Ahead of the George Clooney directed interpretation of the classic book, The Folio Society has released a special edition.
Catch-22, Joseph Heller’s masterpiece of anti-war satire, is given a fittingly glorious home in this illustrated The Folio Society edition introduced by celebrated writer and critic Malcolm Bradbury.
With the hotly anticipated George Clooney directed version of the novel set to land 17 May on Channel 4, what better time than to dive into this classic and know the story before it airs. First published in 1961, Heller’s withering satire continues to hit its target today. The novel marshals and exposes farcical bureaucracy, logistical confusion and a freak show of officers as dangerous as they are absurd: Major Major, the reclusive squadron commander who is bullied by his own men; the sadistic Colonel Cathcart, who keeps raising the number of missions required to complete a tour of duty; and the shameless capitalist Milo Minderbinder, who isn’t averse to bombing his own base in the name of profit.
Watching in bewilderment as, one by one, his friends are killed in action, is Yossarian, the ultimate anti-hero, who resorts to ever more desperate measures to save himself from the same fate. In an introduction that is as critically insightful as the novel is compelling, the late academic and celebrated novelist Malcolm Bradbury discusses the global heartbreak caused by two world wars, while reflecting on their transformative effect on art and literature.
Catch-22, as no other novel before or since, captures the manic energy and madness of war. Its skillful merging of horror, pathos and black humour could have made illustration a challenge, but not in the masterful hands of Neil Packer. His eight poster-inspired colour illustrations transform this cult classic into a stunning illustrated edition: an essential addition to any contemporary fiction collection.
The Folio Society edition of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, introduced by Malcolm Bradbury and illustrated by Neil Packer, is available exclusively from The Folio Society.
Illustrations © Neil Packer from The Folio Society edition of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22
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