(New York: Simon and Schuster, 1961). 220 x 150 mm. (8 5/8 x 5 3/4"). 443 pp. FIRST EDITION, First Printing.
Publisher's blue cloth, white lettering on smooth spine. In the original illustrated dust jacket. Housed in a modern red morocco-backed clamshell box. Title page SIGNED BY HELLER in ink. ◆A pristine volume in a bright, pleasing dust jacket. (The jacket with one-inch tear to fold at front joint neatly repaired on verso, one other quite small closed tear to top of front panel, front cover lightly chafed, slight fraying at spine ends and minor wrinkling at bottom of back panel.).
This is an excellent signed copy of Heller's modern classic on the absurdity of war, often hailed as one of the most important novels of the 20th century. Based on Heller's own first-hand experiences as a member of the U.S. Air Force in WWII, the story revolves around bombardier Captain John Yossarian and his desperate efforts to keep himself alive by avoiding bombing runs. As noted by Britannica, "The 'catch' in Catch-22 involves a mysterious Army Air Forces regulation which asserts that a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions but that if he makes the necessary formal request to be relieved of such missions, the very act of making the request proves that he is sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved." Although the story takes place during the Second World War, the novel is largely a commentary on the Cold War and McCarthyism, and its anti-war message especially resonated with young people coming of age during the Vietnam War era. Joseph Heller (1923-99) wrote several novels, short stories, and plays, but "Catch-22" remains his best-known work. This copy is especially desirable for its very attractive condition and the presence of the author's signature on the title page. (ST17829)