At the heart of Joseph Heller's bestselling novel, first published in 1961, is a satirical indictment of military madness and stupidity, and the desire of the ordinary man to survive it. It is a 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 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