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Group Read > Catcher In The Rye *Spoilers*

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message 1: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
Hi everyone. Thanks to everyone that nominated and voted on the poll! Catcher in the rye won so once you have finished reading it then comment on this thread and we can get a discussion going :) I labelled it spoilers so feel free to write what you want


Jessica~CoinOperatedJoy | 319 comments I am very excited to talk about this book! I cheated...I've already read this. :\ But I can't wait to discuss! I would like to throw out there how reading through Holden's eyes made me feel just as anxious and full of confusion as Holden felt. The whole book I kept waiting for relief...some kind of release...
Like Holden, I am afraid of change and it was remarkable to see how optimistic Holden eventually becomes. It made ME feel more optimistic because he realizes that although not all change is good...not all change is bad either and that's something...I really connected with this book. SO good...


message 3: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenJen1221) | 42 comments I read this book twice already & I don't think I'll read it this month. But it was my fave assigned reading in high school & I enjoyed it still as a re-read. Enjoy!!!


message 4: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
I just finished reading this book. My first thought was that the book didnt have much of a point. It was basically a weekend in the life of a messed up kid. But that aside i did really like it. He was a misfit that no one really understood and he was lonely and depressed. It reminded me of when i was that age and its an important point in your life where change is happening and its scary and you can feel lost


message 5: by Jessica~CoinOperatedJoy (last edited Aug 10, 2009 09:45AM) (new)

Jessica~CoinOperatedJoy | 319 comments I think Salinger's point was to demonstrate what it's like to feel lost and confused and trying to sort out who you are and what you want. Much like "Wallflower" Holden is confused and a bit lost. "Wallflower" flows more like a story of events but I liked "Catcher's" approach because I could FEEl his tension. I could FEEL his confusion thanks to Salinger's descriptive writing. How he dips one toe in and then just as quickly pulls his toe back out because he just doesn't quite know what he wants or needs and I think this is a common feeling at that age. It was for me. I remember feeling that pent up energy of wanting to get out there and "live it." But then the minute I was given the opportunity to behave badly or to do the thing I thought would make me brave...I would immediately question whether or not I really wanted the thing in the first place. So confusing...so many thoughts running rampant all at once and no one can truly understand you. WHich is why many teens alienate their parents, at least I think so. Only you have to make your choices, make your mistakes and go from there. Glad you read it Jo! :)


message 6: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
Yeah i can see your point Jessica. Dont get me wrong i did like it i just prefered the "wallflower" approach. It was over a longer amount of time and explained more. Maybe if "Catcher" was longer and went into more of his life i would have liked it more. I gave it 4 stars though because i could relate to how confusing it is being that age. Also when i was that age i didnt have any idea what i wanted to do with my life so i had nothing to work towards and i felt very lost. The writing showed very well how he didnt know what to do with himself in general nevermind the bigger picture. Like how he would go to call someone and then not do it


message 7: by Jessica~CoinOperatedJoy (last edited Aug 11, 2009 10:28AM) (new)

Jessica~CoinOperatedJoy | 319 comments So true Jo. :) And I liked "Wallflower" as well. I prefered "Catcher" to "Wallflower" but that's the great thing about these boards. A million people can read the same book and each person can take something different from it or have differing opinions. I'm glad that you read it! Salinger is fantastic but I'm afraid her style of writing is much the same in all of her books. So, you may not particularly like them. My favorite book she wrote is "Franny and Zoey." They are two of my favorite characters just because they are so quirky and off beat...much like Holden I suppose.

I like that you mentioned the bit where Holden would go to pick up the phone to call someone and then would change his mind. It's those instances that make it so relatable for me. I can remember being at that age and feeling restless. "I'll call my friend Gina. NO, don't think I will. Maybe I'll read. Nah, it's too hot..." Hell, I still feel that way some days. Like I have all this pent up energy and yet I can't think of one thing I would like to do to spend it.

Holden is so painfully awkward at times and yet he tries so hard to hit upon the thing he needs to mollify him. I loved the part where he visited his family's home and had that conversation with his kid sister. She was one of my favorite characters. :)


message 8: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
Yeah i loved his sister too. I thought she was great. I liked how he just broke into the home just to talk to her for a bit.

Maybe i will try another book by the author and see what i think. I think that if this book was longer and had more of an ending rather than, im not going to tell you anymore, then i might have enjoyed it more. Still i am glad i read it after everyone telling me i would like it if i liked "wallflower". Maybe thats the problem. Because i read "wallflower" first and it was a more indepth and longer book, i felt a bit hard done by when i read "catcher".

