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The Catcher in the Rye

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  2,963,721 ratings  ·  63,612 reviews
The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comme ...more
Paperback, First Back Bay Paperback Edition (US/CAN), 277 pages
Published January 30th 2001 by Back Bay Books (first published July 16th 1951)
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Jean Cole It's not about the story. It's about the context of the story.

We have to consider it in the context of the era in which this book was released. The er…more
It's not about the story. It's about the context of the story.

We have to consider it in the context of the era in which this book was released. The era is post-WWII America. We had just defeated two evil empires, and our soldiers were coming Home Sweet Home to their happy-to-be-housewives and their 2.5 kids who were to be seen and not heard.

Readers who were born and brought up after the 1960s don't realize what a revolution occurred in the 1950s and 1960s. Today being a free spirit and expressing your individuality is celebrated and encouraged. In those days you were expected to (as I was told) "Do as I say, not as I do." That may sound outrageous and unreasonable but it was, in fact, exactly what was accepted as good parenting.

And here we have 1) a main character who curses constantly, and unashamedly rejects the values of his parents and society in general and 2) a narrative style that is casual and conversational. These two factors were shocking and dismaying to some, refreshing and delightful to others.

And so Holden became a hero to some. Not in the conventional sense of the word, but because people related to him and they sympathized with the way he felt. He personified all that was wrong with society. If you don't go along, if you don't play the game, then the vast machine that is society will knock you down and even lock you away. Holden is not intended to be a hero in the conventional sense of the word. He is a tragic victim of the crappy world in which he has no control and where no one understands him.

I imagine that in 1951, when this was published, there were those who said "Yes! It's about time someone was honest!" and there were those who exclaimed "What is this world coming to?" There was change coming, that's for sure. This book was just one sign of the impending cultural revolution. That's why it's a classic. Think of it as a brick in the foundation of the revolution to come.(less)
Monika Przegalińska I think, it is about saving innocence, which is also a symbol of childhood. Holden simply wants to save his little sister (and other kids) from proces…moreI think, it is about saving innocence, which is also a symbol of childhood. Holden simply wants to save his little sister (and other kids) from process of adolescence and future adulthood. Hi wants to be "Catcher in the rye" - the man who saves children from falling, falling into the adulthood.
In my opinion it's not about that Holden does'nt want to grow up, he know that ge is growing up right now and he sees how painful and hard it is, so he wants to protect ever little kid from what he finds so harmful.
Just a subjective opinion:) (less)

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Average rating 3.81  · 
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mark monday
journal entry

today i am 15 years old. everything is all bullshit, as usual. i can't believe how fucked everything is around me. like i'm surrounded by zombies. i can't talk to any of my so-called friends, i can't talk to jamie, i can't talk to my parents. who would bother listening anyway. i cannot wait to leave orange county! this place makes me fucking sick. everyone is a hypocrite. everything is so goddamn bright and shiny and sunny and meaningless. FUCK, life is so full of crap.

there is one
5.0 stars. I LOVE IT when I go into a book with low expectations and it ends up knocking me on my ass. Admittedly, this is tougher to do with "classics" but it certainly happened in this case. I remember first reading this in school (like many of us) and not thinking it was anything special. However, having first read it almost 25 years ago, I knew I had to read it again before I could feel justified in actually reviewing it. Of course, I didn’t hold out much hope that my feelings would change a ...more
Mar 25, 2008 rated it it was ok
I read the end of The Catcher in the Rye the other day and found myself wanting to take Holden Caulfield by the collar and shake him really, really hard and shout at him to grow up. I suppose I've understood for some time now that The Catcher in the Rye -- a favorite of mine when I was sixteen -- was a favorite precisely because I was sixteen. At sixteen, I found Holden Caulfield's crisis profoundly moving; I admired his searing indictment of society, his acute understanding of human nature, his ...more
Jul 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone but phonies and athletic bastards
I was worried as hell about reading this book again. The last time I read it was about a thousand years ago when I was just a kid. I was lousy with angst just like good old Holden back then. I really was. Now that I’m a crummy old guy I figured that I wouldn’t like it anymore. That’s the one thing about crummy old guys, they always hate books that kids like. Every time I reread a corny book that I really liked when I was a kid it makes me want to give the writer a buzz and ask what the hell is g ...more
Dec 26, 2007 rated it did not like it
I read this book for the first time in the 8th grade. I had to get my mom to sign a permission slip because of the cursing. Before I began reading, I had so many expectations. Back then, I read Seventeen Magazine, and back then, Seventeen Magazine ran brainy features about books and poetry. There was one feature where they asked people what book changed their lives, and something like more than half said Catcher in the Rye. I think there might have been some celebrity comments in there, too. At ...more
Aug 04, 2007 rated it did not like it
Edit: stop liking and commenting on this review. It's 2021. And the book is still shit.

