Haleema ’s review of The Catcher in the Rye > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Synesthesia (new)

Synesthesia On the Road is worse.


message 2: by Selena (new)

Selena “Classic' - a book which people praise and don't read.” ~Mark Twain

Anyway, the only reason it's considered a classic in the eyes of High Schools everywhere is because it's a "Stream of Consciousness" and got banned in many places. The second almost guarantees its place as a "classic." Combined with the first, it clinches it for high schools.


message 3: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie YAY. Someone else who does not understand why idiotic, pessimistic books are considered everybody-has-to-read-this CLASSICS.


message 4: by Meishuu (new)

Meishuu Couldn't agree more. There many greater books out there.


message 5: by Haleema (new)

Haleema I agree with you all of you beautiful people!


message 6: by Amanda (new)

Amanda I just wanted to say that I love that shelf name. "characters are half-troll". Hilarious!


message 7: by Raquel (new)

Raquel hahaha I couldn't agree with you more.


message 8: by Chin (new)

Chin Jian xiong Normally I understand when people hate this book, but what I don't like is that you've compared him to Bella Swan.

We can all agree that Twilight is the epitome of indulgent fantasy, with the girl being whisked away by a fairy tale hero. Salinger isn't writing fantasy, in fact he writes the opposite. (Nothing good happens to Holden) You can't compare both because Salinger didn't write Holden to live out his own fantasies, he just wrote the story through Holden eyes, to portray the world through his rose tinted glasses.

Also, just an extra note, but Salinger was a pioneer in first person narrative. Maybe it didn't work for you but Salinger has this ability to write prose that flows and synthesizes with thoughts. You said he was unrealistic in using "goddamn" and repeating certain lines to himself. Its psychologically plausible that an emotionally charged young man would make use of multiple expletives in his own thought, its also psychologically plausible for that man to constantly remind himself of certain things.

When reading any kind of book and watching any kind of media there's always the offchance that a miniature critic will subconsciously pick at every single small point that we don't like about the work we're watching. Its especially so for books we're forced to read (which is one of the reasons I feel that Lit classes are lacking) or books which we hear considerable hype about. It's best to try and purge those cynical self-riffing when reading Salinger because he writes prose that requires getting rid of your inner cynic. (Other writers that adopts a self conscious stream is David Foster Wallace) This flow is also present in his other book Franny and Zooey (in the form of flowing dialogue, not thought).

tl;dr Holden is different from Bella Swan. If you can (though you probably wouldn't listen to the words of a slightly emotionally charged fan like me) try rereading the text while purging your mind of that little imp that likes to criticize things (not saying eliminate all thought, but try to minimize nitpicky thoughts while reading) or try to read Franny and Zooey first.


message 9: by Lynda (new)

Lynda Dean I agree - Holden the vile, spoilt little brat - classic? I think not. Very one dimensional, no depth at all.


message 10: by Robert (new)

Robert Bickers FYI: a left-handed mitt would fit the right hand.


message 11: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Pittman Thank you, Chin....I was also disgusted by the comparison to Bella Swan.
Maybe I'm weird, but I enjoy reading about characters that aren't perfect and completely likeable. Most people aren't!
Also...does a book have to have a "lesson"? Can't it just be a story??


message 12: by Anisha (new)

Anisha Rohra I don't think your teacher did a very good job of teaching you if these are your final thoughts. There are tons of legitimate reasons to dislike this book- the pacing is slow and the symbolism understandingly confusing for example.

But to say that there's no lesson learnt is akin to saying that you didn't read it at all- the lesson is on the importance and consequently the sadness of letting your innocence go in a way that still preserves it.

This book is a classic because of its timeless relateability; adolescents everywhere are still scared and confused about entering adulthood, particularly those that have had bad role models. The snarky comments about the people that surround him, but the fear of leaving those people behind is really similar to the struggles teenagers have today. And going beyond teenagers, the quest to be listened to, to be heard is something that everyone goes through. And something amazing that Sallinger does is that he shows us that the reason we aren't heard is because we refuse to hear others.

