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The Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger

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      20.05.2013 13:40
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      It's growing on me, give it a chance to grow on you

      The Catcher in the Rye is one of those books that is on everyone's list of books to read, and many people get it ticked off early on in school. I never read it as a teenager, so have attempted to get through it as a 28 year old instead.

      PLOT
      The main character, Holden Caulfield, is an American teenager in the fifties, bouncing around from school to school after being kicked out of each for missing classes and failing subjects. The story follows Holden being kicked out of the latest school just prior to the Christmas break and deciding to flee for a few days before facing the music (and his parents).

      The storyline covers about a maximum of a week, but it is Holdens thoughts and decisions that are important about the book, rather than any 'action' or specific events. For the purposes of spoilers I won't discuss the plot in any great length, but I will discuss the themes and other aspects of the book below.

      THOUGHTS
      Readability - Catcher in the Rye is written as though Holden is talking to you directly, and as such the language is full of slang and can be difficult to read at times. However you do get used to it, and the book isn't very long so it won't stop you from finishing the story. Although the book was written in the 1950's, it's still easy to understand what each slang word means, so no problems there.

      Main character - Holden is not a likeable person - full stop. As I tend to stick to stories where you like the main character, or at least hold some sympathies with them, I didn't like that he was such an irritating character. If you are after a more straightforward story, Catcher in the Rye may not be for you.

      I think had I read it as a teenager, I'd see Holden as lazy, but would probably not be as frustrated with him as I am now. As an adult, I can better understand the consequences of his general lack of caring about his future. On the other hand, I can better sympathise with him over the loss of his brother, which must have caused at least some of this attitude.

      From the first to the last page you're hoping that Holden can get himself together and have a 'lightbulb moment'. That doesn't really happen but you're left knowing that the option to redeem himself is in his hands, whether he takes it or not is up to him. I think Holden is quite representative of some of the younger generation today, as apathy is clearly something that isn't applicable only to our time.

      Mature themes - The language and general themes of the book can be quite adult at times, however always from a teenagers more naive point of view. For younger teens it may not be appropriate (depending on the child - I wouldn't have a problem giving this to my child at high school age), but for anyone else you see and hear far worse on tv every day.

      CONCLUSION
      Weirdly, I'm enjoying the book more now that I've finished it and can think about it, than when I was actually reading it. I can see why it's the type of book that's taught in schools, as there's definitely more to it than first meets the eye. For example, I'm starting to understand the metaphor for the ducks in the pond in the park and how that relates to Holden's future life direction.

      I'm planning on reading a guide to the book which will bring a new light to the text, and I'd expect this to change my opinion of the book somewhat. Once I've done that I'll probably update the review to described what's changed.

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        07.10.2012 19:11
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        a few days in the life of Holden Cauffield will change your life perspective!

        what can I say? one of my childhood's best memories!

        the main character of this book is 16 years old Holden Cauffield, from New York. AT the beginning of the book we find him in his school and we get to know that he has been expelled for not passing his final examinations.
        Holden is full of hateful feelings which are expressed in particular during an encounter with one of his professors and with his room mates.
        Due to these two episodes, Holden decided to leave the school earlier that he was supposed to and go back to New York, where nobody is waiting for him for another 3 days and where his family doesn't suspect that he's been expelled.
        The book follows with the narration of the episodes that happen in those three days before Holden's return home. A particular mention is the character of Phoebe, Holden's younger sister. The character is very well pictured and in a way serves as a bridge between the young and problematic Holden and the rest of the world.

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        23.09.2012 19:27
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        A good book to digest and understand today's teenagers and their attitude/rebellions.

        One thing that struck out to me in regards to this book, is the way Holden keeps saying "you know" after nearly each sentences, and 'phonies'. I assumed that this way of speaking was a new thing, so I was surprised to find it was used in 1951 when this book came out. Which of course means it still holds relevancy to today's adolescence and young adults.

