At the heart of Joseph Heller’s best-selling novel, first published in 1961, is a satirical indictment of military madness and stupidity, and the desire of the ordinary man to survive it.
This is the tale of the dangerously sane Captain Yossarian, who spends his time in Italy plotting to survive. Yossarian is a bombardier in the 256th Squadron of the US Army Air Forces during World War II, stationed on Pianosa, a fictionalised island in the Mediterranean between mainland Italy and Corsica. The squadron’s assignment is to bomb enemy positions in Italy and eastern France. Yossarian’s mission is simply to stay alive.