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

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message 1: by Jay (new)

Jay Kim exactly!! no climax! no increasing and decreasing plots.. makes reader bored ..


message 2: by yuna (new)

yuna kudo Can't agree more!!!
I was sort of dumb struck when I reached the last page because I had really high expectations for the book, but it just disappointed me.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

That was harsh...haha.

It is called a classic for a reason...right?

Well I think maybe you have to see it in a bigger and more understanding view. To me, it isn't really universal (since I'm a teenager and I'm far from that) and I agree with you in that part, but to say that his 'catchphrases' and his train of thought are annoying and repetitive, which makes Salinger seem as though he tried too hard, isn't something I'd agree. I think that you have to put yourself into that period of time. During that century, it was probably natural for some people to talk like that. And when I first read it, I thought that Salinger was a terrible writer for him to disregard grammar and proper use of language (but of course, he doesn't really write like that. I think some people really have to appreciate that since some writers try to achieve a kind of different perspective (like Jodi Picoult) and fails)

And for you to say that Holden is wrong in every way is also slightly harsh. If you notice the details, there's actually nothing wrong with him. He is fundamentally morally upright but just does wrong things, like what teens do. Ex. you can't say that a kid is bad since he smokes, just that the act of smoking is wrong.

Regarding the plot, I think that it's more 'plotless'. Which makes the situation worse, doesn't it? But not really. A lot of writers write in such a way. For example, Haruki Murakami.

Though he's not likeable, I think he still has some parts of him that a common teenager (or even just a common person) has, like the way he thinks freely and even irrationally, leading his feelings on without the basis of his logic.

Hopefully, you opened your mind a bit?

I didn't really like it at first too...

:)


message 4: by Erin (new)

Erin Terry, that was a wonderfully thought out and polite response. Thank you for that! I'm so used to reading hostile disagreements that it was refreshing to see your response (even if I too would have given this book a Zero if I could).

As an English Teacher, I can see the appeal for the teenage set, even if I am not a fan myself. Holden is everything a teenager is expected to act like and talk like. I dislike the book simply because I despise Holden himself as a character; as I said in my own review, I can't get through the novel without wanting to chuck the book in the direction of a particularly hard, solid wall.


message 5: by Peter (new)

Peter Roberts Omg I 100% agree with this lol my thoughts exactly!


message 6: by Jvaughn (last edited Oct 18, 2010 12:52AM) (new)

Jvaughn Duggan For the most part, I can't disagree with you. I had heard so many good comments about this book and had read so many intertextual references! Hell-- I think my English teacher would swoon when I told him I had selected it for my book report. But, the expectation and excitement which I was filled with as I started the book was quickly replaced by disappointment.

What a completely boring book! As you said, utterly repetitive. And the catchphrases made me cringe also. I read it to the end, expecting something great on the other side of each page, but was only met with more and more of Holden Caulfield’s confused and boring trails of thought. As such, I marched into my English class, dumped the book back on my teacher's desk and demanded an explanation as to why I'd wasted five hours of my life reading garbage.

My teacher did not try to convince me otherwise, he simply stayed profoundly neutral. I've harboured a deep hatred toward Salinger ever since. When he died this year, my thoughts came back to my experience of this new age "classic" and of my disappointment. I decided that I would read the book again and more carefully digest it.

As you know, everything within a good author's novel is done purposefully. I think the repetition and the anticlimactic nature of the novel reflects Caulfield's realisation of life's monotony. The novel highlights the depression which a lot of teenagers lapse into when their contained, protective bubble is suddenly burst.

Nonetheless, I, like you, simply despise the book in a very Oscar Wilde manner-- if I'm correct in saying so. I mean, there is much to be disliked in it in regards to art in a purely aesthetic sense. I was not engaged.


message 7: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Bartlett IF you did not find this book utterly hilarious and heartbreaking and sweet, and actually found it boring, I don't know what to say to you. I don't think I could stand knowing you. I read it once a year. My guess is that the Stradlaters and Ackleys of the world are writing these reviews.


message 8: by Cheyenne (new)

Cheyenne Matt wrote: "IF you did not find this book utterly hilarious and heartbreaking and sweet, and actually found it boring, I don't know what to say to you. I don't think I could stand knowing you. I read it once..."

I'm sorry you have nothing better to do once a year then, Matt.


message 9: by Laura (new)

Laura Stoker Terry wrote: "That was harsh...haha.

It is called a classic for a reason...right?

Well I think maybe you have to see it in a bigger and more understanding view. To me, it isn't really universal (since I'm ..."


