"There was only one catch...And that was Catch-22": First Edition of Catch - 22; Inscribed by Joseph Heller


HELLER, Joseph.


Item Number: 96004

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.

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