        The story teller is a 16 year old boy Holden Caulfield, recounting his experiences that have lead up to a break down, he doesn't fit in at school, he has moved several schools prior to the Pencey Prep, he feels he is misunderstood, his parents don't understand him, he misses his brother who died, and worries about a lot of things in general. At the first few chapters my initial thought was that Holden was a spoilt sullen brat who is a whinger for all that wrong. However as the book progresses, you discover that you had him all wrong. He is actually sensitive and very bound by morals (1950s morals). Holden has a strong sense of what his aims are and despairs about those around him whose attitude differs.

        I had to read this book twice over to get the meaning and to understand where he is coming in from, I recommend this book as it instills the importance of being you within your own morals and independence. Despite it being obvious that people around him are falling apart, in the end it was Holden who fell apart worrying excessively about other people.

        Be warned, even though it is set in 1950s there is a strong sexual references and obscenity within the book.

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          01.06.2012 11:46
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          Read it if you appreciate an intricate, detailed and emotive narrative. Otherwise, give it a miss.

          When I was looking for something new to read, I fancied a change and being an avid Stephen King fan, I decided that I wanted to read a classic. So, I went onto the net and looked at the recommendations for the top classic literature and on every list I found this book: The Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger. It surely has to be good to be on every list...

          Whilst I in no way hated this book, I cannot say it was overly memorable or a book that I would strongly recommend to a friend.

          The Catcher in the Rye follows a troubled 17-year-old, Holden Caulfield, who has been expelled from yet another posh boarding school and is returning home to New York early for Christmas. Not able to go home to his house for fear that his parents will know about his expulsion, he spends a couple of days staying in a hotel, hanging out in bars, trying to catch up with friends and, at one point in the novel, hiring a prostitute. Holden is a complex character; he's intellectual yet at the same time very immature, he is surrounded by a city full of people yet at the same time he is extremely lonely, he fritters money without a thought yet he resents his wealthy lifestyle.

          The fact that the book is written in the first-person with Holden as the narrator is, for me, the books biggest strength yet, at times, it's biggest weakness. Whilst the first-person narrative manages to convey Holden's teenage awkwardness and immaturity in a way that couldn't be achieved with a third-person style, his indirectness and use of chatty language and 1940s American slang can become extremely annoying, to the point where I would get fed up with reading the book. I think Salinger could have conveyed Holden's personality just as effectively had he toned down slightly the babbling of his narrative.

          My other major criticism of the novel is that the character doesn't develop in any way; at the beginning of the novel Holden is awkward, immature and lonely and at the end of the novel he is still all of these things. I found myself desperately hoping that Holden would have some kind of epiphany and realise that he is immature and that this is largely to blame for his isolation - but this didn't happen. I was left with the feeling that I had just read 192 pages and the character had gone nowhere.

          So, in conclusion, as a novel which aims solely to capture teenage angst and awkwardness through the eyes of a teenage boy, the book delivers what it promises and the feelings and experiences shown in the story will still be largely relevant to readers today. However, if you are looking for a novel where the character evolves and there is a resolve to his problems and some kind of moral or message, then maybe this is not the novel for you.

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            30.05.2012 19:29

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            Keep reading till the end

            When I started reading this book I was confused; I thought it was highly readable, and I could appreciate that it would have been a shocking book in it's day (it's very explicit about sex and uses a lot of colorful slang) but I couldn't understand why it would be anybody's favorite book. It just seemed so very slight.

            Then I got to the end and I got it. I wasn't emotionally effected until the very end but at the end I felt something very strongly.

            I think the book is very truthful. If you've felt depressed or detached or lonely in your life I think you will relate and if you haven't I think it should help you understand people around you who have. The book helped me understand people close to me and also helped me understand some of my own feelings and my own history.

            But it's really a one issue book and I found it wasn't exactly stimulating from start to finish.