Sorry Terry but I have to completely disagree with you. I am a teenager myself and can't understand the appeal. It's not that I haven't tried, I have and I completely understand Holden as a character. What he does and how he acts may be a part of many teenagers lives, however, I just failed to feel... something with this book. I appreciated and understood the isolation and cynicism expressed through Holden but I still did not enjoy it. Although you may have felt the 'plotless' nature of the story helped to illustrate Salinger's point, it was something I couldn't get on with. In a good novel, I expect to be gripped and to enjoy the plot. However, it was very difficult to do that in this case when the plot seemed to be non-existent.

I appreciate that you love the book but I'm sorry, I've tried to read it numerous times. I understand the characterisation but still my point of view is the same. I also don't feel that what Cheyenne was 'harsh' as I'm sure Salinger won't be turning in his grave in anger at the review. I understand your sentiment in 'classics are classics for a reason' and I appreciate the fact that lots of people really love this book, however, lots of us don't. This is not because we're being harsh or close-minded, we just don't necessarily feel how you do.

Matt wrote: "IF you did not find this book utterly hilarious and heartbreaking and sweet, and actually found it boring, I don't know what to say to you. I don't think I could stand knowing you. I..."
I find the fact you choose your friends by their choice in novels fascinating.


message 10: by Leonid (new)

Leonid This book is NOT for teens. Teens relate to characters like Ender Wiggin or Braveheart but certainly not Holden. This book should not be read until one is 30 and certainly not be a part of the school curriculum. Not that this will matter to you now but a healthy degree of self criticism and reflection are need to enjoy this book. FWIW


message 11: by Emily (new)

Emily Dutton Dude, the character of Holden is based on Salinger. He wasn't trying to be universal, this was one of the first books of its kind, and Holden was the greatest antihero since Huckleberry Finn. As for the repeatative nature, it's postmodern.


message 12: by Aleyna (new)

Aleyna @Leonid What do you mean this book isn't for teens? And that teens can't relate to it?!?!?! I read this book when I was 14 (I'm 16 now) and I was absolutely obsessed with it. I've literally probably read it about 10 times; my friends like to give me a hard time about it...except for one guy who plans on reading it 10 more times as well! But anyways, at 14 I related with Holden more than any other literary character. Reading that book made me feel like I wasn't crazy; someone out there actually understood how I was feeling. To not recommend this book to teenagers is to cheat them out of something special. Shame on you.


message 13: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie @Aleyna I completely agree. I'm 16 also and I read this book for my English Language GCSE and I absolutely loved it. I think a lot of people struggle because the story line isn't laid out infront of you like normal books. The interesting thing about it is watching Holden slowly break down, and it's so gripping because he's given such average teenage characteristics you feel as though Holden could be anyone if you looked hard enough.


message 14: by Rabastan (new)

Rabastan How can people dislike Catcher in the Rye? How can people dislike Catcher in the Rye and yet go on to like such awful books by the likes of Jodi Picoult or whatever her name is, that's what I'd like to know.


message 15: by Rabastan (new)

Rabastan @Leonid

Is that some kind of bad joke? Everybody who is ANYBODY reads this when they are a teenager, if not younger. Why would you wait until you were thirty? I think it's funny how Salinger's works all involve precocious children of some sort and yet you encourage retarding them (children, that is).


message 16: by Zhenya (new)

Zhenya That's exactly the point - it's repetitive just like life is repetitive, there is no climax because life has no real climax. The plot is not apparent because it is a window into an episode of a teenager and his thoughts.
I think the book tries to not try and just be. That sounds like bullshit but I feel like its applicable.
I do of course respect your opinion nonetheless.


message 17: by Allen (new)

Allen Actually, you have to take a look at the book again. Holden obviously has his flaws. Since it's written in a first-person perspective, Holden doesn't note his flaws, but he does come across as hypocritical at some points in the book. Salinger didn't make Holden a perfect character. It's just that Holden possibly thinks he himself has perfect thinking.


message 18: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Whittaker i used to like it, then i read it properly and realized i HATE Holden Caulfield, every page is ridden with 'phoney' and arrogance, bloody hell i HATE him so much now!


message 19: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Whittaker i mean im fairly depressed but i dont go around saying 'yeah this guy flicked me in the balls so now i think im just going to commit suicide, but i wont because i 'dont want anyone seeing my gory body', jeeesus!


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Zhenya wrote: "That's exactly the point - it's repetitive just like life is repetitive, there is no climax because life has no real climax. The plot is not apparent because it is a window into an episode of a tee..."

That's exactly it. The story starts from the middle and it ends with an ending that doesn't really end, because life is like that. The story of someone's life is as complicated and simple as that, there's no true beginning and no true end (maybe except death).

Even if Holden isn't a likeable character, he still portrays the characteristics of a human being and how we think.


message 21: by Gary (new)

Gary Rock on Cheyenne. Brilliant resume. Thank goodness someone had the same thoughts as me.


message 22: by Allen (new)

Allen Daniel wrote: "i used to like it, then i read it properly and realized i HATE Holden Caulfield, every page is ridden with 'phoney' and arrogance, bloody hell i HATE him so much now!"

