Goodreads Feedback discussion


Comments Showing 1-48 of 48 (48 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by RezA (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:07AM) (new)

RezA | 8 comments hi otis
I can't add a post/comment on some pages.



or even this page you see!! i coudn't post a comment so i had to edit my previous one!

thanks again

message 2: by Emily (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:07AM) (new)

Emily all right folks. i'm not sure if this will work out or if it will be a miserable failure, but i'm willing to try either way. moving back home to washington state at the end of the month and i'll conduct a full survey of what i have to lend out then, but in the meantime we could start out sharing lists and letting each other know what we are willing to part with. obviously this probably has to be one of those things where you send the book at your own risk and neither i nor goodreads can be responsible for making sure it gets back in the same state in which it was sent. but i'm optimistic! i think we can share books with each other and be honest enough to get them back in good condition and in good time.
a couple preliminary thoughts:
1)folks should communicate mailing addresses and personal info in private messages and not post it for all to see. unless your cool with that, in which case go for it.
2)the books you send should be ones that you love, but copies that you wouldn't miss if someone (including the post office) were to misplace or accidentally destroy
3)send in any suggestions you like! let's try and get this rolling. i think it could be pretty sweet for all parties involved.
also, i had to pick a type of book club, which is why its listed as a nonfiction club. in reality i'd like for us to exchange and discuss all types of books. so there. open season.

message 3: by Keats27 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:07AM) (new)

Keats27 Really hoping for some new additions
to this list.

message 4: by Jen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:07AM) (new)

Jen Nice to see someone else doesn't think this book is like...the eminence of all coming of age novels. I think a lot of people just have some nostalgic feelings about it from reading it in high school...

message 5: by Otis, Chief Goodreader (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:07AM) (new)

Otis Chandler | 4184 comments Mod
Hi Reza,

Can you be more specific? Which pages? What error (if any) do you see?

message 6: by Otis, Chief Goodreader (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:07AM) (new)

Otis Chandler | 4184 comments Mod
I think we fixed it - check now!

message 7: by Salathiel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:08AM) (new)

Salathiel I am so with you, Jen, I don't get the cult of worship that has grown up around this book.

message 8: by J.G. Keely (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:12AM) (new)

J.G. Keely (Keely) | 1 comments well, like so many standard High School reads, this book has a certain straightforward didactism that is appealing to High School students and teachers. Firstly, teachers like it because it deals with things that the students are likely to find interesting and risque: growing up, college decisions, sex, drugs, popularity, all that stuff. That's why we read Romeo and Juliet in High School instead of Hamlet. All that teenage sexuality up against the world.

Secondly, 'Catcher' purports to be philosophically explorative, but it does this in a vague enough fashion that it is easy to write a paper about it from many different angles. Like Quinn's 'Ishmael' or a lot of Shakespeare, it is 'open to interpretation', but not so confusing as to require much foreknowledge.

Additionally, Catcher in the Rye was one of the first books to deal openly (and popularly) about a lot of issues that had become extremely taboo in America, especially since the 1950's. This meant that the book has received a lot of press, which has made the book a flashpoint for the issue of censorship. Despite it's inherent value, the fact that it is central to such a big issue makes it a popular book, and in many people's minds, worthy of study.

I thought it was okay, myself. A bit overwrought. It seemed to me that the author was aware of his own sensationalism and vagueness, and that beyond that, there is not a lot to the book.

message 9: by Christi (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:14AM) (new)

Christi (christi_r_suzanne) I was quite surprised when I read this book as well. It was very dissappointing! I thought it was well written, but the story just evaporated at the end of it (for me).

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Well, most teenagers' rebellion and explorations just "evaporate at the end," too. I guess Salinger is true to his subject.

message 11: by J (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:15AM) (new)

J (jamescampbell) Totally agree with Brendan, that 'evaporation' at the end of the book is actually it's strongest point and Salinger planned it to be exactly that way.

message 12: by Chelsea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:17AM) (new)

Chelsea so glad to see that i'm not the dunce i thought i was. i read this book and thought "what's the big deal? i don't get it." i just thought it was an okay book. not particularly memorable now.

message 13: by Rebecca (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:43AM) (new)

Rebecca (RBecs) I think most who comment on this book being over-hyped and not that brilliant etc. do so just go against something that's popular. Yes, the subjects were scandalous at the time it came out, so that certainly contributed to its popularity. However, why is it is still so popular today? The 'vague' style is more true to life than many novels. There is great merit in this novel, that is why it struck a chord and continues to do so in today's world. Anyone who disagrees with this book's worth does so to be that person who goes against the masses.

