The Catcher in the Rye The Catcher in the Rye discussion


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Books like the Catcher in the Rye

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Amita Have any of you read books that are similar to Salinger's brilliant novel 'The Catcher in the Rye'?


Adilene "The Bell Jar" heard about it? It's kind of like a "Catcher in the Rye" but the main character is a girl.


Jeremy Hung The Perks of Being a Wallflower read like a modernized version of The Catcher in the Rye. I enjoyed both a lot.


message 4: by Melissa (new) - added it

Melissa When I read David Mitchell's Black Swan Green a year or two ago I noticed several reviewers compared it to Catcher in the Rye. The main character is a British teenage boy who is smart, self-aware, and has a severe stuttering problem.


message 5: by Janie (last edited Sep 27, 2011 06:49PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars


Jamie Old School by Tobias Wolff is similar.


lézengő reader What about the diaries of Adrian Mole? ;-)


Sarah Submarine: A Novel by Joe Dunthorne is meant to be a modern day version of Catcher in the Rye but I haven't started it yet


Catherine I really enjoyed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. It felt similar to reading Catcher in the Rye but it is a fresh perspective as the main character has Aspergers and so his way of relating to the world is different.

It is a quick read and I was stuck thinking about it for days after, much like when reading The Catcher in the Rye


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

A wrote: "Have any of you read books that are similar to Salinger's brilliant novel 'The Catcher in the Rye'?"

Brilliant novel, thank you for saying that. I loved that book. It was a laugh out loud experience for me from start to finish.


message 11: by Lily (last edited Apr 14, 2011 03:51PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lily Does anyone consider Joe Meno's Hairstyles of the Damned to be "similar" to Catcher in the Rye? It is another coming of age story, but doesn't seem to have the popularity of Catcher, so there must be something it doesn't capture or that it over/under reaches.


message 12: by Adrienne (last edited Apr 24, 2011 05:59PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Adrienne Agawin Jeremy wrote: "The Perks of Being a Wallflower read like a modernized version of The Catcher in the Rye. I enjoyed both a lot."

They're two of my favorites.
Also when I read A Long Way Down it sort of reminded me of Catcher.


Valerie Another similar book that I just finished (And loved!!) was Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron.


message 14: by Fraffee (last edited May 12, 2011 02:35AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Fraffee No doubt... 'Looking for Alaska' by John Green
Miles is seriously the modern-day Holden Caulfield Looking for Alaska Looking for Alaska by John Green


message 15: by A.M. (new) - rated it 5 stars

A.M. Canja Every Visible Thing Every Visible Thing by Lisa Carey

Its also mentioned in the book.


message 16: by Christian (last edited May 17, 2011 03:02PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Christian Hayes I would say Ask the Dust by John Fante. It has a similar rebellious attitude, about a guy who is down on his luck. Highly recommended.


Julie S. King Dork mentions The Catcher in the Rye a lot. It's about a high school boy who is annoyed that all of his teachers love that book so much when he does not find it that great. The references to the book are funny whether the reader liked or disliked The Catcher in the Rye.


message 18: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy Lowboy

Schizophrenic Holden Caufield


message 19: by Ade (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ade As others have mentioned, 'Looking For Alaska' and 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' reminded me so much of 'The Catcher in the Rye'. I love them both!


Andrew Stewart SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE is about someone who, though he physically ages, remains mentally the 17 years or so that he is when captured in Germany.


Dominique Lily wrote: "Does anyone consider Joe Meno's Hairstyles of the Damned to be "similar" to Catcher in the Rye? It is another coming of age story, but doesn't seem to have the populari..."

I've been meaning to read that book! and every time i try to find it it disappears! is it any good? :)

i would say The Perks of Being a Wallflower, its great i have read it twice, the books just a bit more depressing, has the same type of rhythm though, also One Flew Over a Cuckoo's Nest! Slaughterhouse-Five! The Great Gatsby...


Robin I think The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton may come close to the time frame. Don't know about the angst though.


christokristo Notes From Underground by Dovstoyevsky. The sense of alienation in the main caracter in this novel is quite similar to Holden's. But i donno if everyone's agree with me.


Robin Never read Notes from the Underground. Is this tough reading, it is Dostoyevsky, sorry about the misspelling..


message 26: by christokristo (last edited Jun 15, 2011 10:04PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

christokristo To me Notes from Underground is very difficult, but some parts I fund it very hilarious. Unlike his other works, this book is very short, only around 140 pages. It's a challenging reading nonetheless. Some passages I could not understand and just skip it.


message 27: by Brian (new)

Brian Shulman Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. It's a book that you grow out of as you get older, just like Catcher (for most people at least).