As for the writing itself, that comes down to two things,
1) having a character that thinks like he speaks is a lot easier to relate to and a lot more believable
and 2) it shows that in order to truly understand and see the importance of the people that surround you, you have to listen (or in this case, READ) because not everything's going to be written out for you in life.


message 13: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca A) If you can name one thing universally likeable about Holden Caulfield, I will eat my fingers off and never type a line against the book again. B) Yes, generally meaningful reads worth taking the time a person spends reading them need to have "meaning", "lesson", "purpose", etc. This book has none. It is the ultimate middle finger to the reader trying to find out what's so damn special about it that everyone else praises and deems "classic".


message 14: by Aditee (new)

Aditee Parmar i couldn't agree more! :P God the book was SO dull...a total waste of time and money :/


message 15: by Anisha (new)

Anisha Rohra Rebecca:
He's not likable- and he's not supposed to be. People aren't likable, at least, not if you were to hear their thoughts and be able to read their story from a first-person standpoint. The point is that he's relatable.
He's a hypocrite, but knows it. He hates the society that forces him to act certain ways, but acts them anyways. I don't know of a single person who hasn't gone through that. Just like I don't know of a single person who hasn't gone through the experience of being scared shitless of growing up, but also waiting for it to happen so that finally, FINALLY, someone will listen to you.


message 16: by Rebecca (last edited Jul 07, 2013 11:32PM) (new)

Rebecca First of all, I wasn't the one who argued that he was likable or was supposed to be likable. Someone else (above) made that claim. To me, the fact that he was designed specifically to be the most overbearing, obnoxious little prick was too obvious to miss. Secondly, while I cannot speak for everyone (even those who share my general opinion about the book), I found nothing remotely relatable about him. I connect with my fictional characters quite easily, and this book was one to which I could not make any sort of connection. I kept waiting for it, but all it turned out to be was a waste of about five hours of my life that I'll never get back. If I'm completely honest about it, the reason I am so vehement in my absolute disgust regarding the book is because I was offended by that fact. This over-glorified text that I had heard people rave about for what seemed like ages was a complete waste of a few hours of my life. I began reading with that feeling of confusion you get when everyone is in on this long, drawn-out joke but you. At the end, it was similar to the feeling after someone spends the time explaining the joke and you still don't understand why it's funny. Then, you realize it's because it's not and that the real joke was you wasting your time listening. I'm glad you all got something out of it, I really am, but a lot of us did not and I personally feel like there really was not anything to get. Contrary to the opinions of others (see above) that do not believe that a story should have a "lesson", I value that in my literature. To me, that's the point, and that's really all I have to say about it.


message 17: by Blue (new)

Blue Jiay I thought it was quite endearing, yes the character was quite a hater, but he's spunky, honest and sarcastic. He is the type of boy people wonder about, you know, lost without a sense of purpose in life and really not that bothered about taking an effort in doing anything so it's intriguing to read his mind and how it ticks. Naturally he needs to grow up, and you hope he gets there, because he is quite good-natured (eg: wanting to have a chat with the prostitute instead of actually sleeping with her). All in all Holden is an interesting character, who reminds you of those delinquents in school who you found hopeless but curious what they are so preoccupied about. You learn that they are merely depressed and think differently.


message 18: by Briana (new)

Briana Garrett So i am not nearly as eloquent as i could be with these book reviews, but if i have something positive to say i think i get my point across. The same with negative reviews. I absolutely detested this book. I only read it because i was curious as to the title and it's meaning, and it looked like a quick, easy read. It was neither. Also, the title was as pointless as Holden's entire "adventure", and it never really did make sense. I still have no idea what a "catcher in the rye" is, or where the heck the author came up with such an idea. So to summarize, i agree with the above.


message 19: by Dave (new)

Dave Try reading it again in a few years time...maybe when you're say, 12 years old. You may then appreciate what a brilliant book it is.


message 20: by Synesthesia (new)

Synesthesia You know, insulting people isn't really going to convince them to like the books you like.


message 21: by Redolent (new)

Redolent Terrible review


message 22: by Jerry (new)

Jerry Bennett I absolutely loved this book, but I completely understand why many people are confused as to why anyone would enjoy this book.

You have to understand the audience that enjoys this book. If you can't relate to them, then you can't relate to the book. Some people are just tired of the same repeated story of the good guy winning against the bad guy. This book follows no tradition or archetypes of other books.

For me, this was a breath of fresh air. All the stories that my friends were reading all seemed to be around the same exact story just with different character names.

Because the story has no overall message, moral, or really specific plot, it felt less like I was reading garbage written by some author trying to get the most money out of a story that has already been done to death, and more like I was talking to someone.

The language and vocabulary is nowhere near formal, which causes absolutely no confusion as to what is happening. Obviously for some people, this is close to mind-numbing. Dialogue or vocabulary that is too simple for some people is just that; too simple.

For other people (such as myself) it was the one thing that got me to keep reading. I love when authors use metaphors and similes, creating a great story that gets you to think about it, but not all the time.

