By Joseph Heller
Passado em Itália durante a II Guerra Mundial, conta a história de um comandante de bombardeiros, um herói incomparável e matreiro, que está furioso porque milhares de pessoas que não conhece de lado nenhum querem matá-lo. Mas o seu verdadeiro problema não é o inimigo - é o seu próprio exército, que está sempre a aumentar o número de missões de voo que os homens têm de cumprir para completarem a sua comissão de serviço. Porém, se tenta arranjar uma desculpa para ser dispensado das perigosas missões que lhe são atribuídas, viola a Catch-22, o Artigo 22, uma norma burocrática hilariante mas ao mesmo pace sinistra: um homem é dado como doido se continuar a participar voluntariamente em perigosos voos de combate, mas se apresentar um pedido formal de dispensa é declarado mentalmente são e como tal é-lhe negada a dispensa. Com o recurso à sátira, ao humor negro, e aparentando uma lógica irrefutável, o livro argumenta que a guerra é uma loucura, que os militares são loucos e, muito provavelmente, que a vida moderna é também uma loucura.
National publication Award Finalist for Fiction (1962)
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Additional info for Catch-22 [Artigo 22]
It was clear that Gustl had reason to think we might click, so I readily agreed. I thought Gustl's gesture was so nice, that I told him not to be afraid to come and see me if things didn't go better with him. We met a few days later in a little park, not far off from where I lived. It had a children's bathing pool, and swings and other playtime devices. I found it a delightful place, ringing with children's carefree voices, and the splash of their small bodies as they threw themselves into the water.
One or two of us were pursuing choristers or telegraph boys (in imagination), others young beauties of our own generation (with varying success), and only one, as far as I can remember, liked older men and had yielded to the importunities of a famous writer who used to visit Cambridge fairly frequently. A friend who had grown to be very close to me, interested in literary experiments as I was, a non-Etonian, told me that he had agreed to go to bed with a young man who languished for him, quite clinically described the episode to me as if it had not been more than an interesting experiment, and admitted that the physical side had slightly disgusted him.
I was, however, not entirely right in this advance judgement. One of the younger men, a few years older than myself, invited me to an evening party at his house a month or two after I had joined. I had the impression that he had been keeping a careful eye on me. As soon as I turned up at his house, he showed me almost excessive friendliness, far more than I expected. The party was mixed, and very crowded in the comparatively small rooms. He introduced me to a large number of people, both male and female, whose names I immediately forgot, and then suggested I sit down on the floor beside a young man who greeted me with especial sympathy just as if he had wanted to meet me for a long time while my host went to get me a drink.