Monday, September 1, 2008

A little Labor Night prose

Currently reading Catch-22 and thinking that to be thoroughly enjoyed, this book has to be read out loud with at least one other person. The next time you talk about or recommend this book to someone, you won't remember the amusing dialogue or character descriptions on page 103 because on page 104 there's another funny character description or dialogue sequence, and so on and so forth.

Here are some enjoyable bits from the chapter I read tonight:

"A lesser man might have wavered that day in the hospital corridor, a weaker man might have compromised on such excellent substitutes as Drum Major, Minor Major, Sergeant Major, or C Sharp Major, but Major Major's father had waited fourteen years for just such an opportunity, and he was not a person to waste it. Major Major's father had a good joke about opportunity. 'Opportunity only knocks once in this world,' he would say. Major Major's father repeated this good joke at every opportunity."

Later in the chapter, Major Major gets promoted to Major:

"People who had hardly noticed his resemblance to Henry Fonda before now never ceased discussing it, and there were even those who hinted sinisterly that Major Major had been elevated to squadron commander because he resembled Henry Fonda. Captain Black, who had aspired to the position himself, maintained that Major Major really was Henry Fonda but was too chickenshit to admit it.

1 comment:

  1. 1. I read this book in Mr. Howard's 11th grade english class, and I took a liking to it.

    2. This book was the final answer in a recent night of Quizzo (Bar trivia in Philly - I'm not sure what you call it down there)- from Wikipedia "A magazine excerpt from the novel was originally published as Catch-18, but Heller's agent, Candida Donadio, requested that it change the title of the novel so it would not be confused with another recently published World War II novel, Leon Uris's Mila 18. The number 18 has special meaning in Judaism (it means life in Gematria) and was relevant to early drafts of the novel which had a somewhat greater Jewish emphasis."

    3. I think that catch-22 is the only catch I actually remember from this book

    4. Although a very famous book, it doesn't seem like a lot of people have read it, or maybe just not a lot of people I know. weird.