Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

I got the point: war is absurd and bureaucracy multiplies the immorality and ineffectiveness of fighting to solve a problem. And for what it's worth, to me the book get's the point out there in a really witty way. The entire Milo subplot is hysterical and relatable, and Colonel Cathcart's completely superficial appreciation of his authority and warped sense of responsibility resonates with anyone that's had a shitty manager in their life. Apply it all to war, and then go on to realize that wars are actually happening, and it becomes a real "Whoa..." inducing kind of book.

But the method of delivery, for me, was a bit agonizing, especially in the beginning. There's so much reliance on allegory, that it feels like you need a magnifying glass just to get a lot of the subtler points, then once they're finally reveled, they're unrelenting. E.g., Nately's whore wanting to kill YoYo -- the reason is hinted at by a one line and then there's 3 chapters dedicated to it; the full body casted man; Orr's chestnuts and the woman with the shoe -- used throughout the book and then explained right at the end in two lines, hungry joe's cat and pretty much everything else about him.

Granted, that could just be because I'm not good at reading between the lines and parsing symbolism, or because I like more literal literature (e.g., non-fiction and more forward novels), but it's frustrating none the less.

I also found myself looking for a more explicit plot to latch onto. It was like each character was its own lesson, and every chapter was its own isolated metaphor; but the punch line to each multi-paragraph joke were single sentences, and the consistency maintained between each chapter was thin since the characters were only there as vessels for the underlying point. Although, when you finally got to one of those punchlines, it was better than sex since the buildup was never ending.

Either way, it got me thinking and I'm glad I read it. I just wish it was more concise.