I dont really remember being in the kind of mood where i would want to talk to someone but then not feel like it. I was quite a solitary kid and i never really longed to talk to someone or anything. It was only really when i left school and had no contact with people my age that i felt the need to talk to them. I could relate to him on a lot of things though and found it interesting to read.


Jessica~CoinOperatedJoy | 319 comments I totally understand! Actually, the reason why I read "Wallflower" was because my bookseller, Stuart, knew I loved "Catcher" and told me to read "Wallflower." That's what made me tell you to read "Catcher" if you liked "Wallflower." When I finished reading it I didn't see the connection at first but it dawned on me moments later as they are both about coming of age stories and they are both based on guys trying to figure themselves out. From there I started to see more parallels but I originally picked up the book looking for Salinger's writing style...so funny.

As for more of Salinger's works...he didn't really write longer stories. Franny and Zoey is about the same length, give or take. He also wrote a collection of nine short stories...but obviously, they're short. And then Raise High the Roof Beam wasn't that long either. Hm...still, I would recommend Franny and Zoey one day when you're in want for something short to read. :)


message 10: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
I will have to try that one then! Thanks for the recommendation!


message 11: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Kang | 2 comments When reading this book, I felt so comfortable and reliable in what he was saying. U know, unlike the character like Nick (in The Great Gastby), he told everyting in honest way and there was nothing hidden in what he was trying to say. So, it made me understand much more easier, and enabled me to sympathize with his beliefs. Furthermore, I felt like traveling Holden's life which was very defiant but honest that is contrary to my standardized and regular life...


message 12: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
I also liked his honesty Michelle. He just said it how it was and it made it easy to relate to


message 13: by Athira (last edited Aug 16, 2009 07:54PM) (new)

Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day) (readingonarainyday) I just finished the book, and my oh my, I have no idea why I didn't read this earlier. I really loved this book. How Holden changes his mind every few minutes. How he gives a look to a girl, but then can't feel sexy at all. How he wants to see Phoebe all the time, but finally meets her only on Sunday night. How he can't be sure of what Mr. Antolini was doing patting him at night. How he doesn't like any movie or play. How he finds everyone phony (I wish I counted how many times he used that word in the book.) How he was feeling all negative. How he just kept wanting company because he was depressed, and yet how even in spite of company, he would still be depressed.

I liked it that Salinger played the story out over a weekend rather than over a long period. I find long-term depression too morale-sapping, like the person is just wasting his/her life. It makes me more depressed than the protagonist. I liked it that Holden wandered around one weekend, trying to get over his problems, rather than spend an eternity trying to fix them.

Quite a hangover I am in now!


message 14: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
Glad you loved the book Aths. He did say phony a LOT! lol. I could relate on that part. I often think people are "phoney" and its annoys me


Jessica~CoinOperatedJoy | 319 comments Aths wrote: "I just finished the book, and my oh my, I have no idea why I didn't read this earlier. I really loved this book. How Holden changes his mind every few minutes. How he gives a look to a girl, but th..."

You totally captured the essence of the book and the feelings Holden experienced! I'm so glad you liked it! You like it for the same reasons I do! I felt the same way when I was done with the book...like I needed to recover! Great comment Aths!


message 16: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
I wasnt really affected by this book. Once i finished it, it didnt really stay with me at all if you know what i mean


message 17: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Russell (Vigorio) | 4 comments I think maybe this book affects people differently based on the reader's personality. When I read it, as a 53 year old mom and ex-teacher, it was an interesting glimpse into the mind of a teenager in rebellion. But my son, 15, really identified with Holden. It's his fav book and he talks about it all the time. He totally related to the angst, rebellion, confusion, etc. I thought it was a great character study and probably pretty indicative of how the mind of a teen functions. I somewhat remember that confusion and split desires to do something but not really want to. Then do it and regret it. Salinger pretty much hit the human condition on the nailhead.


message 18: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Russell (Vigorio) | 4 comments Jo wrote: "Glad you loved the book Aths. He did say phony a LOT! lol. I could relate on that part. I often think people are "phoney" and its annoys me "

That is the one part of the book that my son really, really identified with. He, too, feels that the world is filled with phony people who hide their truth behind a veil of dishonesty. I think he's rather astute to see that at his tender age of 15, because he dead right. NO ONE tells the truth unless it's to their own benefit and then it's never the whole truth. Can you imagine what the world would be like if no one could lie or be deceitful in any way? We'd all need pretty thick skins or else everyone would have to be silent. Interesting idea.


message 19: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
Yeah its the part of the book that i related to most because its true. The world would be a crazy if everyone told the truth all the time for sure! Its the people that become something that they think the world expects them to be that are the most phoney. People that say things and do things and like things that they think they should.


message 20: by Jessica~CoinOperatedJoy (last edited Aug 20, 2009 01:11PM) (new)

Jessica~CoinOperatedJoy | 319 comments Rebecca wrote: "Jo wrote: "Glad you loved the book Aths. He did say phony a LOT! lol. I could relate on that part. I often think people are "phoney" and its annoys me "

That is the one part of the book that my so..."