If I could give this book a zero, I would. I absolutely hated it. Generally, I don't hate books, either. Usually it's a very strong dislike, and generally, I give them a second chance. But no, I will never be reading this book again.

In my opinion, Holden is the worst character in the English language. Salinger tried just too damn hard to make him 'universal', to the point where he becomes unrealistic. His trai
Jul 31, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My theory as to this book's unusually polarizing nature: either you identify with Holden Caulfield or you don't.

Those who see themselves (either as they were or, God help them, as they are) in Holden see a misunderstood warrior-poet, fighting the good fight against a hypocritical and unfeeling world; they see in Salinger a genius because he gets it, and he gets them.

Those of us who don't relate to Holden see in him a self-absorbed whiner, and in Salinger, a one-trick-pony who lucked into perform
Sep 24, 2007 rated it did not like it
In my hand I hold $5.
I will give it to anyone who can explain the plot of this book (or why there is no plot) and make me understand why the hell people think it's so amazing.
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
so sorry, guess im a phony
J.G. Keely
Sometimes truth isn't just stranger than fiction, it's also more interesting and better plotted. Salinger helped to pioneer a genre where fiction was deliberately less remarkable than reality. His protagonist says little, does little, and thinks little, and yet Salinger doesn't string Holden up as a satire of deluded self-obsessives, he is rather the epic archetype of the boring, yet self-important depressive.

I've taken the subway and had prolonged conversations on the street with prostitutes (n
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye is a 1951 novel by J. D. Salinger.

A classic novel originally published for adults, it has since become popular with adolescent readers for its themes of teenage angst and alienation. It has been translated into almost all of the world's major languages.

The novel's protagonist Holden Caulfield has become an icon for teenage rebellion. The novel also deals with complex issues of innocence, identity, belonging, loss, and connection.

The b
Ahmad Sharabiani
(Book 529 from 1001 books) - The Catcher In The Rye, J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye is a 1951 novel by J. D. Salinger.

Holden Caulfield, a teenager from New York City, is living in an unspecified institution in southern California near Hollywood in 1951.

Story of Holden Caulfield with his idiosyncrasies, penetrating insight, confusion, sensitivity and negativism.

The hero-narrator of "The Catcher in the Rye" is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield.

Oct 01, 2010 rated it did not like it
Well, this was a pain to get through.

First of all, this is a shitty way to start a novel no matter how you want to introduce your main character.

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.

That is easily one of the saddest, most p
Big Red
May 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
J.D. Salinger’s ‘Catcher in the Rye’ was published on July 16, 1951. It was his first novel. It became very popular among young adolescents yet not so popular with older generations. I personally thoroughly enjoyed every part of this book. I felt very close to Holden Caulfield, the main character in the story, as I read it.
Holden Caulfield, a sixteen year old boy from New York, was quite unlike kids his age. He had no interest in being popular or social. From the very beginning he lets us into
Ahmad Sharabiani
(Book 529 from 1001 Books) - The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye is a story by J. D. Salinger, first published in serial form in 1945-6 and as a novel in 1951. Story of Holden Caulfield with his idiosyncrasies, penetrating insight, confusion, sensitivity and negativism.

The hero-narrator of "The Catcher in the Rye" is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leave
Paul Bryant
Sep 27, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: novels
A spell in the army would do that young man a power of good! Or maybe a couple of bags of heroin. Anything to stop that whining voice....
Jul 19, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: literary-fiction
Reading this book was one of the biggest wastes of my time in the past twenty years. Holden Caulfield's problem is that he is the biggest phony he knows. Count the number of times he lies or behaves like someone he's not and then try to convince me otherwise. This is not a book about teenage alienation. It's about a smart-ass who can't deal with who he really is and spends almost 300 pages ranting about it - most likely to a doctor in a psych ward. ...more
Henry Avila
Nov 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Holden Caulfield is a mixed- up cynical teenager, getting kicked out of another prestigious school, Pencey Prep, in Pennsylvania, the irony is that this obviously intelligent, privileged, 16 year- old, is somehow flunking out, why? He doesn't care about anything, especially education, bored and feeling neglected by his wealthy, New York City family . At least Caulfield passed English class, he's always reading, his big problem, he's so unmotivated, nothing seems important to this kid (set in 194 ...more
Jun 19, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
As a child, we are protected from life. There really aren’t many choices available, and we are certainly sheltered from a lot of the harder parts of life. It seems like children don’t feel the need for meaning quite like adults do- maybe because they aren’t forced to face the daily grind. There’s boredom, but that is not what I am talking about. Kids don’t really have to compromise like adults do. As you enter adulthood you could start to see things and people as phony or fake. Maybe not people, ...more
Elle (ellexamines)
Holden Caulfield is a character many, many people hate. And trust me, I get it. He's a posturing hypocrite. He's a dick. I wanted to hit him in the face for at least a hundred pages. We know this. But he's a character that, for some strange reason, resonates with thousands of people.


