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The Catcher In The Rye by J. D. Salinger

The Catcher In The Rye (original 1951; edition 1976)

by J. D. Salinger

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
49,15776910 (3.84)3 / 863
Title:The Catcher In The Rye
Authors:J. D. Salinger
Info:Bantam (1976), Mass Market Paperback, 214 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (1951)

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Showing 1-5 of 716 (next | show all)
I've seen a lot of reviews and criticism of this book over the years. I'm glad I finally read it. I can easily see why people both love and hate this book. ( )
  EllsbethB | Oct 8, 2015 |
This classic coming-of-age novel still packs a punch decades after it was penned. Holden Caulfield is exactly the type of guy you wouldn’t want your daughter to date or your son to pal around with. Yet you can’t but help but feel sorry for him. The novel spans only a few days, but Holden doesn’t need much time to go from a prep school student to a patient in a mental facility. He hates phonies, but fails to see how much of a phony he himself is. The novel is an interesting study in an adolescent’s downward spiral, but the dialogue in the tale – specifically Holden’s – is off-putting to me and prevents the story from being a great novel. ( )
  Maydacat | Oct 7, 2015 |
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is the story of Holden Caulfield. The story is written, in a colloquial tone, from the perspective of a 16 year old Holden. Set in a psychiatric hospital, Holden relates his story and a little bit about his family. His narrative speaks of his everyday life, in which he struggles with depression.

I read Catcher in the Rye for a school assignment and it has become one of my favorite books. I thought it was a wonderful and well written book. The author has done a great job writing about taboo topics which no one really wanted to talk about at the time.

While discussions about mental health are more common now than when the book was written, I think it is still an important topic and Catcher in the Rye is still relevant today.

