Brace youself…….

..Jessica has FINISHED Catch-22!!! 

I had my doubts….obviously…but I will admit that it really did pick up as the book progressed.  I encourage readers to stick with it. 

I DO stand by my previous opinion that the book could have been tightened up to about 1/5 the length and not lost anything.

 

On to Life of Pi…..

Powering Through

Yeah, I’ve definitely never read Catch-22. I’ll be honest- I know it’s on the list, I hear that it’s a great book- but damn, I am not enjoying this. Maybe it’s the reader who, in his effort to assign unique voices to each character, keeps reminding me of John Candy. Maybe it’s Heller’s satire that, to me, sounds like a 16 hours version of “Who’s on First”. Maybe I need to get a little deeper into it. All I know is that it’s not holding me and I don’t look forward to getting in my car to listen to it.

So, when do I give in? When do I throw in the towel? This audiobook is SIXTEEN HOURS LONG. I’m on hour 4. Maybe I’ll just bite the bullet and try to get through it….just to say that I did.

I just feel like I’m missing something. I’ve had it happen before. I’ll admit it….when I read The Grapes of Wrath I found Ma Joad extremely irritating. I was sick of her whining and secretly hoped that she would die of TB. Years later, I revealed this at a dinner party and an English teacher friend of my parents dropped her jaw in shock. I believe her quote was “But she’s one of the great heroines of modern literature!”. My response, in my ever-appropriate and sophisticated way, was to roll my eyes and say “Whatever”.

So, am I going to end up sticking Yosarian in the same category as Ma Joad? I’m not quite sure. I just read a synopsis of the book and it sounds like it’ll take a turn and perhaps develop a plot around chapter 12. By then will I even care?

All I know is that I spent all day asking my co-workers whether they’d ever read the book, hoping for encouraging input, and not one person could say for sure that they’d read it and/or remembered it. I’m starting to wonder about this “Top 100 Novel” classification.

Perhaps that’s the REAL Catch-22

Catch-22

I recently posted about my new obsession with audiobooks and my plan to channel this obsession into plowing my way through the 100 Best Novels.  I feel like it could only help for me to get a few more classics under my belt.  I just finished Night by Elie Wiesel, which I THOUGHT was on the list…but wasn’t.  Apparently I’d confused the 100 Best Novels with the Oprah Book Club.  Yeah, it’s not quite the same.  It was an incredible book and it IS a classic.  In fact, I’d go as far as to say that if I kept looking at other 100 Best Novel lists (there are a million), I’d eventually find it.

When I originally went through the list, I made a point NOT to count books that I read for school but had no recollection of.  I don’t want credit unless I remember SOMETHING about the plot.  Catch-22 is one of these books.  Oddly, I remember nothing about the book.  Nothing.  Even with Fahrenheit 451, I remember that books burn at…well…. 451 degrees fahrenheit and that it involves book-burning and censorship.  So, when I saw that my local library had Catch-22, I grabbed it.  (I’d requested that Life of Pi be ordered from another library and put on hold for me, but it hasn’t come in yet)

Before I go on, first let me mention that the audio version of  Catch-22 contains SIXTEEN CDs.  I’ve been dabbling in the 4-6 CD range so far.  Not only did I not remember the plot, apparently I forgot the thickness of the book.  According to Amazon.com, it had 464 pages.  (Wow, I wonder how many CDs it takes to hear an Ayn Rand book…)  I’m not quite sure how I’m going to accomplish this in 2 weeks.  Really, the only time I get to listen is in the car on my way to/from work.  I think I may see how far I get and then load the rest onto my Ipod.  We’ll see.

So, I popped CD #1 into the player on my way to work and expected that the first chapter would trigger some sort of recognition.  Nothing.  I have absolutely no recollection, no familiarity.  Is it possible that I never read it?  I’m 98% sure that it was assigned (I have a mental image of Mr Brusa’s sophomore year English class when I think of the title), I don’t THINK I would have just blown off an entire book.  Perhaps I read it in such a machanical, means-to-an-end, way that I just didn’t retain anything.  Hmmmm, so strange.  Maybe I’ll get into the car tonight and suddenly remember something about it.

I’ll keep you posted.  I’ll be on this book for a few weeks, at least.