"THAT'S SOME CATCH, THAT CATCH-22": FIRST EDITION OF JOSEPH HELLER'S CATCH-22
HELLER, Joseph. Catch-22. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1961. Octavo, original blue cloth, original dust jacket. $4800.
First edition, first printing, of this extraordinary first novel whose title has come to define an unwinnable situation— an "explosive, bitter, subversive, brilliant book."
"One of the most bitterly funny works in the language," Joseph Heller's first novel quickly became a classic of anti-war literature. So effective were Heller's humor and insight that the title passed cleanly into the English language with its precise evocation of an unwinnable situation. "When the novel appeared in 1961, World War II veterans appreciated its satire of the military bureaucracy and the chaos of war. By the mid-1960s, it had become a cult classic among counterculture activists for its biting indictment of war" (New York Public Library, Books of the Century, 117). "I believe that Joseph Heller is one of the most extraordinary talents now among us," wrote critic Robert Brustein. In Catch-22, "even the logic of survival is unworkable. But at least we can still contemplate the influence of its liberating honesty on a free, rebellious spirit in this explosive, bitter, subversive, brilliant book" (New Republic). With "First Printing" on copyright page. Bruccoli & Clark II:197. Burgess, 99 Novels, 79.
Book fine; light edge-wear to spine head of bright price-clipped, about-fine dust jacket.