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The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye (original 1951; edition 2001)

by J. D. Salinger

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
47,21171612 (3.86)3 / 813
Title:The Catcher in the Rye
Authors:J. D. Salinger
Info:Back Bay Books (2001), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

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

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(see all 34 recommendations)


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Description of book from Amazon.com

Novel by J.D. Salinger, published in 1951. The influential and widely acclaimed story details the two days in the life of 16-year-old Holden Caulfield after he has been expelled from prep school. Confused and disillusioned, he searches for truth and rails against the "phoniness" of the adult world. He ends up exhausted and emotionally ill, in a psychiatrist's office. After he recovers from his breakdown, Holden relates his experiences to the reader.

My comments
I enjoyed this book. I found myself relating with Holden more than I thought I would, especially remembering my teenage years of never really feeling I belonged, of always feeling everyone else and everything around me was "phony" and...just not enough. I think I'd describe this book as a teenage version of "American Beauty." Good book. ( )
  sammii507 | Aug 19, 2014 |
The tone is the most obvious part of the book to write about: it's in a voice totally unique like I've never read before, but I think is only a bit similar to how Percy Jackson narrates. Holden seems unstable throughout the whole story, but I kept reading it with a sense that one day he'd fix his life somehow. ( )
  writercity | Aug 13, 2014 |
This was the most pointless book I've ever read.

I kept waiting for something to HAPPEN...

Nothing ever did.

Holden was obnoxiously depressing. Way too cynical. Way too negative. There's enough negativity in this world, I don't need it from a book.

I REALLY don't understand why this book is such a big deal. Because to put it plainly, I hated it. ( )
  KRaySaulis | Aug 13, 2014 |
Having just reread Waterhouse’s ‘Billy Liar’, I was reminded of this novel. Billy and Holden share a lot in common, adolescents trying to come to terms with their societies. I think Holden is the one the reader can empathise with more. True, he doesn’t treat all the people he meets with that well, but he is more a victim than Billy is, even putting aside Antolini’s sexual advances. And whereas I lost patience with Billy, I felt more drawn into Holden’s downwards spiral. Perhaps this is partly from Salinger’s style with the way the novel begins at the end and the catcher in the rye symbolism, maybe obvious now, but subtle at first reading. Holden’s relationship with his little sister encourages sympathy towards him, protective as he is and this forms a contrast with his bleak wanderings around New York.

Clearly he too is a ‘phoney’ though I wonder if this is what Salinger wants the reader to feel – or does he want the reader simply to see Holden as a victim of this shallow society? How relevant ‘Catcher’ is today, I’m not sure. It seems much less dated than Waterhouse’s book set in northern England but this may partly be the difference between the two cultures, especially back in the fifties when they were written, albeit at different ends of that decade. ( )
  evening | Jul 30, 2014 |
Forse mi aspettavo troppo avendo letto molte recensioni positive o entusiaste. A me il libro non ah convinto. Non l'ho capito, forse. Ma sinceramente il giovane Holden non mi è parso né carne né pesce. Insofferente, ma non si capisce verso cosa. Malato? Forse. Ma, ripeto, non lo capisco. Come non ho capito dove volesse andare a parare raccontandoci la sua storia. Mi sembrava sempre sul punto di sfociare in qualcosa di interessante o comunque sul punto di prendere una direzione ben precisa, ma poi nulla... Non saprei.. ma non mi sento di consigliarlo ( )
  cecca | Jul 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 665 (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 (41 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Salinger, J. D.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Östergren, KlasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fernández Rodríguez, Xosé RamónTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Judit, GyepesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saarikoski, PenttiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schroderus, ArtoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schuchart, MaxTranslatorsecondary 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)

» see all 9 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014023750X, 0241950430

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