Kyle's Reviews > The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
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Apr 01, 12

Read from March 28 to April 01, 2012

Well goddam, I finally got around to reading this book, and the one thing I am most pleased to know is that Salinger utterly refuses to have this story adapted into a movie, probably one of the reasons he had Holden hate the movies so much. Not to say it couldn't be filmed, and it was fun to find out that John Cusack really wanted to play this part when he was younger, just what a dreadful film it would've been, endlessly played in English classrooms in a dull celebration of cinéma vérité.

And kinda misleading to write that movies were the one thing Holden hated, as pretty much every phony and flit and every other thing that pops into his head gets slammed. He struggles when his sister asks what, in fact, he does like. And if he hadn't been such a phony himself (everyone he encounters, including Phoebe, gets lied to) he would have found more things to like about other people. Instead he always meanders back in his thoughts to someone else who did him wrong, and on rare occasions how he might have fought back if he weren't so yellow.

This all may be a true literary depiction of how the bored teenager thinks, but I still sense that there could've been more to this story than mild curses and exaggerated phrases, and Salinger willfully points out these flaws by having Mr. Antolini ask his "faintly stuffy, pedagogical question" (p. 239) about sloppy storytelling. How many essays, book reviews, letters to D.B. and chapter 27's have teachers like him had to mark (when various school boards were liberal enough to get this book off the black list) by generations of teens that sorta understand what this book is all about? Ain't that a sonuvabitch to get depressed over, goddam it all?
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message 1: by Lewis (new) - added it

Lewis Weinstein ... a very perceptive review


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