When I read the prologue to this edition, I didn’t understand the “Yossarian Lives” stickers comment. I sooooo understand now and am ready to start posting “Yossarian Lives” stickers all over my workplace. I am the one that must have a happy ending (the reason I struggle with the top 100, too serious) therefore I refuse to believe that Yossarian did not make it.
I loved this book the second go round. My maturity level and understanding of sarcasm is much higher in my 40s than it was in my teen years. I remember liking the book in high school but I really enjoyed it better now. What a complex, yet simple book. Again an author taking a difficult subject and telling a wonderful story. The message in this book, I very much agree with, “War is crazy!” He so adeptly points out the absurdity of war and all it creates. The haphazard way Heller writes is reflective of the craziness of war, is the point of war really that clear? Deep down does anyone really want to kill or really want to die? All for a line on a map or a foreign policy? Yet it is done over and over and over again – maybe we are all a bit loony. The humor with the horror was brilliant. Humor as a coping mechanism for the horror seen during the war is how I took it. How to you get through seeing the worst side of humanity if not by laughing in its face.
I perused Goodreads to see what other readers thought of this classic and was a bit disappointed in the responses.
Many recent readers could not stick past the beginning of the book. You must read the novel in its entirety to understand the method to the madness. Some said there was no depth in the characters, no development of the characters. I disagree wholeheartedly. I felt sadness at each death at the end, I knew each one’s strange quirks and that somehow made us closer. Maybe it is my sarcastic humor that drew me to the characters through Heller’s eyes. The interesting fact is Heller did not write directly about Yossarian yet each interaction with another character brought us a bit closer to knowing him. I thought he was a bit odd, sincere, somewhat honest, good person.
All in all, I say well done Mr. Heller, I enjoyed the read!
Come everyone grab a book, read anything – JUST READ!!
Next up Darkness at Noon.