Doc Daneeka There’s a catch. Catch-22. Anyone who wants to get out of combat isn’t really crazy, so I can’t ground him.
Yossarian OK, let me see if I got this straight. In order to be grounded, I’ve got to be crazy. And I must be crazy to keep flying. But if I ask to be grounded, that means I’m not crazy anymore and I have to keep flying.
Doc Daneeka You got it. That’s Catch-22.
Jay Dog-eared and Cracked is a conversation about books, where we each try and pick something for the other, maybe introducing them to a new genre or a new author. Sometimes our picks are based on genuine hope that the other will equally enjoy the read. Sometimes — and Phil will never admit this — book picks are designed to rile the other up. If you want to read along with us, head to dogearedandcracked.ca to see our upcoming titles. We’ve also got transcripts uploaded, if you want to act out the podcast with family and friends. We’ll also tell you more about what we have coming up at the end of the show.
Jay I’m Jay.
Phil And I’m Phil.
Jay And this week we discuss a book that I picked, but neither one of us has actually read before. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. Not having read Catch-22 before, I admit that I picked this book based entirely on its reputation. Have you heard about the book before this?
Phil [Laughs] Catch-22 is one of these books, I tried to read it years ago and I don’t think I made it out of the first chapter. And, you know, it has this huge reputation. It’s a cultural artifact. It’s got — the phrase has entered our language. Joseph Heller, he served in World War Two as a bombardier. He was based in, he was based in Malta. He was born in 1923 in Brooklyn. And he was a writer. He didn’t have a whole lot of success in terms of his literary writing, but he was actually a writer who did reasonably well financially because he was a — he wrote promotional copy for Time and Look and McCall’s and other magazines. So he was a relatively well paid guy. And in 1955, he started writing this book, which was originally called Catch-11. No, Catch-18, sorry. He started writing Catch-18 in 1955. It took him seven years to complete. And just before it came out, the same publisher released Leon Uris’ book, I believe, called Mila 18. And they didn’t want two books on World War Two with 18 in the title. So Catch-18 became Catch-11 and then it became catch-14. And they…
Phil Yeah. And then they finally settled on Catch-22. Catch-22 is the story of John Yossarian, who is an officer, he’s a bombardier like Heller was in World War Two, on this tiny island called Pianosa, which is a real island, but has something like 10 inhabitants in reality. And it is an absurd take on bureaucracy, World War Two — it’s a hard book to describe. Essentially, in terms of the plot, Yossarian wants out. And built around his quest to be able to get out of the military are all the absurd goings on on the squadron, when the men are on leave in Rome and, you know, in the background, there is occasionally actually a war scene as well, although even though it’s a book ostensibly about the war, it’s not really about the war.
Jay No, it’s almost about, you know, is bureaucracy and it’s about ambition to a little bit. Right? I mean, the reason they keep increasing the number of missions is because the colonel wants to get promoted to general. Right?
Jay Every chapter’s got a character’s name and predominantly that’s because that chapter is either told from the perspective of that character or it’s just about that character. He kind of almost tells the same story, flipping back and forth between — it’s the same third person narrative, but it’s almost two different perspectives. What did you think about that way of storytelling?
Phil I kind of had a revelation when I was reading this book because my tendency is to really want to like, understand and remember, and I know we talked a couple of weeks ago about how I’ve also been making my way through Dune. And in Dune, I kept stopping and going to Wikipedia and who is this character, and I don’t remember. And so when I was reading Catch-22, you know, there’d be a reference to some event and I would think I don’t remember that event, right? I just decided this is already a long enough book. It’s going to take me a long time to read, and it’s going to take me forever if I keep trying to remember which character is who and what happened when. And so I thought, I’m just going to go with it. I’m just going to read and remember whatever I remember, which turned out to be the right strategy, because I didn’t realize in the beginning that, you know, Heller will refer to the bombing of Ferrare. But you haven’t actually come to the bombing of Ferrare in the story yet. So it’s very yeah, it’s very circular. He will refer to events as if they’ve already happened. If I had hung on to my — if I’d done my usual, like really wanting to know what’s going on all the time, this would have really irritated me. But somehow early on I just decided I’m just going with this book and whatever he’s throwing at me, and so it worked just fine for me once I realized that that’s what was happening.