message 14: by Ritika (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:58AM) (new)

Ritika mittal this book is a big deal... i mean how many authors do write with the kind of ease with which J D Salinger wrote this book!!! isn't it good enough that like most other classics we have grown up reading this book too and no matter how long has it been since u read it u still find yourself quoting from it!!! and believe me its universal... everyone wants to read it... from a teenager to a grand parent... thats what mekes this book special and it so deserves it!!!

message 15: by J.G. Keely (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

J.G. Keely (Keely) | 1 comments Well, in some defense of myself and others who found the popularity of this book nonplussing, I really don't care if people like what I read or not. I enjoyed the Harry Potter books, though they are popular. They were not, by and large, literary works, as they generally fail to inspire some grander philosophy in their reader, but some of them, at least, were well-constructed and interesting.

I would say little more of 'catcher' itself, and if anyone wants to disagree with the points made about how deliberate the 'vagueness' or 'sensationalist' points of the book were, or whether its literary value may have been increased by the censorship, killings, and other issues which surround it, that is an excellent point of discussion.

However, simply making personal attacks on other reviewers about how they feel a need to 'boost' or 'separate' themselves by critiquing a book is not a supportable argument. Well, I suppose it could be supportable, but in this case, it is not.

Please don't insult us and yourselves by resorting to such base tactics. Let's discuss the book, or failing that, say nothing at all.

Also: how can a universally-read book have cult status?

message 16: by Ritika (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:01PM) (new)

Ritika mittal keely i think everyone has their point of view n i mean to disregard noone's... i'm sure your point of view must be much more meaningful or powerful but everyone does have a point of view nonetheless. please don't take it personally. i meant u no harm. i am just an average... "not as intelligent as you" reader... but i love reading!!!i apologise if u felt i directed any of my comments towards you.

message 17: by Alexander (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:01PM) (new)

Alexander I really enjoyed this book. It is one of the most tightly written books I have ever read. Something new comes up each time I read it. Everything has meaning. I really admire Salinger for writing such a beautiful peice of litterature.

message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

"Something new comes up each time I read it."

Hey, I have the same experience. It's usually whatever I just ate that comes up.

message 19: by J.G. Keely (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:02PM) (new)

J.G. Keely (Keely) | 1 comments Hey, Ritika. I don't think my view is better than other people's, and I didn't mean to direct anything negative towards you. My criticism was mainly on the poster before you, rebecca.mcneil, who said that the main reason people didn't like this book was because they wanted to be 'elitist'. I'm glad you enjoyed it and had a chance to read it. I was more being silly than anything about the everyone reads it/cult comment; I know what you mean by it.

message 20: by Paula (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:03PM) (new)

Paula Funny, sad, desperate, and true - Catcher shouldn't get a beating b/c we all read it in high school. Try reading it again as an adult. It captures that special brand of aimlessness and frustration that all teenagers feel at some level. I think adults just forget...

message 21: by ba (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:06PM) (new)

ba Kids! They're always going around in a haze of neurotic ennui and self-destructing. It just kills me the way they do that.

My wife and I both enjoy trying to construct sentences in that Holden C. sort of way. It just knocks us out they way we're always doing that...

message 22: by Dan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:38PM) (new)

Dan Haha "Hey, I have the same experience. It's usually whatever I just ate that comes up. " that is very true Brendan. I just can't understand why people think this is a good book totally blows my mind. In fact I'm think Salinger became a hermit because he knew this book was trash.

message 23: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:42PM) (new)

I had never read this book and have always heard about people having to read it in school so I went to Half Price Books and the girl actually just gave me the book. Didn't make me pay a penny. Well, I started reading it yesterday and I got about 40 pages in and had to stop reading it. I am in no way a prude at all but how many cuss words could you possible put in a book or paragraph for that matter. I would be furious if my daughter brought this book home from school as an assignment to read. I did not like it at all.

message 24: by Jason (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:55PM) (new)

Jason Personally, I do not see what the hype was about after reading this book. It seemed bland. Oh, it was the first book I read in school that said a curse word, yes, and alluded to sex, oh my gosh, but when it boiled down, it just seemed like Holden simply shrugged his shoulders and said "oh well" - not the most catching way to end a book.
Looking back, I wonder if this book was simply a common teacher's tool to prove literature isn't boring, and for that purpose, the book is wonderful. I simply feel it doesn't live up to its reputation.

