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The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye (original 1951; edition 1969)

by J.D. Salinger

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47,93973712 (3.85)3 / 832
Title:The Catcher in the Rye
Authors:J.D. Salinger
Info:Penguin Books Ltd (1969), Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:nyc, new york, manhattan, teenage, high school, nightlife, angst, coming of age, youth

Work details

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

1950s (7)
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Showing 1-5 of 684 (next | show all)
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger is one of those classics that everybody says you have to read, Well I have read it and it just didn't have any impact on me at all.

Three things about this Novel annoyed me. Firstly the repetitive use of words like phoney, goddam, madman, crazy and sore, I know that these words accurately reflected the teenage colloquial speech of the time however the over use of this vocabulary really got on my nerves.

Secondly, Salinger presents The Catcher in the Rye through a first person point of view. I found this really interesting to begin with however I found myself getting tired of the narrator Holden Caulfield as he is not really a reliable character in his understanding and reporting of events.

Thirdly and most importantly Catcher in the Rye lacked a proper plot. I felt you have to dissect this book to really get the true meaning of what J.D Salinger wanted to get across with this story, and for me the book really is not worth the effort for that. ( )
  Hanneri | Dec 19, 2014 |
It seems that I led a deprived adolescence. I didn't have to read J.D. Saliger's The Catcher in the Rye when I was in high school. So I read it recently, some 50 years after the fact. People told me that, while adolescents tended to appreciate the story, adults tended not to like it as much.

I related to this book. Now I understand why many adults would not like the story, while adolescents would: it strikes really close to home, and makes one wonder what was so damned great about being a teenager.

I disliked a great deal of my adolescence: high school was a bore; my parents annoyed me; the other kids were either really great, or they were royal pains - often changing from one to the other from one day to the next; the idea of having to plan for a future was fraught with anxiety, yet the desire to strike out on my own was overpowering; sex was a ubiquitous drive that was ultimately irrelevant to the skills one needed to live.

What strikes me most about this book is the ambiguity that pervades it; that, and the sense that Holden is being dragged kicking and screaming through the end of his childhood. There is his anxiety about the affections displayed by adults; the fact that he still relates most strongly with childhood - through his kid sister, "old Phoebe"; the sense of being unable to regain his childhood - his sitting on the park bench watching Phoebe ride the merry-go-round - while still not prepared to face the responsibilities of growing up - sitting on that bench watching Phoebe even though it starts raining, everyone around him running for shelter, while he sits drenched.

The kid doesn't even have enough sense to come in out of the rain.

The ultimate ambiguity? We know that Holden is sick, but is he hung over (he spends a lot of time drinking towards the end of the book)? Is he physically ill (he has not been especially careful about his health)? Or is his illness mental (constant references to depression throughout the book)? The last chapter - all one-half page of it - involves the most ambiguous ending: Holden is being cared for, and almost certainly in a hospital setting - but what is he being treated for? Our only hint is that he has been seeing a psychoanalyst.

Had I read this book 50 years ago, would I have liked it then? Would I have related to it as I do now? Would I have gained any insights that might have helped me ply the course through my adolescence? No - insights are wasted on youth; we are all supposed to be Holden Caulfields as kids, not passive readers "learning" from his example. This book is wasted on kids. Better that adults (especially parents) should read it to remind themselves of what adolescence was like; perhaps they would be more understanding of the transition their children have to go through. ( )
  jpporter | Dec 16, 2014 |
book not appropriate for children in elementary school. Many hidden meaning behind the novel, however young readers many not realize the depth of many of the problems. trying novel of a young boys life. Banned in many schools
  Nicole129672 | Dec 15, 2014 |
Come un cavallo che, abituato alla biada da stalla e alle rare passeggiate tra argini di fiumi e campi polverosi, scopra la freschezza e il sapore dell’erba di montagna, sapendo che quel gusto non durerà poi troppo: così penso ci si debba sentire durante la lettura del Giovane Holden. E’ come provare emozioni o dire scempiaggini con il gusto della prima volta - con lo stupore che viene dalla novità e dall’assenza di filtri. Si può parlare per metafore di questo lavoro, non si possono usare parole che descrivano la punteggiatura, il soggetto – alquanto ordinario – o il tono. Va letto, non se ne deve parlare.
Poi, al limite, dopo, ci si confronta. Al limite. ( )
  bobparr | Dec 14, 2014 |
This is one of the classic must have read books for English. It was even on the “English class reading list” shelve at our local library. I had never read it before, so, to brush up on my classics, I picked it up.
The book, although most people will know it, is the story told by Holden Caulfield about the time he got kicked out of prep school (again) and he tries to figure out what to do next. He is a pretty impulsive guy who doesn’t seem to be able to socialize with people that well. He doesn’t like other people, but he doesn’t quite hate them either, and in the end he even misses them.
The book was a pretty nice read, but I have to admit that if it hadn’t been a classic, I wouldn’t have read it, it is not quite my taste. It was too much rambling, too open ended. ( )
  divinenanny | Dec 13, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 684 (next | show all)
"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 (39 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Salinger, J. D.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Östergren, KlasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fernández Rodríguez, Xosé RamónTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fonalleras, Josep MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Judit, GyepesTranslatorsecondary 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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:26 -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)

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014023750X, 0241950430

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