Jay The way the characters are presented too — I was with you originally. I was trying to understand who they were. Then you realize as you go along that he kind of repeats a lot of the characters again and again, right? So you start to eventually, kind of your mind teases out who these characters are. I kind of looked at it like if you approach the novel like a puzzle, it’s probably one of the few books I think I would consider reading again. I know how it turns out. There’s not necessarily a lot of passages that I think are exquisite writing. It’s more just it’s like an Agatha Christie novel where you’re reading it and you’re trying to figure out if you can figure out who the murderer is. I feel like if I read it again, it’ll actually start to kind of — the pieces will fit together a little bit.
Phil Yeah, he keeps returning to certain motifs like there’s the guy — is it Orr? — who keeps walking around with chestnuts in his cheeks, right? Or crabapples.
Jay Yeah, I think so. Yeah. Yeah. And he’s also the one who makes the stove.
Jay He gets the stove running and he keeps taking apart and redoing it!
Phil To heat the tent The stove to heat the tent.
Jay That’s right. Yeah. Yeah.
Jay There’s good…
Phil I was going to say, you know, you forget, I’d forgotten all about the chestnut thing and then you know, 30 chapters later there’ll be something about crabapples in your, in your cheeks. And I did find in the beginning, I did get a little tired of the, of the kind of absurdity of the dialogue along the lines of “Why do you have chestnuts in your cheeks? Well, because I couldn’t find any crabapples.” You wind up in all these circular conversations among the characters.
Jay Well, look, let’s dive into that for a second, because this is like Lewis Carroll stuff. A lot of it was like Alice in Wonderland. If you ever go back and look at the exchanges that his characters, like Tweedledee, Tweedledum, and the Mad Hatter and it’s our unbirthday, that kind of thing. It’s exactly — it’s almost like he’s borrowed from it on purpose just just to create that absurd universe.
Phil You know, I read the Alice books a couple of years ago, and I didn’t make that connection. But that completely makes sense. That seems, that seems spot on to me.
Jay There’s another connection, too. We’ll get into this, too, and I don’t know if you remember the book, I know you’ve read it, but either of Kafka’s — he’s got like, he only officially has three books and a bunch of short stories, but The Trial and maybe The Castle…
Phil I haven’t read The Castle.
Jay So in The Trial, a character is caught in a world that makes no sense. But every character in that story, in that universe, is determined that they are correct in their own illogic. And the character basically has no understanding of how to gain traction. So The Trial, I won’t go into it, but in The Trial, he’s accused of a crime, but he has no way of defending himself because he doesn’t know what the crime is. Very similar to, if you recall, the chaplain gets pulled in into a basement and gets interrogated.
Phil Right. There’s this whole subplot about somebody is forging Washington Irving’s and John Milton’s names on the documents.
Jay Yeah, yeah.
Phil The poor chaplain gets accused. And this seems to be the most important thing for the Criminal Investigations Division to figure out, right? Not any of the other terrible things going on, but who’s forging Washington Irving’s name?
Jay I know. I know. The poor chaplain gets pulled into it. What do you think of Doc Daneeka?
Phil I don’t know if — I was trying to think, you know, was he my favourite character? I think Yossarian is probably my favourite character. He’s the strongest character. But a lot of the side characters are great. Like, Doc Daneeka is the doctor who never does anything. He has two other guys who man the medical tent and all they do is take your temperature and give you laxatives and paint your gums purple. Doc Daneeka — anytime anyone comes to the doctor to complain about their health concerns, he says, “Well, what about me and my blood pressure?” or something like that.
Jay Yeah, yeah.
Phil I think that’s typical of a lot of the characters. They just care about, well, what about me?