message 25: by Cheryl S. (new)

Cheryl S. I think you have to be an old person like me to understand about this book. My sophmore English teacher almost lost her job because she assigned this book for class reading. Parents were horrified, meetings were held, there was a petition circulated--yada yada. Well we read the book, we survived and we loved it because there was nothing else like it at the time. The teacher was not fired--she is currently a State Representative for the state of Minnesota.

message 26: by Mikaya (new)

Mikaya (space-dreams) I would blame a lot of people's dislike for this book on the way it's taught. I didn't read it in high school, and I liked it a lot, although I think it would have been more influential if I'd read it at 13 to 15, instead of 18.

Many, many books forced to be read in high school end up angering students instead of inspiring. In my school, our English teacher had us choose books we read for class instead of making us read classics (granted, I went to an alternative school), and some read classics, some didn't. I felt like all of us got a "lesson" out of everything we read, though.

Some people read this book, and they liked it a lot. Had we all been assigned it, had to write papers on it, and discuss it in class, many people probably would have felt differently. I was assigned Great Expectations as a freshman, and hated it. So did at least 80% of the rest of my class. I'm sure, though, that if I choose to read it in the future, once I've gotten over the trauma of being made to dissect themes and write up sheets of character traits, I will be able to finally appreciate it the way so many other people.

Hopefully the same will go for people who were disappointed by this book, when they realize how everything in it was intentional and relevant, and it will have the ability to touch them as it's touched many other people.

message 27: by lionlady (new)

lionlady Hi, I'm new here. I read a book several yrs. ago called "The Rapture of Canaan". It came at a time in my life when I was emotionally struggling to get out of a very conservative, controling Christian group (though not as bad as the one in the book), so I could totally identify w/ the main charactor. While this book had the potential to end in a very depressing way, it didn't. The ending was worth the painful parts of the book.

message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

It's pretty easy to dislike the book and Holden Caulfield because of his egotism, hypocrisy and immaturity. I found him to be an overall charming and quixotic character though. This book has always been kind of a guilty pleasure of mine. I read the book not quite in high school but a year or two afterward and I couldn't help but identify with him in certain aspects, such as when he left his team's foils on the train. It was a formative book for me. It is a book that has didactic value. People who dislike the book often seem to think there is a cult of Holden worshipers out there who confuse him with Jesus and not realize that it's supposed to be read as a comic novel.

message 29: by Lisa (last edited Mar 17, 2008 10:00PM) (new)

Lisa C I disagree with message 8. I was given this book by someone I was in love with at the time, so I read it as open-mindedly as I could, and I still hated it. I don't dislike the book in order to be different, I just hated reading it. I'm totally not trying to go "against the masses."

message 30: by Cloudcover (new)

Cloudcover I think the book was controversial when it was printed especially for the 50’s. Anyone born after Rebel Without a Cause knows what teenage angst is. Salinger was one of the first to explain it with his book. Like most of the literature from the era though, it seems hokey without much to hold onto in the world after it.

message 31: by JD (new)

JD Brazil (jd_brazil) People sure like to shit on this book or sing its praises. Can't it just be an okay book? Sure it doesn't really go anywhere, but the thing is, Holden is every teenage boy who ever lived.

message 32: by Sean (new)

Sean (bookman) I think it's disengenious to disregard the book as a "nothing" just because one doesn't personally "get it". Having said that, I do think it's challenging to teach the book to teenagers who for the most part have the attention span of a gnat.

I've read "Catcher" about every year or so, and I too find something new to discover. For example, my appreciation of the time period was deepened by my better understanding of what it was like in America then. The post-war American experience was very different than our post-millenial experience is today.

Furthermore, perhaps out of naivete, I never comprehended where Holden was as he was telling his story until this last go-round. I wonder how many people miss this fact? Or is it just me? Any thoughts on that y'all?

message 33: by Sinjinn (new)

Sinjinn i think this book is special.

message 34: by Tom (new)

Tom I really cannot agree with Rebecca's assertation that those who see the as "being over-hyped and not that brilliant etc. do so just go against something that's popular."

