I won't have finished Catch-22 by month's end. I just finished reading chapter 19 of 42. I will finish it, however, even though I don't like it. As I have mentioned, I recall abandoning only 2 books without finishing them. It took me more than a year to read A Hundred Years of Solitude (felt like longer), but finish it I did! My goal will be to finish Catch-22 before its library due date. And I'll try NaNoReMo again next year.
I would blame my dislike for Catch-22 on postpartum hormones (yes, of course I'd rather be weeping at The Namesake or The Whole World Over), but honestly, I don't think I'd like it under normal circumstances. The "who's on first" style and circuitous logic are cute for about 1.5 chapters; after that, it just seems dumb. The style might not be so annoying if the characters and plot were more engaging. But, at nearly the halfway point, I haven't learned much more than War is crazy. Yossarian wants out. Here are some profiles of his zany sidekicks. If Joseph Heller wrote a blog, it would not be in my feed reader.
One good thing about Catch-22 is it's not a book that requires a lot of brainwidth. As I read, I will have realized that my mind has wandered for the past page and a half, yet I find that I haven't missed anything. I went back and reread a passage that I was going to excerpt here—one that I found rather clever—and realized that as I glossed over it at first read, I had altered the meaning. The actual passage wasn't as clever as the version my addled brain had filled in.
The book I finished just prior to picking up Catch-22 was the fantastic Sweet Land. (Thanks Pam!) Will Weaver manages to flesh out his disparate characters so well in these short stories. Heller's, by comparison, are flat and cartoony.
The one chapter I really liked was 9, "Major Major Major Major." Matthew Baldwin discusses it here.
I do like the way Catch-22 makes fun of the military. And I suppose it was pretty radical at the time it was written (1950s). I would write a longer review, but ultimately I'd rather catch 22 winks than devote any more time to this book.