Jay One of the characters I kind of liked and Milo Minderbinder is my absolute favourite. I know you said I know Yossarian might be yours Phil, but — so Doc Daneeka is involved in something where he is thought to be on a plane that crashes and McQuat is on a plane that crashes into the mountains. Doc Daneeka, his name was on the manifest. And so they consider him to be on the plane, even though during the novel he’s actually there physically with the people saying, no, no, I’m right here. I’m not — I wasn’t on the plane. And yet they insist on it, not…
Phil Right. His name is on the flight manifest.
Jay That’s exactly it. Yeah. Yeah, that’s right. So and then what happens? Refresh my memory. Something about his wife.
Phil Right. I think this gets to one of the themes of this book, which is that it’s not really about the war. It’s not specifically about the absurdity of war. I think a lot of it is about, you know, the priority given to paperwork and regulations and bureaucracy and so on. So yeah, so what happens is he’s on the flight manifest. Everyone thinks he’s dead. So as a result, he’s no longer getting rations. He’s no longer getting salary. He writes to his wife to say, if you hear that I’ve been killed, don’t believe it. It’s not true. She replies. And her letter comes back stamped “Killed in Action.” And meanwhile, she’s cashed in his life insurance policies and she’s gotten all these grants to help pay his burial costs. And so she moves to Michigan and leaves no forwarding address. And so, you know, it ties into this whole notion in this book, which I think is, you know, points to the fact that it’s not really about the absurdity of war, but about, you know, a world that prioritizes bureaucracy and paperwork and regulations that, you know, if the paperwork says he’s dead, he’s dead. And we see this play out in different ways in the novel, the priority of appearance over reality. So you’ve got these duelling colonels, Cathcart and Korn, who are each trying to outdo the other and get appointed to general. And a lot of their schemes are based on, you know, are based on them trying to get into the Saturday Evening Post. We hear that Yossarian has a dead man in his tent, but he doesn’t exist because he never officially arrived at the squadron. There’s a character, the squadron leader called Major Major. And if you want to make an appointment, the only time you can see him is when he’s not there. So, you know, it seems to me that it’s really a lot about how the ridiculousness of this kind of appearance over reality of modern life more than it is about war. Did you see it that way?
Jay Absolutely. So did they go too far, I guess, is the question we’re trying to figure out here. I mean, can I read you, though, the letter that they sent to to Doc Daneeka’s wife?
Phil This is one of the things that, yes, that made me laugh out loud when I read the book. It’s a form letter, right?
Jay That’s right. That’s right. And it’s not even a question of circle the words. It’s literally written as such. It goes: “Dear Mrs. Mr. Miss or Mr. and Mrs. Daneeka. Words cannot express the deep personal grief I experienced when your husband, son, father or brother was killed or wounded or reported missing in action.” It’s great because Doc Daneeka isn’t even dead, and it’s this — but if you read the book on a literal basis, and I think this is where some readers may struggle, it’s a little off-putting because it’s such it’s so outlandish. But I kind of read it as almost like a metaphor or it’s a characterization. So some of the characters, for example, are ridiculous in how far they take things, but that’s OK because they’re characters. And the rest of the novel, though, I thought was OK in terms of it’s just it’s an exaggeration, but it still works as a novel. It’s not fantasy yet.
Phil You know, I’m always hesitant when I approach novels as metaphors because usually — I don’t know about you, but I usually expect something kind of heavy handed. And this wasn’t heavy handed. It was funny and I really warmed to it much more as as I was reading it. One thing I found interesting that I was thinking about, you know, over the last couple of days is I remember at one point I texted you and I said something like, “I feel like I’ve been reading this book my whole life,” because it was going on and on. And it really did feel like a slog for a while. And after I finished it, the more I think about it, the more I like it. And things that at the time, as I was reading it, sometimes I’d think, oh, come on, this is this is a bit too much. I started to appreciate them. And I think the way he just pushes every everything, he pushes like every single thing to its extreme degree. Let’s take this and make it as absurd as possible. But in doing that, it shows the absurdity of even the thing you’re beginning with. Can I, can I read the loyalty oath section, which is a little bit long? Are you good with that?
