Catch-22

by Heller, Joseph

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. 

First Edition Identification

Simon & Schuster first published Catch-22 in June of 1961. The first edition is bound in blue cloth, the top edges of its pages are stained red, and the statement “First Printing” appears on the copyright page. The dust jacket of the first edition has the original $5.95 price on the bottom of the front flap and author's picture on the back panel with no blurbs.

Other Collectible or Notable Editions

Other notable editions include the first UK edition published by Jonathan Cape in 1962 and the 1978 Franklin Library leather-bound and signed limited edition. 

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Catch-22

Catch-22

by Heller, Joseph

Condition
Used
Edition
First edition
Published
1961
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1
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CHESTER, Connecticut, USA
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$9,500.00

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New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961. First edition. Original blue cloth, fine in a nearly fine dust jacket (faint wear and discoloration on the spine). Inscribed by Heller.
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$9,500.00
Catch-22
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Catch-22

by Heller, Joseph

Condition
Used - Very Good
Jacket Condition
Very Good
Edition
First Edition
Published
1961
Binding
Hardcover
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1
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Maplewood, Missouri, USA
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$495.00

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Simon and Schuster, 1961. Very Good Hardcover with Very Good dustjacket 1961 early reprint with original cover, Portrait of author on back cover. First Edition. Hard Cover. Very Good/Very Good.
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$495.00
Catch-22.

Catch-22.

by HELLER, Joseph.

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Used
Published
1962
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LONDON, GBR
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Jonathan Cape, London., 1962. First U.K. edition. Octavo. 443 pages. The author's first book. He didn't write another novel for thirteen years. Apparently, he was once asked why he had never written anything else as good as Catch-22; ''Who could?'' was the reply.On the front free endpaper is the contemporary (1962) ownership inscription of Peter Hope Lumley who was… Read more about this item
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Catch-22
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Catch-22

by Joseph Heller

Condition
Used - Very Good+
Jacket Condition
Good+
Edition
First Edition, Second Printing
Published
1961
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1
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Los Angeles, California, USA
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$2,499.00

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Catch-22, Joseph Heller. First Edition, SECOND PRINTING, signed and inscribed by Heller to Olive Plunkett on front flyleaf. In original dust jacket.
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$2,499.00
Catch-22.

Catch-22.

by Heller, Joseph

Condition
Used
Published
1961
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Palm Beach, Florida, USA
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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… Read more about this item
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$8,500.00
Catch 22
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Catch 22

by Heller, Joseph

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Used - Very Good
Jacket Condition
Very Good
Edition
First Edition
Published
1961
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Portland, Oregon, USA
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New York: Simon and Schuster, 1961. First Edition. Very Good/Very Good. 443 pp. First edition, first printing stated. Signed by Joseph Heller on the front free endpaper, with a lengthy inscription to a former owner. Bound in publisher's blue cloth with spine lettered in white. Very Good+ with bump to bottom edge of front board, thin strip of… Read more about this item
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CATCH-22
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CATCH-22

by Heller, Joseph

Condition
Used - Near fine in near fine jacket.
Edition
First printing
Published
1961
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1
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Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
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New York: Simon and Schuster, 1961. First printing. Near fine in near fine jacket.. Beautifully inscribed first edition of this dark satire on the patriotic narrative of American triumph in World War II, with a brief accompanying letter from Heller. A supreme example of black comedy in 20th-century war fiction, CATCH-22 emphasizes the existential disillusionment of soldiers witnessing… Read more about this item
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$15,000.00
Catch-22  (large type edition)
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Catch-22 (large type edition)

by Joseph Heller

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Used - Very Good
Jacket Condition
Good
Binding
Hardcover
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Kingston, New York, USA
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New York: Simon and Schuster. Hardcover. Very Good/Good. an undated 9 X 11.25 inch hardcover large type edition (c.1955,1961) in blue publisher's boards with white titles to spine, second state DJ with $10.95 price is protected in clear book jacket cover with 6 review blurbs on rear, inscribed note on FEP signed Joe Heller 8/20/69, 484 pages,… Read more about this item
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$5,000.00
Catch-22: 50th Anniversary Edition

Catch-22: 50th Anniversary Edition

by Heller, Joseph

Condition
Used - Very Good
Binding
Paperback
ISBN
9780099529125
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GORING BY SEA, West Sussex, GBR
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$1.35

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Paperback. Very Good.
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$1.35
Catch-22  - Pirated Edition

Catch-22 - Pirated Edition

by Heller, Joseph

Condition
Used - Very Good+ in Very Good+ dust jacket
Published
c1961
Binding
Cloth
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1
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Summerville, South Carolina, USA
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$320.00

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[Taiwan]. Very Good+ in Very Good+ dust jacket. c1961. Cloth. A Taiwanese edition (pirated) in Very Good+ condition with front hinge starting, in alike dust-jacket with light edgewear. Light yellowing to inexpensive paper used. Previous owner's name to front fly leaf. A late signature of Joseph Heller on the title page; Joseph Heller's magnum opus, added… Read more about this item
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$320.00
Catch-22