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            18.05.2012 04:32
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            a classic and controversial novel

            Holden Caulfield has been expelled from his exclusive private boarding school, Pencey Prep, for failing 4 out of 5 of his classes; this is the fourth school he has been expelled from. An argument with one of his classmates leads him to leave school a few days early spend the time in New York before going home to face the music. He plans to spend a couple of days hiding away but the days he spends in the big city prove to be highly eventful.
            I first read The Catcher in the Rye as a teenager, it was not a set book for my Standard Grade English but the teacher gave copies out to the class as optional extra reading and I loved the book then and was thrilled at the chance to re-read it for my book club. My teenage daughter also decided to read it at the same time and we ended up with very different opinions of this classic book.
            Holden is a highly cynical young man who has figured out that the world is full of phonies and crooks. He can think of nothing worse than following the career path expected of him by going into law like his father and making a lot of money. He has affection for his siblings but also accuses his older brother of selling out to make a lot of money, teachers and peers do not escape Holden's wrath either. He feels alienated from the world, something a lot of us can relate too.
            Holden's days in New York are spent finding his way in the adult world. He hooks up with a couple of girlfriends he likes and tries to reacquaint himself with a few old friends. The rest of his time is spent wandering the streets and drinking in bars and pondering the meaning of life. I've got to admit that I found Holden to be a whiny brat a lot of the time, at other times his wry observations of life and way with words made me smile. He is self obsessed yet also highly critical of his own motives too.

            The Catcher in the Rye was first published in 1951 and has caused a lot of controversy over the years. I will admit to being perplexed by the fact that it has been banned from a lot of schools for the adult themes and bad language as the book is so mild that there seems to be very little to be upset by, certainly todays teenagers seem to get up to a lot more hell raising than they did back in Holden's day. Mark Chapman had a copy of the book with him when he shot John Lennon and inside he had written "Dear Holden Caulfield, from Holden Caulfield." I can see how he identified with the alienated and cynical Holden but many people share those feelings without becoming killers. There is a lot of American slang from the era used but the only word I had a problem understanding was "flit" which is slang for homosexual, the book does feel slightly dated in some of the social attitudes expressed but it is still highly accessible to a more modern audience.

            My daughter loved the book and she explained our differing attitudes like this: "you're old and you are sick of listening to whiny teenagers. I AM a whiny teenager so loved it." I don't think my age is why I did not enjoy the book; I am still a huge cynic who questions the motives of others and doesn't like the way society is going (I'm more of a socialist than capitalist and not a fan of the current government) and generally love reading coming of age novels but this one left me feeling unsatisfied after reading it.

            Catcher in the Rye has been named as one of the top 100 American novels of the 20th century but I really can't see what the fuss is all about. Yes, its brilliant in parts but it is essentially a monologue of a whiny teenager which failed to wow me.

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              07.11.2011 11:06
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              A laser-eyed, desperate look at society's falsity

              You've heard of this book. Maybe you've read it. Maybe you studied it at school. Readers tend to fall into two camps: strongly for and strongly against. If you're one of those people who love life and people, then you might find this short novel by Salinger the whining posturing of a pretend teenager. If you're an outsider, or have been, then the central character, Holden Caulfield, might seem like a hero.

              The truth is that neither is correct. Caulfield is not a hero, nor is he a posturing juvenile. What he is is a depressed individual who has become, through his sadness, helplessly clear-sighted in viewing the falsities of other people.

              Summay:

              Holden briefly mentions that he is in a sanatorium recovering from suspected TB and proceeds to retell the few days of wandering around NY after he has abandoned his swanky private school, Pencey Prep. It's the latest of a few schools that he has flunked - he cannot apply himself in his studies (except for English Lit).

              The short novel is, effectively, a series of meetings that Holden has, from school peers to teachers, to strangers to, even, a prostitute. Combining these events is the flighty, artless and insecure ramblings of Holden's thoughts. At various times he impulsively decides to give old girlfriends a ring - and usually, just as suddenly, decides against it.

