From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Catch-22 is a satirical, historical fiction novel by the American author Joseph Heller, first published in 1961. The novel, set during the latter stages of the Second World War from 1943 onwards, is frequently cited as one of the great literary works of the Twentieth century.
The novel follows Captain John Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bombardier, and a number of other characters. Most events occur while the airmen of the Fighting 256th (or "two to the fighting eighth power") Squadron are based on the island of Pianosa, west of Italy. Many events in the book are repeatedly described from differing points of view, so the reader learns more about the event from each iteration. Furthermore, the events are referred to as if the reader already knows all about them.