CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller
In an age of Wall Street riots, pizza-shucking politicians, and the generally chaotic atmosphere of the universe, we’ve decided to compile a list of the Top Ten Funniest Books of All-Time. Consider this list cheaper than Prozac.
The criteria? Gut-splitting, eyes-watering, holy effing-you-know-what-I-can’t-believe-it funny. You know what we’re talking about here. These are the ones where we’re laughing out loud on the subway and people are staring at you because they think you’re insane.
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By Deirdre Donahue
A half a century ago, a Manhattan ad guy straight out of Mad Men wrote a novel whose title became an indispensable part of our lexicon.
This October, get ready to sing “Happy 50th birthday” to Joseph Heller’s Catch-22.
Publishers are already marking the anniversary:
•Out this week is One Catch: A Biography of Joseph Heller by Tracy Daugherty (St. Martin’s Press, $35), the first full biography of the writer.
•Due in stores later this month is Yossarian Slept Here (Simon & Schuster, $25), Erica Heller’s bittersweet memoir of her father.
•Released this spring: A 50th anniversary edition of Catch-22, with an introduction by Heller friend and fellow satirist Christopher Buckley (Simon & Schuster).
Biographer Daugherty, who teaches at Oregon State University, calls Heller’s debut novel “the bible of American black humor.” The classic has sold more than 10 million copies since 1961.