Not having read the book, one that had been on my mental "to read" list for many years, until I was an adult, I came away feeling tremendously underwhelmed. Questioning my own critical reading, I even bought and read the "collegiate crib notes" (interesting oxymoron, that) to see what depth and complexity had escaped me. In the end I could think only of a famous writer different from Salinger: "There is no there there."

message 35: by Tom (new)

Tom ...but in the end, teenage angst is only, well, teenage angst, and a writer need not have any tremendous insight to write that angst. I really wish I could find the joy in the book that some others do.

message 36: by J.G. Keely (new)

J.G. Keely (Keely) | 1 comments Well, teen angst was something new in the 50's. Indeed, the word 'teenager' didn't exist before then. It was one of the first times in history when we had a class of nearly-grown people who we did not have any role for.

There was no social or economic position for them, and yet they had a disposable income from their fathers. They had free time and money and no responsibility except school, which became less and less for education and more and more a daycare for young adults.

We might look at Romeo and Juliet and see a similar conflict between parents and children, but the children are still remarkably mature, especially as Romeo and Juliet would both be under fifteen. There was sometimes a similar effect in the children of the wealthy, but this was also true of wealthy adults: the idle rich.

Of course, much of the stories we have were written by and about the wealthy, and it can be tempting to view their lives as being similar to ours, but the social forces behind them are vastly different.

So, I would say that this book dealt with new and different issues, but that doesn't make it interesting or well-written.

message 37: by Casey (new)

Casey Personally, I characterize this book as "classic" because each time I read it, I take away something new and different from it. Whether or not you enjoy the writing style of Salinger, it is Holden that makes this book shine. He is a very real, very confused main character who, even in his most ridiculous statements, manages to make the reader think. The first time I read it, I identified with Holden. Maybe it's because I tend to be a tad cynical or because I totally agree with the sentiment that the hope of this world lies in the innocence of children, but the enjoyment of this book, for me, comes in the fact that a month after reading it, I can still find myself lingering over a thought or idea it introduced. That doesn't happen with "fluffy" fiction (which I'm not putting down...sometimes I just want to be entertained).

message 38: by Sean (new)

Sean (bookman) I may be biased, but I find it hard to even begin to think of 'Catcher' as just an "okay" book, as JD suggest in message 26.

Similarly, I have to say, as clearly as I can, that Casey: you took the words out of my mouth. I have almost exactly the same feelings about the book as you've described.

Holden represented for me the kind of guy I wished I was; reckless, honest, a 'rebel', etc..
(Immediately now I think of Pee-Wee Herman in 'Big Adventure' -- "I'm a rebel Dottie, a rebel,") and yet I was the antithesis of what he projected: safe, dishonest, guarded.

(...and what I mean by dishonest, is that I wasn't being truthful about how I really felt. I hid away all my feelings so nobody could have guessed how much pain I was in.)

So, yes! It's a very important book, and it will continue to engender these kinds of discussions for many years to come.

message 39: by Casey (new)

Casey Sean, I'm glad someone else sees things my way ;) But you also reminded me that I left out one of Holden's most important characteristics--his honesty. No matter what else you may think about him or the book, Holden doesn't pull any punches. He says what he thinks all the time--except once or twice to spare someone's feelings. Wouldn't we all like to be that way? Other cultures don't seem to carry on with such a "polite falseness" the way Americans do...not even the British from whom we pretend to have inherited it! That reminder alone makes the book worth reading.

message 40: by Sean (new)

Sean (bookman) Honesty is tricky; try doing it for one day. It's a matter of decorum. One still has to be polite, but it is possible to be honest and polite.

As for Holden, think about how many times he says: "If you really want to know the truth," he's honest to a fault. He's always sensitive to the fact that sometimes people don't want the truth. Sometimes, though people may say otherwise, it's best not to speak truthfully, or at least to be tactful. Having said that, sometimes NOT being truthful can have disasterous effects.

message 41: by Sinjinn (new)

Sinjinn i dont know about that. polite falseness is in almost all cultures i know , and i am british and asian. you just have to look at the japanese with thier extreme polite falseness to know that it isnt that just an american thing.

message 42: by Vera (new)

Vera (fideus) This topic shows I'm not alone in this "not understanding" Catcher.
We can obviously understand WHAT the book is ABOUT and appreciate the style of it. but being realistic is not the main value of litterature, I suppose. The thing I do not understand is WHAT it is written FOR, in other words what the main objective of the novel is. That is the deal of ending in nothing. The author just showed up and marked the question but didn't show a single sign of his own solution or even opinion.
it is a feeling like katarsis didn't take place.

message 43: by Sinjinn (new)