              Through the novel, Holden is in search of human contact. He can't return to his family because his parents don't know that he has flunked school - and he does not want them to find out till a little later. So, he tries to connect with other people - he wants to feel some affection or love. However, the people Holden talks to repulse him in some way. An ex-girlfriend he hooks up with he finds vain and self-conscious (and rather stupid). An ex-teacher who he actually visits at home, he finds hoary, old and depressing. The cabbies he tries to talk to are "sore", refusing to take seriously his question about where the ducks go when the lagoon in NY Park freezes over. And so on. Every encounter, just about, is a disaster - except for when he decides that he will sneak home to see his "kid" sister, Phoebe, who is actually sincere and affectionate towards Holden.

              The Divergence in Opinion

              I would say that opinions on this book split like this. The pros, find Holden's retinue of disastrous encounters largely the fault of society. If society, they think, was not so false, selfish, corrupt, vain, then some of the people Holden meets would actually care about him. Instead, he is beaten up by a thieving pimp and either snubbed or patronised by just about everyone else. Some women at a bar ignore his immature "advances" because their too busy looking around for hotshot actors. A woman who is the mother of one of the nastiest boys in Holden's former class is convinced that her son is an angel. People are prejudiced, introverted, biased and blind.

              The nays, say something different. They say that Holden is largely to blame for his failed encounters. He is the one who, for a start, noses out unsuitable people. After all, he calls the snobbish "intellectual" guy who used to attend his school, who he hates, for a drink. So when this guy turns up, is snobbish, condescending and riles Holden into raving, smuttish questions, it is Holden's own fault. He knew what he was getting himself into. Likewise, when Holden starts lying to his ex-peer's mother that her son is popular and a lovely guy (when he's really a sadist), it is he who is making the situation much worse by lying (even though Holden thinks he is doing her some sort of favour).

              Thus, when Holden calls people phony, some readers are apt to think that this is the spewing of a muddled, immature, foolish teenager who cannot help himself. He gets himself into scrapes and is intent on blaming other people - typical teenager.

              My Opinion: Definitely NOT about 'teenage angst'

              I disagree with the latter view that The Catcher in the Rye is nothing more than teenage posturing. I think it is more profound than that, for, when I was a teenager, I did not have the kind of perceptive thoughts of Holden. It is lazy and inaccurate to describe the book as being about "teenage angst". Typical teenage angst is about wanting attention, wanting to be popular, wanting to be cool, wanting a niche, a group and so on. Typical teenage angst is rather selfish and egotistical. Holden's problems are nothing like this. His younger brother, Allie, has died. He is suffering depression - he is wandering a city alone, he has flunked school yet again. His predicament is much more serious than the typical teenager. And what he is able to do is expose vanity like few teenagers. In fact, Holden often thinks like an adult. His awareness of how people act for the sake of status and attention is a mature observation.

              Therefore, I believe that Holden's viewpoint is actually highly profound. Yes, his own erratic behaviour does get him into strife - however, it also reveals people for what they are. And it is not always unsympathetic. In fact, Holden has an instinctive humanity towards people. So, Ackley, an unpopular schoolmate with bad hygiene, is revealed as a irritating outcast - but Holden talks to him, unlike most of the other boys - and then, Holden invites him to visit the cinema.

              Not only is Holden perceptive, he is also, therefore, humane and sympathetic. When he does act vindictively or recklessly, it is out of frustration with society's self-deceiving falsity. He knows when he is lying to people (which is quite often). But, he reveals that most people do not. Most people lie and act and have no awareness that they are doing it. This is drives Holden nuts. He wants people to be truthful to themselves - more than truthful to others. And he wants people to talk to each other in sympathy, whether they are strangers or acquaintances.

              Ultimately, Holden's mind is being frayed by the fact that people refuse to be honest and selfless with one another. To the savvy, this is a ridiculously unrealistic expectation. But can you blame anyone for wishing this? Holden and The Catcher in the Rye has high expectations for humanity, which cannot be reached. You as a reader must decide whether we should give up on such expectations or act to achieve them.