Phil So, you know, and I think this is pretty relevant at the moment, too, in in North American politics. But you have this, this idea that one of the officers comes up with that he wants the men to all sign a loyalty oath. But Heller will just push it as far as he can. So all the other officers are competing with each other and they all want the men to sign loyalty oaths. So everyone’s trying to outdo each other and in the end, nothing can get done. So here’s a section from the book.
Jay OK. Go for it.
Phil “All the enlisted men and officers on combat duty had to sign a loyalty oath to get their map cases from the intelligence tent, a second loyalty oath to receive their flak suits and parachutes from the parachute tent, a third loyalty oath for Lieutenant Palkington, the motor vehicle officer, to be allowed to ride from the squadron to the airfield in one of the trucks. Every time they turned around, there was another loyalty oath to be signed….” What’s going on over there?
Jay [Laughter] The podcast studio — there was a breach.
Phil Should I make you sign a loyalty oath? What happened?
Music [Music break]
Jay The magic in the novel for me, and almost its brilliance, I thought he goes just far enough. He overextends, he extends himself frequently, but not to the point where you stop reading.
Jay Did you feel it was a little too much every time?
Phil I did sometimes as I was reading, but then I think it just, I just warmed to it as I went. It starts off, I mean, the book starts with Yossarian in the hospital faking an illness that he has — some liver problem or something — but, you know, he eases you into it. It doesn’t start off completely ridiculous, and it just builds and builds and builds and builds as it goes. So by the time it reaches that level, it’s like he’s primed you for it.
Jay How important was language in this book?
Phil Nothing really jumped out at me in terms of the language. Did it jump out for you?
Jay I thought it was extremely important in the sense that, you know, we talked about Alice in Wonderland, the comparison with that. But it was just, I thought it was used very effectively to really denote the absurdity of regulations.
Phil One thing about the language is he does this thing where everything is very literal. I noted one spot here. Let me just, let me just see. It has something to do with, you know, you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. Do you remember that?
Jay No, but vaguely. Do you remember? Do you have the quote?
Phil So it’s — Yossarian is talking to Doc Daneeka, and Doc Daneeka says: “‘A little grease is what makes this world go round. One hand washes the other. Know what I mean? You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.’ Yossarian knew what he meant. ‘That’s not what I meant,’ Doc Daneeka said as Yossarian began scratching his back. ‘I’m talking about cooperation.'”
Jay He does it so well. Heller does that so well! Where he’ll play on — he’ll take the mundane meaning of an expression and flip it over to something literal and he’ll do the converse as well. And I thought he’s quite, quite adept and quite almost brilliant at doing it that way. I mean, we didn’t talk a lot about Milo Minderbinder. Maybe we could just spend a few minutes on that before we can review…
Phil I was just going to say, yes, we should go to Milo now.
Jay He’s the clerk or he’s — I forget his original or his official title. Do you remember? What is he?
Phil He’s in charge of the mess hall.
Jay Right. Right. And so as part of that, he becomes — he basically, in my mind, he’s an entrepreneur, but his entrepreneurial machinations just get out of hand, don’t they?
Phil He starts out, he goes from, like, selling, you know, I guess buying and selling extra bits of food, eggs and tomatoes or whatever to buying the entire Egyptian cotton supply and organizing these incredibly complex deals both with the Germans and with the allies, right?
Jay And he he refers to the syndicate. So the second — any time anyone goes, hey, wait a minute, he goes, it’s for the syndicate. And we all have a share in it, kind of implying that it’s OK because everyone is going to going to profit from his scheming and his…
Phil Right, including when he bombs his own squadron because he has a contract to do it. But he tells them that it’s OK, because when he profits, everyone profits because everyone has a share. And do you remember what happens when one of the characters actually asks for his share?
Jay No, I can’t. I, no. But I can and I can’t. Now, that you say that I remember it, but I can’t remember what happens. What happens?
