Joseph Heller – Catch 22
Nope, that’s not mistake, typo nor a fat finger. It’s no coincidence that it’s my 22nd review, except that it isn’t. (The good old “It just all happened too fast I guess…” seems to come handy also in this case).
And I’m already walking on an extremely thin ice in here as I can only spoil this. In this case I have ABSOLUTELY nothing to add but JUST READ IT!
THIS IS THE BEST BOOK I’VE READ and I’m jealous of all of you who get to read it for a first time. No kidding!
Favourite line (so JEALOUS, but go and enjoy it!):
“’Why don’t you ask me to let you write my name and address on a piece of paper so that you will be able to find me again when you come to Rome?’ she suggested.
‘Why don’t you let me write your name and address down on a piece of paper?’ he agreed.
‘Why?’ she demanded belligerently, her mouth curling suddenly into a vehement sneer and her eyes flashing with anger. ‘So you can tear it up into little pieces as soon as I leave?’
‘Who’s going to tear it up?’ Yossarian protested in confusion. ‘What the hell are you talking about?’
‘You will,’ she insisted. ‘You’ll tear it up into little pieces the minute I’m gone and go walking away like a big shot because a tall, young, beautiful girl like me, Luciana, let you sleep with her and did not ask you for money.’
‘How much money are you asking me for?’ he asked her.
‘Stupido!’ she shouted with emotion. ‘I am not asking you for any money!’ She stamped her foot and raised her arm in a turbulent gesture that made Yossarian fear she was going to crack him in the face again with her great pocketbook. Instead, she scribbled her name and address on a slip of paper and thrust it at him. ‘Here,’ she taunted him sardonically, biting on her lip to still a delicate tremor. ‘Don’t forget. Don’t forget to tear it into tiny pieces as soon as I am gone.’
Then she smiled at him serenely, squeezed his hand and, with a whispered regretful ‘Addio,’ pressed herself against him for a moment and then straightened and walked away with unconscious dignity and grace.
The minute she was gone, Yossarian tore the slip of paper up and walked away in the other direction, feeling very much like a big shot because a beautiful young girl like Luciana had slept with him and did not ask for money.
He was pretty pleased with himself until he looked up in the dining room of the Red Cross building and found himself eating breakfast with dozens and dozens of other servicemen in all kinds of fantastic uniforms, and then all at once he was surrounded by images of Luciana getting out of her clothes and into her clothes and caressing and haranguing him tempestuously in the pink rayon chemise she wore in bed with him and would not take off. Yossarian choked on his toast and eggs at the enormity of his error in tearing her long, lithe, nude, young vibrant limbs into any pieces of paper so impudently and dumping her down so smugly into the gutter from the curb. He missed her terribly already.”