Well, simply put, it's because he's written like this on purpose. But I think that doesn't quite get to the heart of it. Holden is a fifteen-year-old kid on the verge of an emotional breakdown. He's an asshole.
Sep 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
What can I say?

that hasn’t already been said?

As I write this review, there are almost 2 million ratings on Goodreads and over 36,000 reviews. My friend mark monday’s review is better than many original works.

What can I say?

I wish now that I read this sooner. I’d like to know what my perspective would be from a younger self. I did not love this book. Holden got on my nerves, and I was more than half way through before I thought I’d like it at all. I was getting apprehensive, was I going to be one
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Holden is the teenage mind in all its confusion, rebellion and irrationality, and in all its undefined hope for individual heroism.

If you work with teenagers, you eventually always end up asking yourself:

"WHY does s/he do that? It's not even helpful, realistic, smart, beneficial ..."

The answer is that the teenager is in a state of transition, moving from the relatively defined environment of childhood to the jungle of the adult world, and completely without tools to handle that journey. Using
Jan 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Okay. So it's like this. My not-just-GR-friend-but-very-real-friend brian called and told me that J.D. Salinger had died maybe about a half hour ago (as I begin this 'review'). This sounds immensely absurd, pathetically sentimental, and embarrassing to admit, but I'm glad I heard it from him and not from some animatronic talking head with chin implants and immobile hair on the nightly news or from an obnoxiously matter-of-fact internet blurb, commenting like a machine on how Holden Caulfield has ...more
Feb 05, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: spoiled, white, rich kids who feel misunderstood
Recommended to Licia by: 8th graade english teacher
I know there are people who thought this book changed their lives and helped them find their unique way in the world, but coming from a non-white, non-middleclass background, as a kid, I really resented having to read about this spoiled, screwed up, white, rich kid who kept getting chance after chance and just kept blowing it because he was so self-absorbed and self-pitying. I felt at the time there was no redeeming value in it for me. I was born on the outside trying my best to get in. I felt n ...more
TW: sexism, homophobia, gaslighting, inaccurate/inappropriate interpretations of depression, violence and abuse

I don't think I've ever despised a book more than this one. I cannot positively find a good thing to say about it whatsoever. Before anyone decides to come at me for hating this book and say, "Andrea, you're so immature and uneducated" or "Andrea, it was written in the 1950s, what do you expect", no, I will NOT apologize for detesting this book and no, I will NOT excuse any of its probl
"Oh, I don’t know. That digression business got on my nerves. I don’t know. The trouble with me is, I like it when somebody digresses. It’s more interesting and all.”
Yes, this review eventually will be about the book. My reviews always are. I'm boring this way. I envy the ability of my friends to digress in their review space and tell me a story which in some way was inspired by something in the book they just read, or its blurb, or - god forbid now, in the land of GR censorship of anything
Nilufer Ozmekik
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Catcher in the rye” is one of most debatable, argumentative, complex novels of the century.

Some people think it’s a masterpiece: great approach of corruption, phoniness of people’s characteristics which is reflected by the perspective of Holden Caulfield who feels and sees so much for his young age.

And some of the other reviewers think this book is incredibly boring and Holden is such a sassy, arrogant, pretentious little bastard who has no idea about real life, its challenges, struggles with
*2.5 stars(This is overall rating .I will rate the book in parts at the end of this review )

Let me start by saying that I TOTALLY understand why people either HATE or LOVE this book
I really thought at the beginning of the book that I was gonna love this book
Which I a certain extent😅

The one thing I am concerned about is : I have started talking in "Holden"!!!!
i.e the MC uses some phrases repetitively like "Or something" "and all" "horsing around" "phonies" AND MY FAV "ANYWAYS"
I used the
Jun 18, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chris by: some crumby teacher
**Included on Time’s List of 100 Best Fiction of the 20th Century**

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is what I thought about “The Catcher In the Rye”, and my reasons for liking it or disliking it, and possibly even how I felt about the work each of the four times I’ve wasted my time reading it, and all that 'Mein Kampf' kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. Also, I’d probably have to take the time to lear
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of my new favorites! I had absolutely no idea what this book is about when I started started reading it, so I am more than pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed and loved it. However, it is also one of those books where I totally understand when someone hates everything about it.

I found the writing unexpectedly contemporary. If I wouldn't have known when the story was written, I would have guessed it only came out in the past couple of decades. So if the reason you haven't picked up thi
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Jerome David Salinger was an American author, best known for his 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye, as well as his reclusive nature. His last original published work was in 1965; he gave his last interview in 1980. Raised in Manhattan, Salinger began writing short stories while in secondary school, and published several stories in the early 1940s before serving in World War II. In 1948 he publishe ...more

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