Rotten Reviews: Catch-22

“Heller wallows in his own laughter and finally drowns in it. What remains is a debris of sour jokes, stage anger, dirty words, synthetic looniness, and the sort of antic behavior the children fall into when they know they are losing our attention.”

Whitney Balliet, The New Yorker

“There is a great difference, after all, between milking a joke (the great gift of all comedians) and stretching it out till you kill it. Mr. Heller has enough verve not to have to try so hard to be funny.”

William Barrett, Atlantic Monthly

“…it gasps for want of craft and sensibility…. The book is an emotional hodgepodge; no mood is sustained long enough to register for more than a chapter.”

New York Times Book Review

Excerpted from: Bernard, Andre, and Bill Henderson, eds. Pushcart’s Complete Rotten Reviews and Rejections. Wainscott, NY: Pushcart Press, 1998.

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