Phil Milo writes “share” on a piece of paper and hands it to him.
Jay Oh, that’s great. That’s great. You know, and it actually plays in quite, effectively at the end, doesn’t it, when Snowden is wounded.
Phil Right. So throughout the book, we understand that there’s this trauma that Yossarian has endured and it has to do with Snowden dying, Snowden being one of his colleagues on — they’re on a mission together. And and Heller hints at it a few times. that Yossarian binds his wound. But it’s the wrong wound. So, Snowden has a leg wound and Yossarian thinks he’s saving him by putting a tourniquet on “tourniquee” or “tourniquette”? [pronunciation question]
Jay Tourniquet [aka tourniquette], yeah.
Phil And meanwhile, it turns out he has like a horrendous fatal chest, chest or stomach wound as well. But when when Yossarian opens up the first aid kit, I think the first aid materials are missing. And there’s a note from Milo’s company, M&M Enterprises. So, yes, he’s everywhere.
Jay Poor Yossarian tries to give Snowden morphine and all there is in the kit is like two aspirins.
Jay And the note from Milo saying, you know, a note from M&M Enterprises. Yeah.
Phil He rebrands the planes, too. He repaints the war planes with his own logo.
Jay Oh, that’s right. And in certain cities, he’s considered like the mayor, he’s treated quite well. I mean, he’s literally the most powerful, one of the most powerful characters, with the exception of this Wintergreen, which I never quite figured out. This is the other individual who keeps getting demoted.
Phil And the more demoted he gets, the more powerful he becomes.
Jay Yeah, that’s right. And throughout the novel, people are talking about checking — you’ve got to check that with him.
Phil I thought a lot about bullshit jobs when I was reading this book because all the characters have bullshit jobs, basically, including PFC Wintergreen, whose job is to dig holes for no reason…
Phil But he doesn’t mind doing it because it’s part of the war effort.
Jay Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, as for Milo, I thought that whole — his inclusion as a character and all the anecdotes that come with that and all that, that’s a perfect — to your point, it’s a perfect allusion to capitalism because it’s kind of like capitalism gone wrong, right? Again, if you think of this book as an exaggeration, some type of analogy for everything that goes wrong in the world, and this is kind of a universe that Heller has created that is built on exaggerated qualities of the world. It works for me.
Phil Even though the book is about war, ostensibly, there’s not a lot of violence in it. And the violence that there is is almost cartoonish, like the guy whose body is cut in half and his legs stay standing on the beach. And then we have this chapter where this character called Nately is killed and Yossarian goes without leave to Rome because he wants to tell this character, who’s always referred to as Nately’s whore, that he’s, that he’s dead. Because she was planning to go back to America with him. Nately’s only like 20 or something. And when he’s in, he’s in Rome looking for her and her 12-year-old sister — It’s interesting that a lot of the characters assume that he’s interested in the 12-year-old sister for sex, and he’s like, no, I just, she’s just a kid and somebody needs to take care of her. But the scene in Rome is really nightmarish, in contrast to the rest of the book. There’s a guy beating a dog with a stick and nobody intervening. And then a few blocks away, there’s somebody beating a child and nobody’s intervening. And well…
Jay No, that was the interesting part. When he’s actually, as I recall, when he’s beating the dog, people are trying to intervene.
Phil Oh, are they?
Jay Then a block later, they’re beating, he’s, someone’s beating a child and no one’s doing a thing,.
Jay Yeah, it was — sorry, I cut you off.
Phil No, it almost made me wonder if it was supposed to be a dream chapter. And the men, you know, there’s a lot of scenes of the men with women, with sex workers. And then you have this — one of them like rapes and kills one of them in this chapter, which is completely out of left field for the rest of the book. And the only one who winds up being arrested is Yossarian because he’s in Rome without leave.
Jay Yeah, that was Arfy. So I remember that Arfy’s just sitting there going, uh, they’re not going to arrest me. They’re not going to arrest me. Even though he’s thrown this woman out the window. And yeah, sure enough, they come in and they head straight for Yossarian.