It's great that your son loves the book so much! I was a little older then him when I first read it but I wished I had read it when I was younger as I felt much the same way as your son. He's obviously a very clever boy! I bet he has his mom to thank for that. ;) I agree with the three of you in regards to society in general. That's probably why the mere thought of venturing out where I know I will be expected to "be social for once" completely depresses me as I know I will have to listen and watch people put up glamours of themselves instead of just being honest. Especially here in LA where people are flaky and insincere. It would be amazing if people were more genuine. Rebecca, have you or your son read Franny and Zooey? If you like this book and Salinger you will definitely like Franny and Zooey. Just a suggestion. ;) great comments!


Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ รђ๏รђคภคђ  (shoey924) | 53 comments I have to say that Salinger really is a pioneer of YA! It's so funny, because teens who love reading probably would consider this book as a boring, old nuisance, required by their teacher to read, in comparison with what they think is YA such as Twilight.
Great novel, very real and full-bodied characters, and very relatable to the young.


message 22: by Athira (new)

Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day) (readingonarainyday) Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ รђ๏รђคภคђ wrote: "I have to say that Salinger really is a pioneer of YA! It's so funny, because teens who love reading probably would consider this book as a boring, old nuisance, required by their teacher to read, ..."

I felt Salinger's book could apply to people of all ages. The angst, the confusion, the inability to take decisions, plague all ages, but mostly the teen years. Unlike most other YA novels, I felt this was one book that anyone could pick and relate to. Whereas novels like Twilight or Uglies has a highly specific audience. I'm not sure I would even categorize Catcher in the Rye as YA, but it definitely is a worthier candidate for that section.


Jessica~CoinOperatedJoy | 319 comments Aths wrote: "Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ รђ๏รђคภคђ wrote: "I have to say that Salinger really is a pioneer of YA! It's so funny, because teens who love reading probably would consider this book as a boring, old nuisance, require..."

I agree with you. I do feel this book is much more accessible to all ages as opposed to Uglie...which, I am sorry to say, as much as I love YA this series has never looked enticing to me. It's just too young for me I think...Catcher in the Rye gets better with age too. I read it in high school for the first time (I think) and then picked it up again when I was older and loved it even more!


message 24: by Athira (new)

Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day) (readingonarainyday) Jessica wrote: "Aths wrote: "Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ รђ๏รђคภคђ wrote: "I have to say that Salinger really is a pioneer of YA! It's so funny, because teens who love reading probably would consider this book as a boring, old nuis..."

Uglies really was a boring series. I struggled through the first two books, and may or may not read the remaining two. I need a break from all the pretty-making, and bogus and fashion-missing things of Prettyville!


message 25: by Shelli (new)

Shelli Wow...I read CITR in high school, so only remember that I actually liked it more than what it was all about, but I remember Holden as a character...now after reading your posts, I might want to read it again and I RARELY read books twice!


message 26: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenJen1221) | 42 comments John Green, author of Looking For Alaska, made a great video on you tube about Catcher in the Rye

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSR8J6...

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqfThm...

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUnQ-w...


Jessica~CoinOperatedJoy | 319 comments Aths wrote: "Jessica wrote: "Aths wrote: "Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ รђ๏รђคภคђ wrote: "I have to say that Salinger really is a pioneer of YA! It's so funny, because teens who love reading probably would consider this book as a ..."

Yeah...that is exactly what I thought the books would be about. Not my cup of tea I guess.

Shelli, I would love for you to re-read it and see how Holden has changed for you over the years? He meant more to me the second time around then the first...


message 28: by Shelli (new)

Shelli Jessica wrote: "Aths wrote: "Jessica wrote: "Aths wrote: "Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ รђ๏รђคภคђ wrote: "I have to say that Salinger really is a pioneer of YA! It's so funny, because teens who love reading probably would consider th..."

Jessica...there goes another on the TBR...maybe I'll start a shelf of TBR AGAIN!


Jessica~CoinOperatedJoy | 319 comments Shelli wrote: "Jessica wrote: "Aths wrote: "Jessica wrote: "Aths wrote: "Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ รђ๏รђคภคђ wrote: "I have to say that Salinger really is a pioneer of YA! It's so funny, because teens who love reading probably w..."


lol. OH I am there and then some...My TBR shelf has now taken up the top of my piano as well. I reeeeally hope I don't need to get her tuned for a long time...:\



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