Kadriye Well,thanks guys for all the book offers, it is one of my favourite authors and books so all the other recommendations was very helpful for me. I also can recommend Palahniuk. Their style and some of the books are similar.


message 29: by Jess (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jess "The Member of the Wedding" by Carson McCullers has a similar vibe as far as the themes of isolation and searching are concerned, however the protagonist is significantly younger. Just as well Member ends with the protagonist optimistically looking forward to her life as a *grown-up while Catcher focuses on Holden's identification with a younger time (i.e. his sister). Both novels offset eachother brilliantly while being two sides of the same coin. Check it out if you're interested.

*Trust me, I'm not spoiling the ending by divulging that information to you--there's plenty inbetween that makes the book well worth while.


Julie Shankle I was glad to see Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower suggested on this thread. I read it one summer when it was still on my school's summer reading list, before it was removed due to a parent complaint (even though it wasn't required reading). Parental reaction to Perks reminds me of when I was in high school wondering why Catcher was banned.


message 31: by Dudana (last edited Aug 16, 2013 01:27PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dudana I have read "Looking for Alaska", "The Perks of Being a Wallflower", "Vernon God Little" and I don't find any of them similar to Catcher in the rye! This is my favorite book of all time. I was in love with Holden for a long time :D I really was/am. :)


message 32: by Monty J (last edited Sep 04, 2013 08:43PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Monty J Heying Hard to believe no one's mentioned Judith Guests's Ordinary People. Conrad Jarrett IS Holden in a suburban mid-western setting, rather than Holden's New York City. OP is also narrated in third-person point of view, whereas Catcher's first-person.

Otherwise, the similarities are numerous. Both Holden and Conrad are having trouble in school because of mental problems in dealing with the tragic loss of two people close them. In both cases, one is a brother and the other a friend who commits suicide. Holden and Conrad both get into fights with schoolmates. They like books and music/the arts and girls and are involved in school sports. They both spend time in a mental hospital. The two books are even about the same length.

OP does a more thorough job of depicting Conrad's predicament because the author uses other characters, including family and extended family, to round him out as they react to his behavior and discuss him among themselves.

By choosing first-person point of view Salinger trapped us in Holden's head, forcing us to feel his frustration and anxiety, a level of realism rarely so effectively achieved in literature (e.g., Huckleberry Finn and The Old Man and the Sea) and so powerful that it makes many readers uncomfortable.


Cindy Recently I read a post by someone who had heard that 'Catcher in Rye' was being compared to Dante's Inferno . That was a new one to me though there are correlations I suppose. Here is a list of others...

1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain: The Catcher in the Rye is often compared to Mark Twain's classic, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn . Both books involve the coming-of-age process of the main protagonist; both novels follow the journey of the boys; and both works have caused violent reactions in their readers.

2. Lord of the Flies by William Golding: Lord of the Flies In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden observes the "phoniness" of the adult world. He is an outcast in search of human interaction, but more than that, he is a teenager on the path to growing up. Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, is an allegorical novel, in which a group of boys create a savage civilization.

3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: In The Great Gatsby , by F. Scott Fitzgerald, we see the degradation of the American Dream, which was originally about individualism and the pursuit of happiness. How can we create meaning in such a place of moral decay? Then, when we step into the world of The Catcher in the Rye, does Holden even believe in American Dream? How does his idea of "phoniness" figure into the decline of the American Dream and the emptiness of the upper classes--which we see in The Great Gatsby.

4. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton: Yes, this is another book about teenagers. The Outsiders , by S.E. Hinton, has long been a high school favorite, but the book has also been compared to The Catcher in the Rye. The Outsiders is about a close-knit group of teenagers. But, the novel is also about the individual-versus-society. Holden tells the story in The Catcher in the Rye, and Ponyboy tells the narrative of The Outsiders.

5. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest , by Ken Kesey, is a protest novel--told from Chief Bromden's point of view. Holden tells his story from behind the walls of an institution, while Bromden tells his story after he has escaped from the hospital.

6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck: Of Mice and Men is the classic by John Steinbeck. The work is set in the Salinas Valley of California, and centers around two farmhands--George and Lennie. The title is believed to reference "To a Mouse," by Robert Burns--where the best laid plans of mice and men go wrong. The work has been banned because of its controversial language and subject matter. The novel was first conceptualized as a play, and the structure of the work reflects this initial conception. The two main characters could be compared with Holden in their alienation and outsider status.


message 34: by Iris (new) - rated it 5 stars

Iris Tersánszky wrote: "What about the diaries of Adrian Mole? ;-)"

oh god no


Richard Dees All Fall Down reminded me of catcher in a way I can't really explain.


