This book is not an easy pick up—it starts confusing and never really settles. But I recommend you do anyway, because it’s everything at once: funny and tragic, logical and absurd.
This was my second time reading this book, and I’ve been thinking about why it still wasn’t a very easy read, and why despite of that I like it even more than the first time around. The non-chronological narrative definitely doesn’t make it any easier, and there’s also a lot of characters to follow.
But I think the main factor is how the absurdity of it all is emphasized over and over. The first time the term Catch-22 is introduced, it’s just a single funny thing among all the absurd things going on. We only know it’s significant because it’s also the title of the book. But the absurdity keeps ramping up to new levels up to the point where you realize that the characters are actually quite sensible, given the circumstances. And then the book drops another bomb of insanity.