Phil Right. And, you know, the book still maintains an absurd element after this chapter because Nately’s, Nately’s woman keeps trying to kill Yossarian, including, you know, dressing as a German officer.
Jay I know. She’s, she’s like a ninja and like even in the last, I don’t want to — spoiler alert, but even in the last paragraph of the book, if you recall, when he’s leaving to… So, spoiler alert, just because…
Phil It came out about 60 years ago, I think we’re OK.
Jay I don’t want to ruin it, though, for somebody who’s going to read it. But anyway, you’ve all been warned. So what happens in the last chapter is that he decides that he’s going to desert. It’s his only option that he has. And so, in doing so, in the very last chapter, even as he leaves the tent to hitch a ride basically to Sweden, even in the very last chapter, they tell him to to jump and he jumps. And it’s because Nately’s whore has been hiding and swings at him and misses. And that’s kind of how the novel ends. And he’s on his way. So at the very end, like, she pops up again and again, like some crazy ninja hiding in wait assassin. And at one point that goes well for him, because they think she’s a Nazi assassin who’s going to assassinate the two majors.
Phil And we never find out why she’s trying to kill him either.
Jay No, he at one point speculates or surmises it’s because she blames him for flying and having Nately — basically, Nately goes down on a flight and I think she blames him for that, even though she arguably treats Nately terribly during the entire novel anyway. So it’s a weird kind of, I don’t know, juxtaposition of different kinds of viewpoints. And I don’t know. At the end of the day, though, what, like what do you think Phil? Should we try and rate this?
Phil Sure. For me, my rating of this just keeps increasing the more I think about it.
Jay OK, so maybe it’s — maybe we should take a take a shot at rating this Phil on a scale of one to five, where one means you think the catch was having to labour through the first 22 pages and five means, you don’t think it doesn’t get any funnier than naming a character Major Major Major Major.
Phil I confess, I didn’t understand the four “majors.” Like, his name is Major Major and his ranking is major. So he’s Major Major Major. But what was the fourth one?
Jay I think that’s his middle name is major. Major. Major. Yeah, I couldn’t get that either. Technically, though, his full name, and I looked at the chapter, is Major Major Major Major. Well, which was funny like for the first two seconds when I was 12.
Phil As I was reading the book, in the beginning when I was still on the slogging portion, I was thinking I should look up if there was a Mad parody of this and just read that instead.
Phil Do you remember those Mad parodies they used to do? And then it really grew on me to the point where I would say I would give it a 4.5. It’s not like anything else I’ve ever read. It still holds up. Even as I found it tiresome sometimes, I also found myself laughing out loud at scenes like the form letter, at scenes like Milo Minderbinder trying to unload all his Egyptian cotton by covering it in chocolate and feeding it to the men in the mess hall. It was a funny! It was a dark but funny book at the same time, and I’m sure it was incredibly difficult to pull off. I’m not surprised it took Heller seven years to write it.
Jay You know, I kind of approached it probably the same way you did. And it’s funny. Quick side note: My cousin Gregg saw the book lying around and just, you know, his eyes lit up. He goes, “Oh, that’s one of my favourite books.” And you hear that a lot about Catch-22. So when I read it, I really wanted to approach it with, OK, so it has a great pedigree. The reputation is there. Let’s see what this book has. And I didn’t necessarily want to just walk away going this is my favourite book of all time — and it isn’t. Like, my favourite books might be The Brothers Karamazov or Les Misérables. However, this book really grew on me. And the other part of it, though, it is a book I would love, time permitting, to read again, and I would actually enjoy reading it a second time just to pick up everything I kind of lost or kind of got washed out in the beginning as I was just trying to get through it. It’s a bit…
Phil And you’re generally not a rereader.
