Alex's review of The Catcher in the Rye
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Dec 12, 2007 07:11am
Thanks for the review. It's so hard to review a classic like this; so much has been written about Holden it seems like it's all been said a million times before. The best book discussions do indeed come from the heart.
(last edited Jun 13, 2009 08:48am)
Jun 13, 2009 08:47am
I just read about a dozen reviews of this book here on Goodreads; so far, you're the only one who actually understood the book. You're spot on here: "But, er, that's the point. If you don't like Holden, Salinger did his job." Thanks for your review.
Apr 04, 2010 12:11pm
Loved this review because it makes complete sense to me.
" I just think that with many classics, people start looking for something huge... a big, rollicking plot, some amazing humour or poetic language, and sometimes the brilliance of a book is so much more subtle."
I agree. :)
Jul 21, 2010 04:01pm
It always annoys me when people make the claim that if you don't like something, you didn't get it. It is entirely possible to understand Salinger's intent and his point and still hate the book.
(last edited Jul 22, 2010 10:36am)
Jul 21, 2010 04:10pm
Absolutely. But when someone makes comments like, "This book sucks because because Holden is a phony himself!" then, well, that person didn't get the point of the book.
(last edited Jan 08, 2012 06:55pm)
Jan 08, 2012 06:54pm
Years late, but:
I am totally behind the feeling that you can get something and hate it. I just think that there are some things where this is not true. I understand why people like dance music, conceptually. I know its purpose. I still find it repetitive, disposable pap, because there is plenty of music which is danceable but also creative and less synthetic feeling. On the other hand, I can understand why people wouldn't like downhome blues for similar reasons... it's very repetitive, lyrics often transfer from song to song, and the arrangements are as sparse as one imagines an old bluesman's wallet to be. The difference, to me, is there is a clear historical meaning to the latter, an authenticity and a window into another world. Dance music creates an illusion, while old blues shatters one, in a way. So if you say "I'm not a big fan of old blues," whatever. I don't have much of a collection myself. But to hate it, to me, makes me wonder how much you understand it. "I get they're poor and were oppressed. I understand the cultural need for this music to crop up, and the huge influence it had on modern musical forms. But I hate it." That sort of thing makes me want to know more about what it is that gives one such a visceral hatred combined with such a deep understanding. It signals a disagreement at a deeply personal level.
Put another way, I agree with almost nothing Ayn Rand believed in. I don't love her writing style. I think her followers are a huge concern when it comes to modern society. And yet The Fountainhead was still the most meaningful book I read last year. More on that perhaps in a later review. So I guess I cannot help but wonder what offense Catcher could have caused to lead to hate and understanding simultaneously. That implies a basic disagreement with Salinger's postulates, and that leads to a "why" every time.
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