Book Blogger Suffering Mental Illness From Reading Catch-22?

Dateline: Bibliophilopolis, January 23, 2012
A local book blogger was found incoherent & disoriented in his home Sunday evening. Apparently, some fellow bloggers had become concerned when his blog had fallen silent for an even greater period of time than usual. Investigation revealed that he had been reading Joseph Heller’s novel, Catch-22, in an “assignment” from the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library’s book club. Attempts to contact other members of the club for reaction are ongoing.

Apparently, the stricken blogger has been showing up every thursday at the club so far this month, thinking the meeting was scheduled. When told last week by library volunteers that the club meets the LAST Thursday of the month, he reportedly replied, “This IS the last Thursday!” He was then notified that the meeting is on January 26th which prompted the protest, “But that’s the NEXT Thursday of the month!” before storming off muttering to himself.

The blogger’s chief complaint seems to be that he imagines the book is getting longer and longer the more he reads. Just as the number of missions The unfortunate Yossarian is required to complete is continually raised in the book, the blogger claims whenever he thinks he’s nearing the end of the book, he sees there are more pages than the last time he looked. Clearly hallucinating, as even he acknowledged, he remained hopeful that in a sustained, marathon reading session he still might be able to finish by Thursday.

Asked just when he might be able to get a marathon reading session in, he would only say, “When I have more free time!” The same reporter inquired when that might be and was told, “Well, not until I finish this damn book, that’s for sure!”

Library officials have been attempting to contact other members of the book club in fear of the possibility that this phenomenon may be widespread. Ominously, only a few have responded, and in somewhat cryptic emails, perhaps confirming their worst fears. Whatever happens, this Thursday’s meeting should prove interesting – if anyone shows up…



  1. Alex said,

    January 23, 2012 at 11:50 am

    LOL! Hang in there Jay, there will be a way out of your Catch-22. Although.. if it really makes you feel like that, it must be the work of a genius?


    • Jay said,

      January 29, 2012 at 12:35 pm

      Hi Alex,
      I did finally make it to the end. I do respect that a different/new(?) type of genius was needed to create this work. It did make me laugh at some points, (“He really does see evertyhing twice!” lol) but overall it was still a disturbing experience reading this one. 🙂


  2. Dale said,

    January 23, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Classic, Jay! I read this book when I was in high school. I remember liking it, but it was just as you described! And I can’t really tell you what the book was about or any type of plot details.

    Have you ever seen the documentary “Stone Reader”? It was put out by Barnes and Noble sometime in in the early 2000’s. The filmmaker loves Joseph Heller and there is a very poignant moment when he finds out Heller died.

    The documentary itself is about the filmmaker trying to track down the author of an obscure book he read in his late teens called “The Stones of Summer”. He eventually finds him. B&N published the book when the documentary was released. I read the book and found the documentary to be 100 times better!


    • Jay said,

      January 29, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      Thanks, Dale. I haven’t seen that documentary, but thanks for bringing it to my attention. Sounds like it’d be really good to watch.


  3. Melody said,

    January 25, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Haha! Hopefully said blooger makes an incredibly swift turn-around in the near future. 🙂


    • Jay said,

      January 29, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      Hi Melody,
      I made it to the end! (and the staff here at Happy Acres Rest Home tell me I’m on schedule to be released in time to watch the Super Bpwl!) 🙂


  4. Dave said,

    January 28, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    I liked the missions to chapters analogy. A wave of relief overtook me as I neared the end of the book and discovered that the last 50 pages were commentary and I was abruptly returned to the land of the free and the brave. The turnout of nine was good. Most of us are at an age when it is not a shame to admit that an assigned book is not worth reading.


    • Jay said,

      January 31, 2012 at 8:44 am

      Hi Dave,

      Yes, that certainly was a tough one to get through. I hope to write a more serious post about it eventually, but I fear that, like you, now that I’m celebrating being free again, I won’t willingly go back to it. We’ll see.

      I look forward to returning to Vonnegut for next month!



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