It's not about how much of a douche the main character is. It's the things he says. There's a reason for why he is the way he is.


message 23: by Allen (new)

Allen Zhenya wrote: "That's exactly the point - it's repetitive just like life is repetitive, there is no climax because life has no real climax. The plot is not apparent because it is a window into an episode of a tee..."

Thank you. People are too used to reading unrealistic books that they don't realize the climaxes in these books can't ever happen in reality. This book is realistic, unlike a book about a guy flying on a broomstick.


message 24: by Allen (new)

Allen Gary wrote: "Rock on Cheyenne. Brilliant resume. Thank goodness someone had the same thoughts as me."

Fine, go read books about fairies and unicorns since you're so damn narrow-minded to even realize this book is REALISTIC. There are people out there who are just like him, and there's a reason why they are the way they are. Again, please do yourself a favor and stick to reading books about fairies, unicorns, and men flying on broomsticks.


message 25: by Allen (new)

Allen Laura wrote: "Terry wrote: "That was harsh...haha.

It is called a classic for a reason...right?

Well I think maybe you have to see it in a bigger and more understanding view. To me, it isn't really universal (..."


Laura, I find it saddening that readers have accustomed themselves to reading fairytales way too much when it comes to fiction. They should just stick to reading books about fairies, unicorns, and men flying on broomsticks. Not to mention, those books have an action sequence every other paragraph. I think those books would suit you better.


message 26: by Gary (new)

Gary Allen wrote: "Gary wrote: "Rock on Cheyenne. Brilliant resume. Thank goodness someone had the same thoughts as me."

Fine, go read books about fairies and unicorns since you're so damn narrow-minded to even re..."


I don't appreciate your insulting and contemptible words.


message 27: by Allen (new)

Allen Gary wrote: "Allen wrote: "Gary wrote: "Rock on Cheyenne. Brilliant resume. Thank goodness someone had the same thoughts as me."

Fine, go read books about fairies and unicorns since you're so damn narrow-min..."


Gary, it's just that you fail to even try to empathize with people. You're disliked this book merely because you didn't think outside the box. A novel doesn't even have to have a plot to be great.


message 28: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan Girt Not exactly true. I have a negative friend who acts like Holden with every bad points about him.


message 29: by Micaela (new)

Micaela I agree with your point about the book having no climax. I felt the same way as I was reading it and suddenly reached the last page thinking, "That's it? Really?" I guess I expected the book to be a little bit more engaging that what it ended up being.


message 30: by Emma (new)

Emma Courtney Clearly you missed the point of the story. It is nothing like any other book. It doesn't follow the standard novel plot with climax and rising action. It is just a story, and not every story has to be an epic one. You may say that is ridiculous, but isn't the point to of the book at all, and if you can't see past that minor detail (which by they way actually makes the book. It makes it far more realistic and not some overly bombastic epic that isn't real to life. It is exactly what it supposed to be. A story of adolescence made real.), then clearly you missed the whole point of the story and honestly I am sorry for you because it is brilliant. His "annoying and repetitive" train of thought is the tone and diction in which Holden's character is viewed from. From his catch phrases to his "painfully repetitive" rants, it help us understand the character's personality, age, troubles better. Now, I will agree, this book isn't for everyone, but the least you can do is respect it. It is widely acclaimed to people who understand it and aren't shallow enough to base their criticism purely on the tone (which is Salinger does a very good job on considering he isn't an adolescent) of the book but the actual substance and meaning behind it. I suppose if you were to say no adolescent is that annoying, which makes him unrealistic, I suppose you could... but you may want open your eyes and look around. Even some adults are more childish than him. Some go through adolescence without a doubt of where they will be placed in society, and being to superficial to actually care of what they are loosing and to credulous to be afraid of who they will become, but Holden didn't. Other people didn't. And that is what his story is about.


message 31: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan Girt Emma I truly wish I could up vote your comment.


message 32: by Emily (new)

Emily i think it is perfectly fine for you to not like the book but it sounds uninformed to say in one breath he is unrealistic and then in the next make it seem like one of the reasons you think that is because of his inner thoughts being repetitive and things that he says often. that is something everyone does. at least most people go over the same worries and problems in their heads over and over and use the same vocabulary and sayings often. i am sure if you start paying attention to friends and family you'll notice they over use certain words. a lot of people say "obviously" or "literally" and i dont think all books are made to necessarily have a climax but just teach you about the world. anyway. like i said. its fine you dont like the book. just wanted to share my opinion :)


message 33: by Emily (new)

Emily Emma wrote: "Clearly you missed the point of the story. It is nothing like any other book. It doesn't follow the standard novel plot with climax and rising action. It is just a story, and not every story has to..."

