When a chapter of Catch-22 was first published as a novel-in-progress in 1955 Joseph Heller got several letters of encouragement from editors. Then, when the finished book was published in 1961, Orville Prescott of the New York Times described it as "a dazzling performance that will outrage nearly as many readers as it delights." Half the reviews were positive, but the other half were negative, and some were downright scathing. New York Times Book Review contributor Richard G. Stern said the novel "gasps...
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