What’s the catch?

Occasionally I’ll start a book I want to read and find it is a struggle to complete. This usually happens with Thomas Pynchon but the book I’m reading now is just as tough. ‘Catch-22’ by Joseph Heller, frequently cited as one of the greatest works of the 20th century. Instead of feeling lost in the language, style or any other characteristic intrinsic to the book itself I feel stymied for another reason – having repeatedly read the Mad Magazine parody, ‘Catch-All-22’ that I bought back in 1971 to the point that it is permanently stamped on my brain. Each new scene or character introduced in the book takes me back to the Mad version. Catch-22 itself isn’t that difficult of a story to digest, it’s just the distraction of the other version that makes it hard for me to focus.


About Marcus

Who me? Introverted, neurotic, self-absorbed, increasingly cynical observer of human nature and part time social critic in hiding. Most of my life spent avoiding growing up. The naive idealistic passions of youth have evolved into the eclectic eccentricities of adulthood. Northeast Florida small-town native, related to people I can't relate to. Simultaneously my own best friend and worst enemy. Politically and spiritually unaffiliated, my personal ideologies put me all over the map or off it completely.
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3 Responses to What’s the catch?

  1. Hee hee. I *loved* Mad Magazine when I was a kid. Two parodies that stick out in my mind are the ones they did of the Waltons and of course, “Star Blecch”.
    Now that I think about it, they may be the ones responsible for my life of silliness and immaturity. Maybe.

  2. Kind of like seeing the bad movie version of a book before reading it… you then forget which came first.
    My brothers had all the issues during the ’60s. I was a bit young to understand some of it, but I loved the snappy answers to stupid questions.
    “Is this fish fresh?”

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