Erin (*is in a reviewing slump*)'s Reviews > The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
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Dec 03, 13

bookshelves: drama-gen-fiction, own-book-form, classics, angst, 4-star
Read from April 03 to 08, 2012

It's strange, but I agree with the tagline of this novel for once. Usually it's just there for dramatic effect. "You'll never forget this story, this story will haunt you for life....,etc", but this one actually has proven true. I read this months ago and now that I'm adding the reviews to the blog from Goodreads and my mental reservoir, I have to say that this book truly has never left me. I think of it at least once every two weeks. I have no idea why really, but I think there's such a total genuineness about it that it really gets inside you.

The book isn't perfect because of the bizarre writing style, which would turn some off. I know some don't even keep going. You should push through any awkward growing pains, though, as it did prove to be so rewarding. The main character of Holden Caulfield is hard to get into at first, since he initially seems to be a smart-alek, dirty-mouthed, negative kid who doesn't care about much. It becomes clear after awhile he's troubled, lonely, compassionate, and actually a sweetheart.

You end up feeling for him, caring about what happens, and trying to figure out how he can turn himself around, or if he even wants to and has reason enough to try. He is certainly not the typical character to read about, and this type of character is another reason I feel reading fiction encourages the growth of empathy in people so much.

The scene that really stands out to me is the sadness of the hotel room scenario between Holden, the girl, and her pimp. How tragic and I felt for him as his youth really came through.

It's a completely character-orientated novel. There's a strange opening to the book where not much is going on, and little ever happens action-wise. It's mainly an introverted thinking novel. You don't get the sense that the boy is troubled until a few chapters in, other than he's failing out of school. I would have liked a longer ending also, to see his parents reactions and more details of what happened next.

Overall this is a worthy classic - I felt for the character and thought it held interesting insight. Language is pretty graphic so some parents may not want their kids reading it if too young. There's no sex or anything violent, although their are several adult implications. For the life of me I can't understand some of the blame from criminals on this book - the person is troubled, fragile, and lonely, but they are not violent, twisted, or evil.

I rated this four stars after I read it because of some of the overly long paragraphs and ramblings got a bit much sometimes, and I would have enjoyed a little more action and thought editing slightly would have helped. However, if I rated it now from memory alone would have went for the big 5-star label. It's just one of those books that truly stays with you.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Jack (new)

Jack Getze I read this book as an awkward young man of 19, and for the first time in my new life, I felt I wasn't alone. There were other young men out there completely messed up with no clue what to do. I loved it.


Erin (*is in a reviewing slump*) Glad you also liked it Jack. It's a brutally introspective piece.


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.

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.


Karen This book is about Holden Caulfield


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