Catch-22 is set in World War II, but its tone is shaped by the events of the 1950s and an attitude toward all wars, not just that one. Looking back, Heller recognized that World War II was a relatively "popular" war for most Americans, a factor in some critical rejection of the novel. Catch-22 grew in popularity during the years of the Vietnam War, when the general population became more attuned to Yossarian's point of view.Initially, the critical response to Joseph Heller's first novel, published in the autumn of 1961, was mixed. Some of the most prestigious reviews were quite negative. Richard G. Stern, in The New York Times Book Review (October 22, 1961), wrote that the novel "gasps for want of craft and sensibility" and that the book was "no novel." He compared Heller to an artist who throws "all the
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Joseph Heller, times book review, favorable reviews, Richard G. Stern