              A fuller review available at my blog: novelfootsteps.blogspot.com

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                14.09.2011 13:04

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                A fantastic novel that everyone should own and have read.

                This classic novel has been regarded as one of the greatest pieces of literature ever written - and for a good reason. 'Catcher' is a novel of teen angst, procrastination and discontent. It looks at one boy's attempt to understand the human condition, and so is a psychologically fascinating bildungsroman. Superficially, the story's central protagonist Holden Caulfield finds himself expelled from yet another school, and the novel literally sees him spending his time questioning his feelings of isolation and loneliness in the world.

                Constantly describing others as 'phonies', Holden finds himself alone in his own psychological pursuit for the truth. With such a negative view of the society he lives in, readers are challenged to decide for themselves whether it is Holden who is insane, or in fact society breaking down into emptiness.

                The Catcher in the Rye is a brilliant novel that everyone should read and consider, providing insightful psychological perspectives and a gripping character, that will have you re-reading the book a thousand times throughout your life.

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                28.07.2011 00:51
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                A piece of classic literature that definitely should be read. Highly recommended.

                The Catcher In The Rye is a book that should be read throughout your life, offering you new viewpoints with each read. Salinger creates possibly one of the most famous and enticing narrators in literature with Holden Caulfield, a disaffected teen who shares with the reader his feelings about life. The book is often called a teenage 'rite of passage' and rightly so, as this is a novel which not only resonates with teenagers everywhere, but is a cornerstone of popular culture, one that certainly shouldn't be missed.

                Don't let the fact that it is often a school set text put you off: the reason for this is probably because it grabs the attention of the reader instantly, making it a great novel both in and outside of the classroom. It's not long, making it a great book to digest quickly, and the easy to follow writing style makes it accessible to everyone. Every teenager should be given this book, to prove to them that they are not alone!

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                  19.01.2011 23:10

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                  'The Catcher in The Rye' is a novel I've heard being mentioned so many times in the past from a few movies that I have watched but only finally got around to buying my copy from my local Waterstones just over a month ago. And found out it was the last remaining copy on the shelf so that was lucky.I can tell you I am so very pleased that I did as it turns out it is the only book I've read that i found powerfully moving, engaging, a story that really stirred my emotions/feelings and one that stayed with me long after I had finished it. And its the only book that makes me want to re read it all over again immediately with an even more open mind. An extraordinary first person narrative of a troubled, alienated and depressed teenager that I could relate well to.

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                  12.11.2010 01:11
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                  Accurate, if often frustrating, novel

                  In late-1940s America, rebellious teenager Holden Caulfield gives an account of his expulsion - the latest of many - from Pencey prep school and his subsequent journey into New York for a revelatory and self-destructive weekend.

                  What 'Catcher In The Rye' author J.D. Salinger does well is put the reader firmly in the fractured and ever-roaming mind of Holden Caulfield. The author's use of repetition and rapid divergence of topics gives the sense that we're witnessing a constant stream-of-consciousness; you'll be sick of the words "phony" and "crazy" by the end and you'll wish Holden didn't go off topic so regularly, but it's an effective tool nonetheless. It's admirable that Salinger, as a writer, has damned the poetry of most novelists and instead opted for a writing style that more honestly captures the essence of a troubled teenager's real thought pattern.

                  Although effective, the issue I might have with this style is that within Caulfield's mind is not somewhere I always want to be. 'The Catcher In The Rye' is a heavy read for all kinds of reasons, but it's undoubtedly made into a harder slog by having Holden so unlikeable so often. As a teenager, I might have sympathised with the character - the book is, after all, a scarily accurate portrayal of the alienated, contradictory teen mindset - but, reading the book as an adult, I found it hard to connect with someone that is generally such a spiteful, bitter person. There are recognisable elements of teen angst, uncertainty and rebellion aplenty that Salinger gets just right, and Holden's modern odyssey through one of the rougher stretches of New York is fascinating, but still I found myself increasingly irritated by Holden's rantings and skewed musings on life.

