The Catcher in the Rye The Catcher in the Rye discussion


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Why this book is good

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Autumn I'd heard so many bad things about this book that I was wary to read it, but I am so glad I did because I loved it. Now according to popular opinion that means I'm too immature to understand the book, but I'm about to tell you why every accusation against this book is false...

1. It has no plot.
Yes it does. It has a series of events that happen throughout it, and yes, it may not be an action-packed, sensational plot, but it has one. And secondly, it's written basically in stream of consciousness which would inhibit it from following a strict plot pattern.

2. The narrator is too cynical.
That's the point! Everyone feels like Holden every once in a while, and yeah it's weird that he feels like this all the time but we're all able to connect to his negativity and doubt, even if we don't like that we can.

3. The author must be cynical too.
But he's not! He knows Holden is ridiculous, which is why he adds characters like Holden's little sister and his teachers. These characters are there to point out that Holden has no aspirations and that he needs to get his life together.

4. If you're mature you'll hate this book.
Maturity has nothing to do with taste, everyone is different. Just because I liked it doesn't make me immature. I loved that Holden stated right away that he was a liar, it made me wonder about his reliability throughout the entirety of the book. I could relate to his "phony" theory, even though I don't like to admit it, because some days I feel like that. You can be mature and like this book just as easily as you can be mature and not like this book. It's not for everyone.

So that's my little rant. Let me know how you felt about this book, and if you didn't like let me know why.


message 2: by Monty J (last edited Feb 10, 2019 05:17PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Monty J Heying Autbenj1 wrote: " Let me know how you felt about this book, and if you didn't like let me know why."

I agree with you, except Holden's depressed, struggling with psychological issues (PTSD probably) over the trauma of his brother's death and the suicide of James Castle. Depressed people can't just "straighten up and get their lives together. They need medication and therapy, which Holden eventually got.

A major theme of the book is maturity. It's a coming-of-age novel, perhaps the best of all time. Holden breaking away from his immature friends and experimenting with adult behaviors like smoking, drinking, night-clubbing, philosophy, literature, the arts, adult conversation, even whoring.

Ounce for ounce, it's in a tie with The Great Gatsby for the best American novel.


Perhaps this will help: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


Will I agree that this book being good or not good has little to do with maturity. The observations of Holden are pessimistic, but they are insightful. As a good Buddhist, Salinger is pointing out the uselessness in much of life and is doing so through a miserable wretch of a human.
While I enjoyed Catcher in the Rye, it is my least favorite of all Salinger books. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger is my favorite book. In it Salinger's writing is simply beautiful.


message 4: by Cosmic (last edited May 30, 2015 06:55AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cosmic Arcata PatEye wrote: " As innocuous as the farting derision of the big-deal-car-dealer is now, in its time it was sufficiently outrageous to have been banned all over the place; in context ridiculously a "required reading" in 2015. Progress???? ..."

Very perceptive. Because we are WW2 culturally illiterate we try to interpret this book with a 2015 mind set. We don't understand what holden means when he says that the Radio City Music Hall depressed him....and that he would have rather not have known the girls were going there. Was he crazy? Or was Salinger using this as a symbol. Radio City was the place to go in NYC at the time. But who built it? How did it promote the war through propaganda? ...who is being referenced by Little Shirley Bean. If we look at the most popular star of that day we know it was Little Shirley Temple. Her first movie was called "Stand Up And Cheer" which reminds me of the opening of the book TCITR, at the football game. With out Hollywood and the prostitutes for Hollywood you could not have convinced people on another continent to take notice again in another world war. We must have been crazy.

So why ban the book for the first 40 years. And then a resurgence? Out of context the book as a classic is confusing. According to John Taylor Gatto in his book Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling confusion is one of the things that school teaches. So this book should be required...because neither the students or the teachers understand it and so they rely on study guides which also try to distort the message in The Catcher In The Rye by saying it is about "innocents". Where do they get this? They must have heard it in the fart. Because that scene is about OSS the US secret intelligence wanting to kill as many people in a pointless war....because 20 years before Germany was broke....so how did they manage without money to create a WAR MACHINE...and Why did US investors (stock market investors) give money to Germany during the late 1920's so they could build stadiums and theaters and roads...after WW1? You couldn't have had a war without them. You need people and transportation to have a war...the factories were already there they just had to tool them up. They made billions trafficking human flesh in the war and in all wars. You don't think it is trafficking...it is the worst because at a young age you end up, unless you are lucky (no wonder Holden hates the words "good luck" it was probably said over and over to the soldiers), in a National Cemetery.

So the carousel where Holden hears Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and as it is raining and all the mothers are running for cover Holden puts on his people shooting hat. Holden is a plant in Australia that was bought by General Motors and turned into a factory to make war "stuff" long before the world was considering a WW2...or Hitler had "come" to power. Show me a leader in the world that can come to power by his own determination? Can't happen. It takes the media, lots of money, and connections. YOU CAN GET THOSE IF YOU GO TO PENCEY PREP.


Cosmic Arcata If you want to see more discussions about this book go here https://www.goodreads.com/topic/list_...

They used to show these but they are just showing one discussion now.


Dillon Zupp I think this book is under appreciated now because people crave action-packed stories, and aren't able to enjoy the true meaning of the novel because they find the plot "boring." If people put just a little more thought into it while they read, I think far more people would understand and enjoy it's message.


message 7: by Demetrius (last edited Jan 30, 2019 07:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Demetrius Sherman Autumn wrote: "I'd heard so many bad things about this book that I was wary to read it, but I am so glad I did because I loved it. Now according to popular opinion that means I'm too immature to understand the bo..."

About the maturity. Ironically, the book was written for adults. This quote below is something for people to consider.

""I'm Crazy" is a short story written by J. D. Salinger for the December 22, 1945 issue of Collier's magazine.Despite the story's underlying melancholy, the magazine described it as "the heart-warming story of a kid whose only fault lay in understanding people so well that most of them were baffled by him and only a very few would believe in him."


message 8: by Victoria (new) - added it

Victoria So many people hate on this book for the simple fact that it lacks the plot line of every other novel out there. That’s the point! This novel isn’t about what happens in the book but rather what happens to the voice of the novel and his progression ...it’s sole purpose is to portray character development


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