Julia's Reviews > The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
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's review
Sep 17, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: ya
Read from November 16 to 20, 2010

Please see this five star review as a three star review. (Unfortunately, GR doesn't allow readers to change their minds about the books they read.) When I read this book for the first time when I was about 15, I'm sure five stars accurately refelected how I felt about this book. Now, please see three stars and that's grade inflation...

I have a difficult time with first person narratives from unlikeable characters. For me, there’s few who are less likeable than Holden Caulfield. Sure he’s self-hating, whiny and adolescent, but that hardly made me want to hurry and finish reading the book. Nothing happens. Which leads me to another question: how is this a novel and not a novella? I reread this in part because we had a book discussion at the Library Thursday night. I said if Holden were around now, he’d be medicated to the gills. Then, in 1951 when this was published, he might have spent perhaps his whole life institutionalized, after electro-shock and/ or a lobotomy. Because there’s no escaping that Holden is one very sick puppy.

“You can’t ever find a place that’s nice and peaceful, because there isn’t any. You may think there is, but once you get there, when you’re not looking, somebody’ll sneak up and write “F#$k you” right under your nose. Try it sometime.” (p. 204)

(Yes, I am censoring Salinger.)

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Reading Progress

11/18/2010 page 71
25.0% "It's hard going. Holden is such a self-hating, whiny jerk."

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