use it).  To be continued...

11/4 - There are some books that are funny and hilarious and even LOL.  These are the ones that make you snigger or laugh out loud while you're reading it on a train full of silent passengers.  You know, the morning commuters who quietly type away at their laptops or catch a few extra minutes of sleep before work), who all turn to look (and grimace) at you at the same time (kind of pod-people-like).  Then there are the kinds of books that are amusing and humourous.  These are the kind of books that might make you smile and go "Hah" under your breath without opening your mouth.  It's the quieter more polite version of funny and hilarious.  The more sophisticated and publicly acceptable way to demonstrate humour.  For me, Catch-22 is definitely the latter (although I'm not all that worried about publicly acceptable ways to demonstrate humour, if it's funny I'm gonna laugh).  There are many instances of, I think the right term is, irony, which for me are enough to put a smile on my face, but not enough to actually create a laugh.  I don't know if that's my sometimes simple and sometimes immature sense of humour or if it's just not a LOL kind of book.  To be continued...

10/6 - This is such a complicated book to read and an even more complicated book to review.  There are so many plot threads running through the book that it's hard to keep track of everything that's happening and who's involved in each thread.  I'm nearly finished and I'm having trouble remembering not only the nuances of the 400 pages I've read but some of the main details of the plot.  I'm going to have to re-read this a number of times before I can honestly say that I fully understood it - I think I might buy myself a copy as the one I'm reading at the moment is currently a week overdue at the library and I figure it might take me about the same length of time to read it next time around as it has this time.  To be continued...

13/06 - I found the conlcusion of the book to be possibly more confusing than any previous part I had read.  Everything seemed to be happening very quickly, too quickly.  Then suddenly the final chapter arrived, it was like a whirlwind that swept all the characters' plot lines along and in the confusion everything was suddenly, a bit magically, tied into a neat bow, when 20 pages back you couldn't imagine how the book could ever finish with any kind of proper ending.  After I finished I was looking at some of the other books Heller wrote and was very surprised to see that he had written a sequel.  Despite the open ending (Yossarian maybe/maybe not escaping the military hospital and getting to Sweden) Heller wrote for Catch-22 I would never have guessed that there was a sequel to it, it just doesn't seem like the kind of book (or Heller the kind of author) to have a sequel (or at least not a successful one.  I mean how can you write a sequel to a book like Catch-22?  I'm a bit scared to read it.  What if it's not as good?  I'm sure it won't be dreadful, but it might not be great and that would be a real disappointment after the greatness of Catch-22.