I would recommend this book to 8th grade and up. ( )
  Ponetic | Sep 28, 2015 |
Another BOTM Club read. I went into it dreading it, thinking it was going to be another boring classic. I was wrong, I loved it! I loved the conversational style of writing, and the ease of reading.
The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an man-child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Holden leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. Finally his little sister is able to bring him home, and from there he is in a rest home for metal distress, which is where he is telling this story from. But nobody really reads book reviews for the plot summary, they want to know what someone else thinks of the book. If you want a plot summary, read the back cover.
I think Salinger did a great job of capturing a teenager character, when I read Holden's thoughts I can totally picture the greaser teenager rebel boy from the 50's, trying so hard to be a "cool" guy. Do you remember being a teenager and thinking you knew it all and nobody, especially not an ADULT could understand you or your problems? Salinger captured that feeling and made me remember those many years gone.
And of course a teenager thinks he is better than everyone else, teenagers are egotistical beyond belief, that is what drives their parents so nuts. I mean to an extent teenager think about other, but mainly they think about themselves and what will may them the coolest or most popular. I think Salinger did a great job of capturing the teenager mindset in Holden. Nobody understands him and when he is talking to his professors you can get that he knows the adult is trying to help him, but how can he help Holden if he doesn't understand where Holden is coming from? I remember as a teenager that we picked stupid fashion, and clung to it as a way to express our individuality, the hunting hat just leads more credence to the teenager persona. I'm trying to think of something stupid that was big when we were kids, the only thing that comes to mind is the guys in high school wearing those stupid dog choke chains as necklaces, but I'm sure there were other things.
Holden also has a ton of misconceptions about women, and I’m not sure if that is his nativity or the era. Although he does seem to be a flop with women, mainly I think because of his misconceptions of them. Gosh teenage romance was always more dramatic than it needed to be, too many hormones and not enough confidence. Holden didn’t interact with girls anywhere in a mature way because he thought he might look uncool, then he gest frustrated with himself for not speaking up. Then when a classmate (Stradlater) has a date with Jane (a girl Holden likes) he get jealous and starts a fight for no apparent reason, or at least no apparent reason to the other guy. Again falls inline with teenage character acting without thinking.
I think that lately all the teenagers in books are these deep, profound, mature characters. Teenagers aren't really like that, they are whiny, self-centered and conflicted. They often have shallow thoughts and come up with hair-brained ideas, that an adult would never do because they have too much sense to do stupid stuff. Teenagers cuss a lot, because especially in the 50's, it was a taboo thing, they were not supposed to use that language and to rebel its goddamn this and goddamn that. It makes me laugh a little at my lack of annoyance at Holden, I usually have low tolerance for self-centered characters. But I am able to remember what drama teenagers create in their own lives, and how disconnected from adults that they can feel. I get it, I get what Salinger is trying to do he has captured a teenager boys perspective of the world around him during a troublesome time.
Holden is quite the liar, he lies to everyone, although they aren’t malicious lies, in fact they are almost benevolent lies, when he tell the kid’s mom that the guy is swell and was nominated for class president, it was to make her feel better not himself. And I know a liar is a liar, I just find it interesting that the nature of his lies are for the benefit of others and not so much himself.
This kid has lost a brother and I bet he is having so many problems in school and with people because he probably didn't really deal with the death, it was the 50's its not like they put him in grief counseling, he was expected to be a man and just get over it. Remember in the 50's men were men and not emotional, so how does a teenager who has tones of puberty hormones and emotions also deal with the grief at the loss of his brother, he takes it out on the world around him. I think Holden is just a very lonely boy, who is trying to find someone, anyone he can connect with. I think that is why he asks such oddball questions of complete strangers and gets so upset when they don’t respond in a kind manner. I think it was another cry for attention when he just wanted to talk to the prostitute, a bit cliché but still it is what it is. I think the questions are trying to find a deeper meaning in life and death.
I think Holden is still just trying to deal with Allie’s death, he is really focusing on his memories of his brother and trying to deal with them on his own, it makes me sad for him. Also the poor kid got his ass kicked twice in one day, I wonder if he is looking for fights because the physical pain of getting his ass kicked takes away from the emotional pain of missing his brother.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I love the line "I'm quite illiterate, but I read a lot." To me it summed up so many teenager contradictions, I have actually thought about this line multiple times since I read the book. What was Holden getting at, did he mean that he read a lot, but didn't retain what he read? Did he mean he read a lot, but not what would be considered by Adult's to be good books? Did he mean that he read a lot, but that he didn't understand what he was reading? Did he mean he read a lot of types of books, not just a genre? Someone who reads a lot can't be illiterate, by definition. But Holden is using the word to express other people's standards. I think that what he really means is "I don't read what they want me to read, but I read a lot." Throughout the book Holden does what he wants, but it still doesn’t make him feel good. That element of approval is missing, and so he reads a lot, but not what would be approved, and so he fails again.
For additional reviews please see my blog at www.adventuresofabibliophile.blogspot.com
  Serinde24 | Sep 27, 2015 |
When I first read this book I was absolutely intoxicated by it,but I was seventeen and the perfect age for it. While I still think that it has its merits, it seems vaguely silly to me now. ( )
1 vote lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 716 (next | show all)
In the course of 277 pages, the reader wearies of [his] explicitness, repetition and adolesence, exactly as one would weary of Holden himself. And this reader at least suffered from an irritated feeling that Holden was not quite so sensitive and perceptive as he, and his creator, thought he was. In any case he is so completely self-centered that the other characters who wander through the book—with the notable exception of his sister Phoebe—have nothing like his authenticity. ... In a writer of Salinger's undeniable talent, one expects something more.
added by danielx | editNew Republic, Hillary Kelly (Jan 23, 2015)
“Holden Caulfield is supposed to be this paradigmatic teenager we can all relate to, but we don’t really speak this way or talk about these things,” Ms. Levenson said, summarizing a typical response. At the public charter school where she used to teach, she said, “I had a lot of students comment, ‘I can’t really feel bad for this rich kid with a weekend free in New York City.’ ”
"Some of my best friends are children," says Jerome David Salinger, 32. "In fact, all of my best friends are children." And Salinger has written short stories about his best friends with love, brilliance and 20-20 vision. In his tough-tender first novel, The Catcher in the Rye (a Book-of-the-Month Club midsummer choice), he charts the miseries and ecstasies of an adolescent rebel, and deals out some of the most acidly humorous deadpan satire since the late great Ring Lardner.
added by Shortride | editTime (Jul 16, 1951)
Holden's story is told in Holden's own strange, wonderful language by J. D. Salinger in an unusually brilliant novel.
This Salinger, he's a short story guy. And he knows how to write about kids. This book though, it's too long. Gets kind of monotonous. And he should've cut out a lot about these jerks and all at that crumby school. They depress me.

» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Salinger, J. D.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Östergren, KlasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fonalleras, Josep MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Judit, GyepesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, MichaelCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riera, ErnestTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saarikoski, PenttiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schroderus, ArtoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schuchart, MaxTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zhongxu, SunTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my mother
First words
"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 the truth."
I'm quite illiterate but I read a lot.
You don’t have to think too hard when you talk to teachers.
I do not even like ... cars... I’d rather have a goddamn horse. A horse is at least human, for God’s sake.”
I always pick a gorgeous time to fall over a suitcase or something.
The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody'd move....Nobody'd be different. The only thing that would be different would be you.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Haiku summary
Boy in funny hat
Wanders around N.Y.C.
Phonies everywhere.

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316769177, Paperback)

Since his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with "cynical adolescent." Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he's been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists. It begins,

"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. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them."

His constant wry observations about what he encounters, from teachers to phonies (the two of course are not mutually exclusive) capture the essence of the eternal teenage experience of alienation.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:03 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

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 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 comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty, but almost, hopelessly impaled on it. There are many voices in this novel: children's voices, adult voices, underground voices--but Holden's voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle to keep it.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014023750X, 0241950430

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