yes! read this after i had already commented, and realized it completely negates the need for my comment at all.


message 34: by John (new)

John Walker cheyenne u just a bitch


message 35: by Roxie (new)

Roxie Gray Not sure why people get so wound up about this book, or why they assume you read Jodi Picoult drivel if you don't like it.
Is there not a possibility that MAYBE you just don't like the bloody thing? That you're not a bad or unintelligent person, but the book didn't do it for you?


message 36: by Amelie (new)

Amelie I had a test on this book today and there was a question on like the climax and three major events, but it's just like you said. It's so flat you don't know if there even IS a climax -.-


message 37: by Wandering (new)

Wandering Annabelle You perfectly right in all the ways. I basically reading this boy complaining about everything in his life. So what's the point of this book? I totally agree with you comment!


message 38: by Katie (new)

Katie Dailey I thought the same thing, wondering what was so great about this book? I finally read it and...nothing. I was bored, but I wanted to finish it just in case it got better.


message 39: by Hugh (new)

Hugh Beaumont The mystery is why this became mandatory public school reading. Hard to believe it wasn't a plot to demoralize children and dash their hopes about the future. It's like a psy-op of the subtlest evil.


message 40: by Galo (new)

Galo  Martínez Totally agree. Maybe is the WORST book that I've read in my short and whole life.


message 41: by Hugh (new)

Hugh Beaumont Galo wrote: "Totally agree. Maybe is the WORST book that I've read in my short and whole life."

Holden Caulfield is an impossible character. He's a 35 year old lech looking back, pretending to make observations as an 18 year old.


message 42: by Jerry (new)

Jerry Bennett With a book like "The catcher in the Rye", if you can't relate to the character, you can't relate to the story. The audience that enjoys this type of story are the types of people that feel exactly the same way as Holden does.

However if you don't relate to Holden, you the book is going to be a long, dull, repetitive ride.

You mentioned the book having absolutely no climax, or plot. This is actually one of the reasons why I love this book. Because the book is so un-traditional, with no real start or end to the action, I kept reading.

I was tired of all the books that have such painfully obvious morals, rising actions, all that stuff that I wouldn't care about unless I was being quizzed on it.

This book was one of the few exceptions where I actually read the book without getting bored at really any point.


message 43: 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 published.

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.


message 44: 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 published.

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.


message 45: by Corinne (new)

Corinne Rolfs I think you sort of missed the point. When I first read this book, my thoughts and feelings were much like yours. Holden was annoying and uninteresting in his adventures. I could not understand what possibly drew people to this book.

Recently, however, I spent a lot of time mulling over Catcher. In a way, Holden is the MOST realistic character that I have ever encountered. We, the readers, are privy to every one of his thoughts. Many authors have tried very hard to write in this way.

But peoples' thoughts, the words and sentences they don't speak allowed, are nothing anyone desires to hear. To learn of your annoyance was comical to me. If all of your thoughts from your head were on a page, I should think that, if you did not knows they were yours, you would become annoyed with yourself as well.

Another point that I must make is that every person is a creature of habit. The repetition of Holden's thoughts and actions is such an accurate representation of the rebellion that he feels in his very core. He calls up everyone for a drink because that is what a proper man would do.

I think Catcher was supposed to teach us a very important lesson about the confusion and yearning in growing up. After all, when one searches for his way, he holds tight to the similar thoughts that comfort him.


message 46: by [deleted user] (new)

The climax was when he went to that teacher's house and when he was like... patting him on the head or whatever, and Holden freaks out.


message 47: by Will (new)

Will Wolff Wow. What an obnoxiously, mean-spirited review. Good job convincing me to look at your opinion as valid.


message 48: by Fardin (last edited May 01, 2014 08:14PM) (new)

Fardin For some people (like me) we're tired of the same boring plot following the same boring set of rules. The demographic that this book was intended for teenagers. Teenagers who think everyone around them is wrong and that they are the only person who really gets it. To me, Holden is the perfect representation of that and he's hardly "unrealistic" as you said. For example when Holden meets up with Luce, Holden shows the features of an immature kid that's trying to be what he's not. Or when Holden goes to see the ducks in the park like he used to when he was young, this shows this fear of growing up and his longing for his childhood experiences. I understand why you don't like the book, because the book is not for everyone. You just have to try and appreciate the book for what it is.


message 49: by Dani (new)

Dani D The thing with Holden is he was not meant to be likeable, quite the opposite actually. The way he thinks is supposed to be that way to paint him as being in a poor state of mind. Likewise, there is not really a true climax or plot to the story, it's supposed to mirror life. This story is more of a fictional memoir and should be treated as such. I understand that it's not for everyone, but this book handles storytelling in a very different manner than most traditional books.


message 50: by KatReads (new)

KatReads You summed up all my thoughts brilliantly! Great review! :)


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