Sunday, September 25, 2011

Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out: Joseph Heller's Catch 22

Banned Books Week runs from Sept. 24 – Oct.1, when readers around the world are encouraged to celebrate books that often get banned in various places around the world.  There are other books that have been banned more often than Catch-22, but it's Catch-22's 50th anniversary, and it's looking pretty darn good for its age.  I just got sent this lovely new edition by Random House, with a soft matt finish cover and have been enjoying it immensely, not only for the sharp spotlight it shines on the kind of overt bureaucratic absurdity that is no less relevant today than it was 50 years ago, but also because of the superb writing. For example, check out these two sentences: "Hungry Joe was a throbbing, ragged mass of motile irritability.  The steady ticking of a watch in a quiet room crashed like torture against his unshielded brain." Is that superb characterisation or what?  Catch-22 was banned in Strongsville, Ohio in 1972 and that decision was overturned in 1976. It was also challenged in Dallas, Texas (1974) and again in Snoqualmie, Washington (1979).   Here's a little clip I prepared for the global 'read-out' in which I read about the "catch" (the best catch there is...):

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this :D

    Trev @