Sinjinn i liked catcher because there was a point when he was on the train with that woman where he was talking about the woman and i realised he was kind of stupid and he wasnt the all knowing author that most books have. i could see he was so flawed and i recognised myself in him , and not the myself that i usually find in books .. not the all knowng myself .. but the me that is sometimes out there in real life that i didnt know could be captured in a book.

message 44: by Sean (new)

Sean (bookman) This is really a response to the last few comments; I think the relevency of "Catcher" to today's audience is part and parcel of what I've originally stated as to it being taught in schools. I have to amend, however, and state that I think it's a book for honors english students, really, because it's a sophisticated reader in h.s. that's really going to "get it". It's still eminenty relevent because what doesn't change is related to sinjinn's comment: "i could see he was so flawed and i recognised myself in him , and not the myself that i usually find in books .. not the all knowng myself .. but the me that is sometimes out there in real life that i didnt know could be captured in a book." Right on sinjinn!

That is what the book is FOR; I ran across a quote attributed to Salinger recently that speaks to this as well; I'll try to find it and post it later....

message 45: by Vera (new)

Vera (fideus) Sean, I suppose you didn't understand my comment.
You seems to like this book very much. Well, I appreciate it also, especially the style of it, it is written really psycologically precisely. If I haven't been interested in it, I wouldn't have tried to understand it and discuss it here.
Just think that in other countries there is no sacred aureole about this book. I've started reading it just as must-read book, as part of the programme. I haven't heard about it enormous popularity in some countries. So, I have conceived it just by myself, without the help of legends and glory about the book.
so... you say that only rare readers can understand it. I think it sounds rather snobbish. If a book is classiacal one it is usually understandable. When you read it more and more, you understanf something new every time. But you can "get" it from the first time. Or you just wouldn't come back to it.
So, Sean, if you have got it, you can explain to others who can't =)
I've read this discussions a couple of times and still I haven't found the answer, even in your last message. Those people who really like it says something like: I get everytime something new, it makes me think, I want to be like the main hero, I understand something new about myself. Well, that could be said about every book that is not stupid. but it doesn't explain, why THIS book is so special.
Again in the last messages you are talking about psycology of the book. I agree - it is special and magnetic in some case. But it is not the answer to my question, cause psycology and style only could not be the aim and idea of the book. It only the features that are supposed to help readers understand it.

message 46: by Michelle (last edited Sep 16, 2008 01:13PM) (new)

Michelle Books aren't for everyone. Some people like this book, some people think it's okay, and others think it was a waste of time. I think the book is very interesting. I'm only in my first year of high school so I'm not gonna write an essay with huge vocabulary about it. It's just a book people!

message 47: by Sean (new)

Sean (bookman) Fideus : I apologise if I gave the impression of being snobbish, and I especially apologise for not answering your original question. Hmmmm. It's main objective....

Maybe it's best to leave it to Salinger, who wrote in 'Zooey' when his character Buddy says, " Nobody's looking to entertain here buddy. More to edify, to instruct. "

What I love most about Salinger's work in general is that sense of the 'hidden'. What exactly is hidden in 'Catcher' ? I think the sense of where he is speaking from is important -- where he physically is. [I'm deliberately trying to be obtuse because I don't want to give away a key feature of the story for people who may have not read it yet.:]

Those of you who have read it know of which I speak, right ?

Anyway, it's similar to his short stories, in which this technique is used more effectively, ie " A Perfect Day for Bananafish " would be twaddle if it weren't for that ending. Same goes for " Teddy " and my personal favorite " Franny and Zooey ".

Does that make better sense Fideus ?

message 48: by Jennifer W (new)

Jennifer W I just finished Catcher for the first time, and the last time. I won't say I didn't get it, I did, but I don't think I needed almost 300 pages of "it" to get. My boyfriend loves this book, add that and the classic nature of it, and I made myself finish it. I think for me the biggest downfall was the style it was written in... cuss away, but just don't repeat everything you said 2 or 3 times! I think what's hard, if not impossible, for those of us reading it for the first time is that we are so far removed from the world it was written in. By today's standards, it is tame.
I wasn't forced to read this book in high school, but I remember my "teenage angst" years well enough, and I really just wanted to throttle Holden. It reminded me of being stuck in line at the grocery store and that guy in front of you is telling his life story to the cashier, and even if you've got no where to go, you still find yourself getting horribly impatient.
Finally, I wonder if there's a gender difference in those who like this book and those who don't?

back to top