In summary, you are absolutely right. This book had no lesson to learn, no meaning, but that's exactly why I love it.


message 23: by Adele (new)

Adele S. How in the WORLD does the fact that Holden was going to tell you about Allie's type of red hair mean he's STUPID??? Ok, you weren't interested (but I was), but that doesn't make him stupid...

ALSO: Holden's attitude? He hates everyone because HE'S afraid of being hurt. He thinks that if he dislikes them first, they can't hurt him. He isolated himself because he's so afraid of being rejected. And another reason: HIS LITTLE BROTHER DIED OF CANCER. HIS FRIEND COMMITTED SUICIDE. If that doesn't make you messed up, what does?

And finally: the point of the story. Holden doesn't want to let go of his childhood (he's "Holden" on to childhood). He's literally frightened of growing up. But over the course of the few days the story takes place during, he realizes that he HAS to grow up. The book is a bulidingsroman.

You obviously can't relate to the book, so you hate it. People like it BECAUSE they can relate to it. END OF STORY.


message 24: by Adele (new)

Adele S. And how DARE you compare Holden Caufield with Bella Swan?


message 25: by Karen (new)

Karen a classic book does not need to teach a lesson learned, as you suggest.


message 26: by Cosmic (new)

Cosmic Arcata The Catcher in the Rye is about WW2. It is a story within a story. Holden (which is the name of a car) is just a vehicle to "understand" the WW2. See my review. When you understand that Salinger couldn't say what he knew about this war so he wrote it as a children's book... Just like Felix Salten in Bambi (not the Disney version) which is probably why Salinger didn't get his made into a movie.

Salinger tells you this is nit a David Copperfield story. So don't read it like it is about Holden. Hint: look at the first page of David Copperfield to understand "Caiulfields" name.

I hope you will reread it again. This time when you get to the Merry go round play the music Salinger said was playing, and see if that makes sense or if he is using this book to tell you about money, power and war.


message 27: by Karen (new)

Karen Synesthesia wrote: "On the Road is worse."

Love both books!


message 28: by Haleema (new)

Haleema Redolent wrote: "Terrible review"

Thanks.


message 29: by Haleema (new)

Haleema Dave wrote: "Try reading it again in a few years time...maybe when you're say, 12 years old. You may then appreciate what a brilliant book it is."

Gee, thanks. That really motivated me to reread this book.


message 30: by Haleema (new)

Haleema Chin wrote: "Normally I understand when people hate this book, but what I don't like is that you've compared him to Bella Swan.

We can all agree that Twilight is the epitome of indulgent fantasy, with the girl..."


I honestly was not trying to be mean by picking on small things. It's just that it's what I noticed about the book that annoyed me. A lot of people enjoyed this book, I understand. However, I just did not appreciate it. Maybe I will read it after a few years and I might like it.


message 31: by Haleema (new)

Haleema Adele wrote: "How in the WORLD does the fact that Holden was going to tell you about Allie's type of red hair mean he's STUPID??? Ok, you weren't interested (but I was), but that doesn't make him stupid...

ALSO..."


He is stupid because he does not need to explain every thought he has. It's pretty much redundant. And I can do whatever I want, whether that be making a comparison to a character or disliking the writing style. It's my opinion. =)


message 32: by Rogier (last edited Jan 16, 2014 04:32PM) (new)

Rogier Sorry to hear you did not like it. I liked it but it is not one of my favorites . It is always nice to read different opinions. Tnx for the review


message 33: by Melody (new)

Melody Great review! This was a school assigned book for me and I remember not caring for it. Holden was such a bland careless protagonist. Love your honest thoughts on it, very insightful. I can see you are being attacked for it which is a shame. Why folks take the time out to post on others reviews to shame them because they disagree I will never understand.


message 34: by Karen (new)

Karen Haleema wrote: "Adele wrote: "How in the WORLD does the fact that Holden was going to tell you about Allie's type of red hair mean he's STUPID??? Ok, you weren't interested (but I was), but that doesn't make him s..."

I accept that the story wasn't your style of writing, but Holden did have to explain every thought he had- that was the point of the story. To say he's stupid for doing so is not accurate, you just did not like the book. That's fine. It is still a classic and well written.


message 35: by Delia (new)

Delia All of your criticisms are the point of the book. It's a portrait of being a teen, and teens often see everyone as fake, unreliable, mean, or old. Also, Holden using the passive voice is on purpose. It's supposed to be how a teenager thinks and talks.


message 36: by Cosmic (new)

Cosmic Arcata I just wrote a post in the discussion group called Breaking The Code to the Catcher in the Rye about the record by Little Shirley Bean.


message 37: by Isshi69nikkei (new)

Isshi69nikkei Totally love the part when you say he is male Bella Swan :D


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