                  Though I more often than not felt detached from 'The Catcher In The Rye's protagonist, it was the colourful characters within his story that I was kept reading for. The Ivy League 'phonies' with their taste for pretentious theatre, the wiseguy cabbies, Holden's warring schoolmates Ackley and Stradlater, the hotel bellboy that moonlights as a pimp and many other, seedy inhabitants of Salinger's 1940s NYC are all drawn with a keen sense of character. The story asides Holden often ventures into also act as small vignettes within the main story that manage to shock you out of numbness into a place of raw, almost painful emotion. There is a later chapter whereby Holden suddenly and abruptly recounts to the reader the story of a school-friend that chose to commit suicide rather than face abuse by bullies anymore that is simply haunting and one of the most affecting things in the novel.

                  This and other similarly disturbing tales burned on to Holden's memory go a long way to explaining his damaged psyche, something else that Salinger is particularly adept at subtly conveying to us. The ending of 'The Catcher In The Rye' is enigmatic and surprisingly downbeat, but it's handled well by the author. It's also mercifully short - following 200+ exhausting pages inside the head of a manic-depressive 16 year-old, I was thankful for a short and sharp summary.

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                    03.08.2010 21:07
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                    A boy's journey to manhood!

                    In 1980 the whole world shock, a musical legend had been murder, his name - John Lennon. His assassin Mark Chapman, who had early requestd Lennon sign a copy of his "Catcher in the rye" novel.
                    A few years back when I was doing my critical essay for my Higher English, I had to chose a book to tear apart. Out of the hundreds of potential books, this was the one I had chosen and what a book to chose. At first the meaning of the tile kept playing and playing over in my mind - What is a Rye and why does it have a catcher in it. Thats the good thing about the book, most people know what a rye is, but by using the pharse "Catcher in the Rye" it tends to confuse some people, well it did me. Anyway it comes from the song "If a body catch a body coming through the rye.", which is a reminded memory for Holden of the death of his brother Allie, who died of leukemia. This has always been a trouble topic for Holden, as it seems to have left a mark on it. While on a date he tells his parther that he would like to be "a catcher in the rye,", catching childern who ran too close to the a cliff( really saving his brother).There we have it, thats what a "Catcher in the Rye is, its Holden Caulifield.


                    "If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two haemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them."
                    It's the story of Holden Caulfield, in the form of a monologue.Holden is young but troubled teenager who seems to be making a habit of being suspended and is finally expelled. So he decides to try and race home before his parents find out by letter, but not before taking a short holiday in New York. Along the way the way he comes across many different people and situations.He is always commenting on how the world is mad and insane, where in fact its actually Holden who is falling apart.The story ends with Holden's forseable breakdown and him coming to terms with why everything has happen. As a good man once said, u need to look between the lines, this is indeed true.


                    This isn't just the story of Holden, it's the story of each one of us, to show us that all we are small in this big world, we all need to find our place in it.

                    I would recommend this book to anyone, don't take the language as offensive, try to embrace it and when you do, you will truly understand Holden. Salinger truly has achieved a masterpiece that will stay with you for years to come.

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                      30.07.2010 17:20
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                      A classic, but not Salinger's best

                      The Catcher in the Rye is Salinger's best-known work, and that's a shame, because it's not his best. It's a good novel, and no doubt at the time of its publication it was a revelation, but it's not a novel that is fit for all ages. I first read it when I was a teenager, roughly the same age as Holden Caulfield, the protagonist, and I loved it - but ten years later, now I'm in my late twenties, the problems Holden identifies in this novel seem immature and slightly besides-the-point. A disillusioned young person should have bigger fish to fry - like those that Franny fries in Franny and Zooey, a much more thoughtful and philosophical disection of disillusionment and faith. (And apologies for the fish-based analogy there.)

