The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger

12 Nov

The Catcher in Rye is the ultimate novel for disaffected youth, but it’s relevant to all ages. The story is told by Holden Caulfield, a seventeen- year-old dropout who has just been kicked out of his fourth school. Throughout, Holden dissects the ‘phony’ aspects of society, and the ‘phonies’ themselves: the headmaster whose affability depends on the wealth of the parents, his roommate who scores with girls using sickly-sweet affection. Lazy in style, full of slang and swear words, it’s a novel whose interest and appeal comes from its observations rather than its plot intrigues (in conventional terms, there is hardly any plot at all). Salinger’s style creates an effect of conversation, it is as though Holden is speaking to you personally, as though you too have seen through the pretences of the American Dream and are growing up unable to see the point of living in, or contributing to, the society around you. Written with the clarity of a boy leaving childhood, it deals with society, love, loss, and expectations without ever falling into the clutch of a cliche.

My Thoughts – i picked up this book as part of the Rory Gilmore Challenge and i have to say i really was disapointed. I had heard alot about this book and as it is a ‘modern classic’ i would have thought i would have enjoyed it. Unfortunatly i didnt. Mostly i wanted to slap Holden Caulfield. I was really fed up with him saying ‘that nearly killed me’, it must be mentioned about fifty times in the book! It was well written and easy to understand however i just felt that the author was rambling about nothing! I wanted to know how he got ill at the end too. In the end im glad that i read it, however it is not a book that i would recommend to anyone if they asked about. Whether i will get shouted down for this review or not considering it is meant to be a classic, but i just didnt think it was very good!

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4 Responses to “The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger”

  1. Briana September 28, 2011 at 3:28 am #

    I found your blog from a link on whatyouareisbeautifulx and I’ve been skimming some of your reviews. I just wanted to say that when I first read The Catcher in the Rye in high school I really loved it. I recently revisited it and I still enjoyed it, but not as much. I think it’s a book that speaks best to teenagers. Perhaps you’ve just read it too late? I can understand how you would find Holden annoying, though.

    • shelovestoread September 28, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

      Gosh, You have been reading some older reviews hehe! I think thats the problem i had with the book, i simply read it too late. Maybe i should have read it when i was younger. But hey, i dont suppose everyone can like the same books!

      • Briana September 28, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

        When I first visit a blog I always read reviews of books I’ve read to see if I agree with them. I don’t want the advice of people who hate books I love! You got major kudos for liking Tolkien and The Secret Garden, though. I wasn’t an angsty teen at all, but I do think you need a bit of disgust for the world around you and the feeling you’re misunderstood to relate to Holden.

  2. shelovestoread September 28, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

    Yeah i know what you mean, sometimes it annoys me when people dont like a really good book hehe! Tolkien is a brilliant author and The Secret Garden is one of my all time favourite books!

    Yeah Holden is a bit annoying, it was the fact that he kept repeating a certain phrase over and over again that got me, i cant remember what it is now though!

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