Jay No, that’s right. Yeah. Yeah, well, I reread a cereal box the other day. I’m going to rate it four and a half. And the reason why is hands down it’s a well-written book. There’s a lot of creativity in it. It’s a very different kind of book. And I really appreciated that. And I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like it since. Or before, I should say. I’ve read non-linear books before, but nothing that really worked the way it did. And I really appreciated that. The humour was good. It wasn’t great. There were sections like we were talking about where we did kind of laugh out loud, like the letter to Doc Daneeka’s widow, or some of the exchanges I thought were actually quite funny. But if you approach it like a puzzle, you’re willing to put a little bit of time into reading through it. And it will be, it is a bit of a slog, which is kind of a negative term. But it it’s a bit of — you need to kind of wade through it a little bit. Like you, I felt like I was reading it forever. It’s not the kind of book — and we should make the podcast listeners aware of this — it’s not the kind of book where you feel like there’s a resolution or the more you read, the more you understand and the more the story advances. The story doesn’t really advance that way. It’s more of an exposition. It’s more like being parachuted into a world like Alice in Wonderland where nothing really makes sense. And you’re just trying to make sense of it all and you’re Alice, and you’re talking to the Caterpillar, you’re talking to Tweedledum and Tweedledee or the Mad Hatter, and you’re trying to make sense of that. And if you’re willing to do that, you’re going to love the book. I mean, at the end of the day, I give it four and a half out of five. And I’m — not one of my favourite books, again, but definitely something that I really am happy that we took the time to go through and read for this podcast.
Phil You know, there are a lot of mid-century classics that I never read, like, you know, Norman Mailer and — or ones that I read, but a long time ago, like some of… Kurt Vonnegut’s Player Piano has the the kind of circular time thing, as I as I recall. And I have to say, it’s interesting because there’s a lot of these mid-century classics that are kind of, they were so important for a particular generation or two, and now a lot of them seem to not hold up or they’re kind of fading away. So I have to say, I approached Catch-22 with a bit of trepidation. I thought, is this going to be one of those like mid-century classics that we read it now and just are like, oh, God. But it’s not like that. It really feels, it really feels fresh. And it took me by surprise, especially considering that I had tried to read it at one point and just not not made it past chapter one. So I appreciate your bringing it up. Maybe we should get together and watch the movie at some point. So,next episode we’re discussing my pick, Knowledge of Angels by Jill Paton Walsh. Now, this book came out in the early 90s, 1994, I think, and I guess it’s out of print. I had originally borrowed it from the library. I had no idea that it was it’s kind of fallen off the radar. There’s no ebook. The library doesn’t have it anymore, Jay and I think both had to…
Jay So this will have mass appeal for podcast listeners.
Phil I think we both ordered it used. But I am interested in, Jay, in knowing what you’re going to think of this book, because it’s a novel, but it’s kind of allegorical and it’s got a lot of philosophy in it, which I think will be up your alley. So that’s the reason why I picked it. It’s the opposite of picking one to rile you up. I chose it because of your interest in philosophy.
Jay OK, I’m going to, I’m going to pretend that you’re being sincere and we’re going to go with that. Although I am reading the postscript here on the back, whatever you call it. And they’re, they’re comparing it to The Transmigration of Timothy Archer. This is not good, Phil.
Phil You’re not serious, are you?
Jay No, I’m not serious, I’m afraid.
Phil You might want to brush up on your Saint Augustine before read it. Or your Thomas Aquinas.
Jay Oh, Jesus.
Phil And, it is also set on a small island in the Mediterranean. So there’s our link to Catch-22.
Jay OK, yeah. So OK, before before we go, though, remember folks to rate and review us on Apple podcasts or any other podcast platform that you might be using. Ratings and reviews make it easier for people to find us and it also makes us happy if we get some type of feedback because then we know people are listening to us out there. You can leave feedback as well at dogearedandcracked.ca, where we have a blog. We also have a Twitter account, which is what, again, Phil?
Phil Dogeared_pod. If you look for “dogeared and cracked” you’ll find it.
Phil All right. Well, we will see you next time with Knowledge of Angels.
Jay As always, it’s been great. See you next time.