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Comic novelist and critic, Paul McDonald, provides an accessible, revealing guide to Joseph Heller's seminal anti-war novel, Catch-22. McDonald succinctly contextualises the book both in relation to the author's life, and key developments in modern American literature. The book offers a thorough summary and analysis of the plot, addresses important characters such as Colonel Cathcart, Milo Minderbinder, Major Major, and Doc Daneeka, and explains the various ways in which Yossarian's hilarious predicament has been interpreted. Among other things it considers Yossarian's status as a mythic hero, an individualist hero, and a postmodern hero, assessing his relevance to contemporary America, and his re-emergence in the sequel to Catch-22, Closing Time, published in 1994. It also offers a descriptive bibliography of important secondary sources, and links to useful online texts. Paul McDonald is Senior Lecturer in American Literature and Course Leader for Creative Writing at the University of Wolverhampton.
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