Gizem Breakfast of Champions gave me the same taste and pleasure as The Catcher did. Maybe not similar in style and content, but the way they analyse and make fun of human nature made me relate them to one another.


Candy Mercado Slackjaw by Jim Knipfel (you have to pronounce the 'K', he said). The way the author told his story reminds me of Holden. It was a really fun read (considering that it's a memoir, which was usually a boring genre for me).


Cosmic Arcata This Side of Paradise

This is about a boy who goes to a prep school. Like the Catcher it is filled with a lot of literary and other references that reveal there are hidden hands with a secret agenda.

In the Catcher Salinger has also done this by having the story of the history of WW2 embedded as it were in the text.

See the group:
Breaking The Code To The Catcher In The Rye

https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
Also Ulysses
Because both use the craft of streams of consciousness to write their book. Both need the readers participation to understand the book. You may read both books and come up with interpretations that the author didn't intend.

In The Catcher in the Rye Salinger did not intend that Holden would appear to have mental illness, like our "cliff notes and school would like us to believe. He was so insulted when a publisher asked that they he with drew his book.
See J.D. Salinger: A Life


message 39: by Seth (new) - rated it 5 stars

Seth Kupchick There isn't anything similar to the first person confession of Holden that spills out in a Joycean almost stream of consciousness memory of getting older, and cndensing it in a weekend where mot much happens as he procrastinates telling his parents he was kicked out of boarding school. Holden is an outsider looking in, but that doesn't mske him every other adolescent outsider, and boy would he hate being compared to the kid in "Wallflower."


Monty J Heying Seth wrote: "There isn't anything similar to the first person confession of Holden that spills out in a Joycean almost stream of consciousness memory of getting older, and condensing it in a weekend where mot much happens as he procrastinates telling his parents he was kicked out of boarding school."

Nicely done.


James Seth wrote: "There isn't anything similar to the first person confession of Holden that spills out in a Joycean almost stream of consciousness memory of getting older, and cndensing it in a weekend where mot mu..."

Well said.


Julie Shankle Six Degrees of Separation.


message 43: by Cosmic (last edited Dec 15, 2015 05:02AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cosmic Arcata Seth wrote: "There isn't anything similar to the first person confession of Holden that spills out in a Joycean almost stream of consciousness memory of getting older, and cndensing it in a weekend where mot mu..."

Well it is not just my opinion that this book is written in streams of consciousness. It is also this persons:

http://www.123helpme.com/the-writing-...

But perhaps it is because he is writing to a psychiatrist and is writing in the stream of consciousness style. In that style J.D.Salinger is able to not only tell a story but also to encapsulate the TRUTH behind war. Not just WW2 but all wars.

He talks to the psychiatrist about different books, about his sister about the nuns and about the ducks and we feel that we are in his head. At the same time we can put different things together and see that Salinger was trying to Catch youths innocence before they went to war. To save them from the participation in mass genocide.


message 44: by Cosmic (last edited Dec 24, 2015 06:31PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cosmic Arcata Another book that is like The Catcher in the Rye is I Am Legend.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

You can read the first post for reference, and comment 2 that talks about who this takes to my interpretation of The Catcher.


Pallavi Kumbhar Kosla by Bhalchandra Nemade is like The Catcher in the Rye.


Cosmic Arcata Pallavi wrote: "Kosla by Bhalchandra Nemade is like The Catcher in the Rye."

Thanks. That looks interesting!


Paula Ella Leffland, Rumors of Peace.


message 48: by Seth (new) - rated it 5 stars

Seth Kupchick Cosmic wrote: "Seth wrote: "There isn't anything similar to the first person confession of Holden that spills out in a Joycean almost stream of consciousness memory of getting older, and cndensing it in a weekend..."

In the recent Salinger biography, I read that Salinger said, "How did I make Holden do so much in a weekend?"


Cosmic Arcata Seth wrote: "Cosmic wrote: "Seth wrote: "There isn't anything similar to the first person confession of Holden that spills out in a Joycean almost stream of consciousness memory of getting older, and cndensing ..."

I wasn't making a point of The Catcher being like Ulysses because they were the same story, but because they have some ambiguity (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambig...) in the writing that makes you question or read the story in more than one way.

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
Is another book like this. I think there was a literary reference to this as i explained here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


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Books mentioned in this topic

The Catcher in the Rye (other topics)
Black Swan Green (other topics)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (other topics)
Hairstyles of the Damned (other topics)
A Long Way Down (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Joe Meno (other topics)