His problem is Colonel Cathcart, who keeps raising the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempts to excuse himself from the perilous missions that he's committed to flying, he's trapped by the Great Loyalty Oath Crusade, the bureaucratic rule from which the book takes its title: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes the necessary formal request to be relieved of such missions, the very act of making the request proves that he's sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved. (Summary and book cover courtesy of


I struggled with this book because it seemed extremely tangential to me.  Ooo! Look shiny topic.  Let’s talk about that. Oh wait, I was talking about this.  Back to that.  Ooo! Look shiny other topic.  What were we talking about?

Sometimes the tangents were set ups for jokes later on, but at that point I wan't engaged anymore because I had trouble keeping track of the other 15 tangents going on.  I was exhausted reading this book and just couldn’t get into it.  I know it’s a classic and people (many friends) think it’s excessively clever, but to me it was a bit like someone coming up to you saying “I am clever!  I’m clever because…” You shouldn’t have to declare it, just let me discover it myself.

I did chuckle at times and I did have spurts where I enjoyed the book. But overall the whole package wasn’t worth it to me.

Warning: Extremely confusing

Rating: 3 stars!

Who should read it? Fans of the absurd.