Catch-22

by HELLER, Joseph

Condition
Used - Near Fine
Jacket Condition
Near Fine
Published
1961
Binding
Hardcover
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1
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Gloucester City, New Jersey, USA
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New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961. Hardcover. Near Fine/Near Fine. First edition. Bookplate front fly, and endpapers skinned where an old jacket protector was affixed there, thus good only in good dustwrapper with evidence of glue and tape where the jacket was affixed. A presentable, if not exactly lovely copy. The author's first novel, whose satiric anti-war attitude… Read more about this item
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$3,950.00
Catch-22
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Catch-22

by Joseph Heller

Condition
Used - Fine
Jacket Condition
Very Good +
Edition
First Edition
Published
1961
Binding
Hardcover
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1
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Orange Park, Florida, USA
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$345.00

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New York: Simon and Schuster, 1961. Book. Fine. Hardcover. First Edition. Stated "Second Printing" of the first edition with title page dated 1961. First-issue dust jacket with $5.95 publisher's price on front flap and the original photo of Heller across entire back panel. Blue cloth hardcover with silver lettering on spine, red topstain and untrimmed page edges. 443 pages. FINE… Read more about this item
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$345.00
Catch-22
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Catch-22

by Joseph Heller

Condition
Used - Near Fine
Jacket Condition
Near Fine
Published
1961
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1
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Tomball, Texas, USA
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First Edition/Later Printing (15th); A Near Fine book in a Near Fine dust jacket. SIGNED and inscribed directly to the title page by the author. An outstanding copy of this classic work of WWII literature, uncommon flat signed by Heller. This copy is in near fine condition with only light rubbing to the board edges and a gentle push to… Read more about this item
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$1,950.00
CATCH-22
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CATCH-22

by Heller, Joseph

Condition
Used - Very Good
Jacket Condition
Very Good
Published
1961
Binding
Hardcover
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1
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CARLSBAD , California, USA
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New York: Simon and Schuster, 1961. Eleventh printing. Original publisher's light blue cloth boards with spine lettered in white. Red-orange top edge stain and fore-edge untrimmed. Blue boards have some spotting (see pictures). Clean and tight with crisp text, no markings. The very good dust jacket has one small stain at head of spine, no chips or tears, with… Read more about this item
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$40.00
Catch-22
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Catch-22

by Joseph Heller

Condition
Used - Good
Jacket Condition
Poor
Edition
1st Edition 3rd Printing
Published
1962
Binding
Hardcover
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1
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Morston, Norfolk, GBR
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$16.10

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London: Jonathan Cape, 1962. 1st Edition 3rd Printing. Hardcover. Good/Poor. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Barbara Whitehead. 3rd Printing of 1st edition (all 1962) and bar toning to endpapers and light spotting to block, all is in VG internal order. No inscriptions. Smart pink cloth with bright gilt titling, a little sunned to spine, moreso at… Read more about this item
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$16.10
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Catch-22

by Joseph Heller

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Used
ISBN
9780099470465
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Morrinsville, NZL
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Vintage, London, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: Good Plus. Light reading wear. Very clean interior..
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$3.00
Catch-22
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Catch-22

by HELLER, Joseph

Condition
Used - near fine
Published
1961
Binding
Hardcover
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New York, New York, USA
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New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961. hardcover. near fine. Rebound in full blue morocco, raised bands, a.e.g. N.Y.: Simon & Schuster, 1961. Fine. Very early presentation copy, dated Sept. 11, 1961 - "To Milton Perlman- With all good wishes, and sincere gratitude for your help and encouragement in these pre-publication days. Joe Heller".<br/> <br/>
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$4,500.00
Catch-22: A Dramatization
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Catch-22: A Dramatization

by HELLER, Joseph

Condition
Used - Fine
Edition
First
Published
1973
Binding
Soft cover
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1
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Pine Plains, New York, USA
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$455.00

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SIGNED by Joseph Heller (1923–1999). Catch–22. [New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1973]. 8vo. Illustrated from photographs of the first play directed by Larry Arrick at the John Drew Theatre. Original publisher's pictorial wrappers. FIRST DELTA EDITION, SIGNED BY HELLER on half–title. Joseph Heller's full-length comedy, adapted from his iconic first novel. The story is set in World War II and… Read more about this item
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$455.00
Catch-22
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Catch-22

by Heller, Joseph

Condition
Used - Near Fine
Edition
First Thus Limited Numbered Signed
Published
1994
Binding
Hardcover
ISBN
9780671898540
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1
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Victoria, British Columbia, CAN
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New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994. Book. Near Fine. Hardcover. Signed by Author(s). First Thus Limited Numbered Signed. Fine But For Slightly Faded Spine, And Touch Of Soil To Top Edge Of Text Block. Internally Fine, And Apparently Unread. ( " Special Edition " ) # 162 Of An Edition Of 750 Copies Signed By… Read more about this item
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$240.70
Catch-22 (Modern Library #375)
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Catch-22 (Modern Library #375)

by Heller, Joseph

Condition
Used - Very Good
Jacket Condition
Very Good
Edition
First Edition Thus
Published
1966
Binding
Hardcover
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1
Seller
Maplewood, Missouri, USA
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$295.00

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The Modern Library, 1966. Very good hardcover with very good dust jacket. Stated first Modern Library edition, September 1966.. First Edition Thus. Hard Cover. Very Good/Very Good.
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$295.00