                      I won't go into the plot, because most people know it, and besides, there isn't much of one - a teenager boy is expelled from school and spends a few days on his own in a freezing New York winter, struggling to find what is "real" and what is "phony" in the world. That's about it as far as plot goes.

                      It's brilliantly written, and contains some wonderful characters, and as ever with Salinger, the dialogue is second-to-none. And it is a great novel, and it will always hold a special place in my heart, but I suspect it's only a great novel if you read it at the right time - as a teenager. Read it when you're much older, and you might wonder what all the fuss is about.

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                      21.07.2010 18:34
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                      Salinger's book has no doubt earnt its place in history, but has lost some relevance in time

                      Catcher in the Rye is one of the most widely published and best selling books of all time. It is considered as a poignant novel for it's portrayal of a growing teenager who is transitioning between naive and confused adolescence towards becoming a less inquisitive and accepting adult.

                      I read 'Catcher in the Rye', to be honest, to tick it off on the unwritten list of 'books you must read as an English student', but I quickly found that the book was not going to be to my taste.

                      At the time it was written (1951, if I am not mistaken), Catcher in the Rye was a complete revelation. Nobody had made such an effective use of idiolect before that time and Holden Caulfeild became the voice of angst-ridden, disenfranchised youth. Unfortunately, this use of language has been replicated so many times since that, to a modern reader, Salinger's writing prowess appears to be nothing new.

                      The book shocked certain states in America, as it contains a few vulgar words and there is a definite theme of sexuality who lead to the book being banned or censored in the 60s, but these 'subversive' themes and topics are now no worse than you'd find in a 12 or 15 rated movie. I think it is this tongue-in-cheek controversy surrounding the book that may have led to my, and many others', disappointment in the book. I had expected something that would shock me and change the way I think about the world and growing up (at the time I read this novel, I was roughly of Holden's age). However, I just found a certain dislike for the very character that I was meant to identify with. I honestly believe that I am nothing like him. And nor is anyone else that I know.

                      I found that any empathy I felt for protagonist Holden was cancelled out by the annoying repetition of phrases (although the his speech may be an accurate portrayal of that of a boy his age, realism to such an extent soon can become somewhat mundane) and his lack of understanding of other people and by the end of the book I felt like reaching in to the story, grabbing him by the cap and telling Caulfeild to simply 'grow up'. Maybe it's because we are brought up in a different world than that of Holden and his 'phony' peers, but I simply did not get the hype.

                      Overall, I appreciate the book for its revolutionary style, but feel that, regrettably, it has lost something in time. Holden himself, the very model that teens are supposed to identify with, seems more alien to his modern age counterparts than he did from his own teachers. In all, his character is something that I understand but just cannot comprehend.

                      It may just be that I am narrow-minded, but I'm glad I never found the Holden Caulfeild side of myself.

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                        10.05.2010 02:04
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                        A timeless book that deserves a second read

                        I was given this book by my brother and he never gives me anything unless it's a insult. So I grabbed it and ran.
                        Over the years I've heard lots about this book mainly from the numerous murders it has been associated with, but also the fact it always pops up in lists of books you must read before you die.

                        It was written in 1951 but still resonates with adolescents even now as it deals with the many feelings we all go through as teens.
                        It's about Holden Caulfields and his experiences are seen through his eyes we share his journey as he deals with his alienation, confusion and ultimately his rebellion. His story starts at Pencey Prep a college in Pennsylvania he doesn't last long as he is expelled for poor grades. Caulfield leaves in the middle of the night and he takes a train to New York where he spends most his time drunk or alone. Caulfield believes he is more intelligent and mature than his age and he does seem to think like an adult at times but is also quick to become emotional.
                        The book ends with Caulfield telling us he's sick and in a mental hospital he doesn't give us much else although he does say he is missing the people he tells us about, and ends with the line 'Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do , you'll start missing everybody'.

                        I'm glad i've read this book and I very much enjoyed it. At first it was hard to keep going as its not very fast paced and some of the words used are annoying. But then adolescent boys are annoying:)

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