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The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye (original 1951; edition 1991)

by J.D. Salinger

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
51,5518449 (3.83)3 / 924
Title:The Catcher in the Rye
Authors:J.D. Salinger
Info:Little, Brown and Company (1991), Mass Market Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

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

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(see all 34 recommendations)

1950s (6)
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Showing 1-5 of 789 (next | show all)
Actually very good, surprisingly so.

I've read so many reviews of people saying that Holden Caulfield is a whiny, spoiled brat that I could, I think, only be pleasantly surprised. Sure, he's a whiny, spoiled brat, but the whole idea of the book is to show you why. Sometimes I wonder how people read books, if they look for something in it at all or just stare at the story like kids do at the television.

I liked Holden a lot, actually. I sympathized with him, too. It's not like he doesn't know himself that he has issues. There's plenty of self-reflection going on, plenty of self-loathing, too. His whole life (or what you get to see of it in the book) is like one long, long morning without coffee; he hates everyone's guts and wishes they'd stop talking, most of the time at least.

His younger brother died some time before the story Holden tells takes place. It's not clear whether he was always so unmotivated and depressed, or whether his brother's death caused it. I'm quite sure that if that hadn't happened, Holden wouldn't have acted the way he did. I think he needed some time to figure things out, and while from the outside (and maybe from the inside, too) it might have looked like a rather unproductive coping strategy, sometimes it is only afterwards that the senseless makes any sense.

  bartt95 | Jan 15, 2017 |
I am not writing a review of this book. I do agree that it is a 5 star book and one the best books I ever read when I did read it when I was in high school. I am using this as a test of the posting feature of LIbrarything book reviews to facebook. I have been doing reviews for many years and when the posting feature was developed I decided to use it so I could post my book reviews to friends on facebook. I always noticed that when the reviews came up they would seem to be cut off. Not being a big user of facebook I thought that the full reviews were showing up in my friends feed. Well it turns out they aren't. Not sure if other librarything reviewers who post to facebook are having the same problem. The full review can be seen by facebook friends by doing the following: At the bottom of the review highlight the book title. That will take you to a page and it will show member-nivramkoorb(that's me), highlight that and it will take you to a page and near the top it says reviews- 338 reviews(the number changes). When you highlight that it will give you all of my reviews. I am trying to get the problem solved. I have hit the more space portion of this and perhaps this entire thing will show. Thanks Marvin ( )
  nivramkoorb | Jan 12, 2017 |
The Catcher in the Rye, told us about a boy, Holden Caulfield story during his adolescent. This story really describe the main character's inner thoughts well, which many people might have the same feeling. Those words touch many people's hearts because we are all teenagers. But I don't like Holden, this character, because he is in a rich family but he doesn't cherish for what he has. He doesn't know that a lot hard working family kids have more difficult life.

The author's writing style is fun. ( )
  yingyinli | Jan 5, 2017 |
I remember reading this in school at some point and not particularly enjoying it. Rereading this in my 30s, I found Holden Caulfield teenage angst annoying but I do enjoy Salinger's writing style. ( )
  bzbooks | Jan 4, 2017 |

The story covers a three-day period, just before Christmas, in the life of Holden Caulfield, who is the narrator of the book. Holden has been warned and now has been notified that he has just flunked out of prep school, Pencey. He begins his journey home, where he must face his parents by telling them he has failed once again. He is also considering whether he should simply move out west and start a new life, rather than go home at all. He thinks he can get a job putting gas and oil in cars.

Before he leaves Pencey, Ackley, the boy who lives in the next room, comes over to visit. Ackley has several personal disgusting habits which make him unappealing, but Holden tolerates him. Stradlater, Holden’s roommate, then comes in to freshen up for a date. Although Stradlater is handsome and tries to be sincere, Holden thinks he is a phony. That evening, in New York City, Holden joins three female tourists in a nightclub and gets stuck with the check. Holden is only 16. Back at his hotel, he accepts an offer from the elevator operator for some female companionship. When the girl arrives, his mood has changed and the whole thought of an encounter with a prostitute depresses him. He tells her he's had surgery recently and cannot have sex, but insists he does plan to pay her.

The next day, Sunday, Holden meets two nuns at breakfast. He enjoys their conversation and insists on giving them a contribution. That afternoon, he takes his old girlfriend, Sally, to see a play. Still reluctant about going home, Holden tries to talk Sally into running away with him. When he insults her, she asks him to leave. Later, he goes home and sneaks into his own house to see his ten year old sister, Phoebe, before he runs away. After they talk, he decides to spend the night at the home of his former English teacher, Mr. Antolini. During Holden is awakened from his sleep on the couch by someone patting his head.Holden suspects that his former teacher is a pervert and makes a quick getaway.

Holden continues to be obsessed by his plan to go out west. On Monday morning, he writes Phoebe a note and takes it to her school claiming it's a note from her mother. The note is asking her to meet him near the Metropolitan Museum. Phoebe arrives with his old suitcase in hand. She has decided to run away out west with him, but he tells her that he is not going away after all. Phoebe is now angry at her brother. He suggests they visit the zoo. Phoebe mood begins to lift and says she wants to ride the carousel in the park. Before she gets on, he confirms to her that he really is going home and will not leave her. While standing in a soaking rain, watching Phoebe ride the carousel, he feels so happy that he is on the verge of tears.

in the last chapter, Holden says, "That's all I'm going to tell about."
And the story of Holden Caulfield ends.

( )
  jothebookgirl | Jan 3, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 789 (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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Book description
AR Level 4.7, 11 pts.
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 8 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

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014023750X, 0241950430, 0241950465

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