2015 Reading Challenge: Pair 3

3.  “Sideways Stories From Wayside School” by Louis Sachar & “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller

Goodreads.com

Goodreads.com

Goodreads.com

Goodreads.com

The two books in this pair are “Sideways Stories From Wayside School” by Louis Sachar and “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller.  Here is the note from the BuzzFeed article:

The brilliant and hilarious Catch-22, which follows Captain John Yossarian as he fights in the U.S. Air Force, is all about the absurdities of bureaucracy. And while the themes of the war novel are understandably darker, the shenanigans are similarly inane — from a bomber pilot holding rubber balls in his hands as a way to distract from the crabapples in his cheeks, to the Wayside School student who can’t count in the correct order but always lands at the right number.

Note: I have linked my reviews to each of the respective books as the titles in the beginning of this post.  Also, if you have not read the books, I may have spoilers below so watch out!

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If you read my review, you will see that I was not a big fan of the book “Catch-22”, but I did enjoy “Sideways Stories from the Wayside School”.  Because of that, it would be easy to claim the book were not complimentary, but in truth I think they are!

www.funnyjunk.com

www.funnyjunk.com

“Catch-22” is an extremely absurd book that I was frustrated with because I felt the jokes were carried on too long and didn’t make sense in discreet chunks.  “Sideways Stories” on the other hand is a collection of short stories so by default they’re quick reads and make sense (as much as any of them do).  The difference is what *I* believe is a reasonable amount of time to get to the punch line.  But my point is: both authors are talented in their absurd logic and both do get to their punchlines.  “Catch-22” just happens not to be on my schedule!

The main characteristics of each book include: humor, cyclical logic and the understanding of a good story.  The humor is certainly a given – I laughed out loud a few times for each of the books.  Reading “Sideways Stories” you’ll have a bemused, slightly-confused moment where you will just have to suspend disbelief for a moment before continuing the story.  “Catch-22” devotees tell me it’s a similar phenomenon for them and I can see how it would be the case.  Perhaps my real problem with the book is that I went into it with too many expectations!

Summary: I agree the books are complimentary!

Do you agree these were good compliments?  What did you think of the books themselves?