The Catcher in the Rye Author:J. D. Salinger J. D. Salinger's famous and enduring chronicle of Holden Caulfield's journey from innocence to experience is the quintessential coming-of-age novel--though it's an unusual one, in which the hero tries to cling to the simplicity of childhood, achieving a kind of maturity almost in spite of himself. As the novel begins, Holden runs awa... more »y from his stifling prep school, which is full of "phonies" and where he has, in fact, flunked out. Holing up in a New York City hotel, he has a series of small adventures and missed opportunities, all of which emphasize his loneliness and alienation from the world. A visit to his kid sister Phoebe (in which he memorably articulates his confused notion of being a "catcher in the rye") provides a ray of hope for Holden, as do the ducks in Central Park that he worries about so compulsively: though they do indeed disappear in the winter, they return in the spring. The novel's final image, of Phoebe riding the carousel in the park while her brother looks on, in tears, holds out the idea that there may be a future for Holden as well. Salinger's 1951 novel was a bestseller and became an immediate cult favorite, but it has also, over the years, been subject to criticism and even censorship because of its liberal use of profanity, its frank conversations about sex (though no actual sex takes place), and its generally irreverent view of the adult world.« less
I read this book simply because it is considered a 20th-century classic. I wasn't sure what to expect when I started it. I was not at all impressed. I kept waiting for something major to happen to Holden, for a story, but I realized toward the end that nothing really was going to happen, no story here! It was very memoir-like in that respect, almost pointless. At times I was a bit annoyed with the narrative, perhaps due to its adolescent voice. This book was only mildly entertaining. I may have appreciated this book more if I had read it back in high school. I'm glad I finally read it, but I can't say that I'd recommend it!
This summer I decided to start reading the books I was supposed to read when I was in high school but never did. I wish I had skipped this one. It is so bad I just can't believe teachers force it on their students. If I had actually read this in high school, I probably would have given up ever reading another assigned book again. The conversational writing style started of as very fun to read but got extremely boring and irritating about half way through. I stopped caring about Holden at right about this time. He is always whining about something and I just wanted to smack him out of it a'la Cher in Moonstruck. I also couldn't help but think he had a pretty perverse facination with his sister, Phoebe. I think if this book had been written in 2006, Holden would be escaping from a mental institution and not just being kicked out of a "boys school".
Although this is a classic, and the familiar title tends to turn people away.. I still love it.
If you read for entertainment, this might not appeal to you. But if you love to get more than skin deep into a book, this one has ALL of the elements for you!
The adolescent hyppocrasy of the main character throughout the book is something to look for. The symbolism of crossing roads, leaving behind the innocence of childhood-- all battles this rebellious, troubled, multiple attempt at private-school student battles. An easy read for anyone above the age of 15... Truly worth it. A must read.
And finding out why this book is told through the eyes of the main character towards the end is worth finishing the book for. It's a thinker.
I think, had I read this book as a teenager, I may have enjoyed it. As it is, I think that Holden just served to show, in a timeless way, what nasty little buggars teenagers are. It was easy to imagine this in a current setting rather than 60-70 years ago. The writing had a nice flow to it, very easy to read. But this was a book that I just couldn't seem to like. This may be in part due to the fact that I read "Looking for Alaska" at the same time. The books were very similar, but because I liked the other so much, I think that may have made me like this one that much less. I am almost ashamed to admit that it took me just about 3 weeks to read this barely 200 page book. But I suppose that's just a testament to how bad I thought it was.
Okay, so I had the chance to finally read this book. Not sure what all the fuss is about though. Seems like it's kind of flat to me.
So it's about this kid named Holden Caulfield. To me, he just seemed like a typical, lazy teenager who can't seem to get his life together. He doesn't like school, he doesn't like other people, he's depressed, and he's sexually inept.
I'm not sure if this why this book was banned other than the language for the 1950's was probably too harsh, but I found it fairly tame compared to other books written today. It definitely doesn't hold up to today's standards of writing.
It was an okay book, I liked it. Would I recommend it? Not really, unless you are one that wants to read banned books and or controversial books of the times. Otherwise I would pass and read something a little more substantial.
I read this in high school and wanted to revisit it. I was disappointed because I found that it did not make the transition to present day very well. As a mental health counselor I did find the presentation of the protagonist's slow desent into an emotional break down well done.I can appreciate why it is considered a classic when considering the time in which it was written.