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Catch-22. by  Joseph Heller - Signed First Edition - 1961 - from Raptis Rare Books (SKU: 96004)

Catch-22.

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Catch-22.

by Heller, Joseph

  • Used
  • hardcover
  • Signed
  • First
Condition
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About This Item

New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961. First edition of Heller's classic first book. Octavo, original blue cloth. Presentation coy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, "To Albert Raman, Best wishes to you. Joseph Heller 3/20/80 New York." The recipient was a lawyer and well-known book collector. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket with light rubbing. Jacket design by Paul Bacon. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional example with noted provenance. Catch-22, Joseph Heller's first and best-known novel, depicts a military world turned upside down. In Heller's World War II, a supplies manager has more power than a general, and anyone seeking a discharge on the grounds of insanity is declared sane enough to keep on fighting. When the novel appeared in 1961, World War II veterans appreciated its satire of the military bureaucracy and chaos of war. By the mid-1960's, it had become a cult classic among counterculture activists for its biting indictments of war. Many consider the novel to be the definitive statement of the modern antiwar position. The phrase 'Catch-22', symbolizing the absurdity of all institutional logic, has become a permanent part of our language" (NYPL Books of the Century 177). Basis for the 1970 film directed by Mike Nichols. The cast included Alan Arkin, Bob Balaban, Martin Balsam, Richard Benjamin, Olimpia Carlisi, Art Garfunkel, Jack Gilford, Charles Grodin, Bob Newhart, Anthony Perkins, Paula Prentiss, Martin Sheen, Jon Voight, and Orson Welles.

Synopsis

Catch-22 is Joseph Heller’s first novel and his most acclaimed work. Set during World War II, the novel uses a distinctive non-chronological third-person omniscient narration, mainly focusing on the life of Captain John Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bombardier. Occasionally, the narrator also shows us how other characters, such as the chaplain or Hungry Joe, experience the world around them. As the novel’s events are described from the different points of view through separate out-of-sequence storylines, the timeline of Catch-22 develops along with the plot. The novel's title refers to a plot device that is repeatedly invoked in the story. Catch-22 starts as a set of paradoxical requirements whereby airmen mentally unfit to fly did not have to, but could not actually be excused. By the end of the novel, the phrase is invoked as the explanation for many unreasonable restrictions. “Catch-22” has since entered the English language and can be understood as an unsolvable logic puzzle, a difficult situation from which there is no escape. Upon publication, the book was not a best seller in the United States. It was merely a cult favorite until the publication of the paperback edition in 1962, which set record sales — most likely benefitting from a national debate about the pointlessness of the Vietnam War. Catch-22 has since been ranked as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century by the Modern Library, one of the 20th century's top 100 novels by the Radcliffe Publishing Course, and one of the 100 greatest novels of all time by The Observer. 

Read more: Identifying first editions of Catch-22.

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Details

book dealer
Raptis Rare Books US (US)
Bookseller’s Inventory #
96004
Title
Catch-22.
Author
Heller, Joseph
Book condition
second hand
Binding
Hardcover
Publisher
Simon & Schuster
Place of Publication
New York
Date Published
1961
Keywords
Catch 22 First Edition, Joseph Heller First Edition

Terms of Sale

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About the Seller

Raptis Rare Books

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio.co.uk member since 2012
Palm Beach, Florida
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About Raptis Rare Books

Founded by Matthew and Adrienne Raptis, Raptis Rare Books is an antiquarian book firm that specializes in literature, children's books, economics, photo books, signed and inscribed books, and landmark books in all fields. Our business model is simple: we strive to handle books that are in exceptional condition and to provide exceptional customer service. We are proud members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) and exhibit at major book fairs in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston, as well as other regional fairs.

Glossary

Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

rubbing
Abrasion or wear to the surface. Usually used in reference to a book's boards or dust-jacket.
jacket
Sometimes used as another term for dust jacket, a protective and often decorative wrapper, usually made of paper which wraps... [more]
First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in... [more]
morocco
Morocco is a style of leather book binding that is usually made with goatskin, as it is durable and easy to dye. (see also... [more]
clamshell box
A protective box designed for storing and preserving a bound book or loose sheets. A clamshell box is hinged on one side, with... [more]
fine
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the... [more]
Cloth
"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched... [more]
inscribed
When a book is described as being inscribed, it indicates that a short note written by the author or a previous owner has been... [more]
octavo
Another of the terms referring to page or book size, octavo refers to a standard printer's sheet folded four times, producing... [more]

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