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The Catcher in the Rye (1951)

by J. D. Salinger

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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59,21694313 (3.81)3 / 1031
Story of Holden Caufield with his idiosyncrasies, penetrating insight, confusion, sensitivity and negativism. Holden, knowing he is to be expelled from school, decides to leave early. He spends three days in New York City and tells the story of what he did and suffered there.
1950s (13)
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Showing 1-5 of 882 (next | show all)
I had no idea what this book was about going into it, quite an achievement at age twenty five, methinks. And so every page was an unexpected delight. The book is perhaps the paradigm of the novel that doesn't need to go anywhere, it just goes. If I'd read this ten years earlier I would have readily identified with Holden Caulfield and given the book five stars. Indeed, the story was perhaps at its absolute best for me when I most remembered what it was like to be that age. Now, with a few extra years and plenty more experiences behind me I instead felt a little sorry for the character, remembering being him rather than just being him.

I think when I have sproglings I will make them read this book when they're teenagers, and they'll jolly well love it. ( )
  imlee | Jul 7, 2020 |
I had no idea what this book was about going into it, quite an achievement at age twenty five, methinks. And so every page was an unexpected delight. The book is perhaps the paradigm of the novel that doesn't need to go anywhere, it just goes. If I'd read this ten years earlier I would have readily identified with Holden Caulfield and given the book five stars. Indeed, the story was perhaps at its absolute best for me when I most remembered what it was like to be that age. Now, with a few extra years and plenty more experiences behind me I instead felt a little sorry for the character, remembering being him rather than just being him.

I think when I have sproglings I will make them read this book when they're teenagers, and they'll jolly well love it. ( )
  leezeebee | Jul 6, 2020 |
I honestly don't know where to begin with this mess of a novel. It was repetitive and boring. The main character had his head up his own ass through this entire book, which is not surprising since he is a teenager. I know that I was supposed to probably sit around afterwards and discuss how profound I found everything. I instead rolled my eyes and just dismissed the book as soon as I finished with it.

This is a coming of age story of Holden Caulfield. After being told that he will be expelled because of his lack of work at his private school, Holden goes to New York City so that he can have some time to break it to his parents he has been booted from another school.

Holden is lazy and critical of everyone around him. Heck there were several profound comments that he made about pimply guys and ugly girls that just made him sound like such an awesome person to be around, one wonders why he has no close friends.

I think that J.D. Salinger was definitely going for something here I think to speak about how so many teens feel alienated from the world and people around them. But I didn't get the sense that Holden was alienated, just bored with everyone because he held everyone except for his sister, and his two brothers in total disdain.

The writing was not great. It was repetitive to the point that I was able to totally call what Holden was going to say. I never want to hear the words "They really can" ever again.

That's the thing about girls.
Every time they do something pretty, even if they're not much to look at, or even if they're sort of stupid, you fall in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are.
Girls.
Jesus Christ.
They can drive you crazy.
They really can

You poor thing. Falling in love with a girl that is not attractive and dumb. And yet they still don't want you.

Almost every time somebody gives me a present, it ends up making me sad.
So profound. I mean I hardly rolled my eyes that hard after I read this.

The flow was also pretty awful. I think it was because the story just went on and on and on to the point I was rooting for a bad end for Holden. Can you tell that I couldn't stand this character?

The setting of New York honestly didn't feel real at all. Maybe because Holden was so far up his own butt, the only thing that gets described are other people (specifically girls/women) and how attractive they are or in the case of this book, how ugly he finds them.

The ending I think was supposed to make me think. It just once again made me roll my eyes hard. What can one say about a character that I don't think matures at all, and still sees the problems with everyone and not himself. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
It wasn't at all what I was expecting. The title made me think it was some kind of rural story *g* I found it enjoyable and the narrator very personable, but I'm not quite sure how it became a modern classic. That's not a criticism, really – more a reaffirmation that I just don't get the rules of capital-L-Literature from the 20th/21st century. ( )
  Tara_Calaby | Jun 22, 2020 |
Look, I get why this is considered a classic in American literature - the lack of a plot and the story's almost letter-like approach in narrative make for a unique setting. I also understand why a lot of teenagers identify with Holden's teen angst and therefore love this novel.

The thing is, I just couldn't connect to Holden, at all. Being sixteen is hard, I know! But what else was there to Holden's personality than his egocentric and 'better-than' attitude? My favourite moments were those when he thought of or interacted with his sibling Phoebe. He clearly loved her (and Allie) and it made him more human.

Regardless, I can't deny Salinger's writing is excellent - it's accessible yet engaging. The only complaint I have about his writing is the excessive use of 'and all', 'anyway' and 'phony' - that really got onto my nerves despite knowing it was done intentionally, lol. All in all, I'm not crazy about this novel, but I also acknowledge the impact it has had on modern literature. ( )
  frtyfour | Jun 16, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 882 (next | show all)
“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 (48 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Salinger, J. D.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Avati, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome 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
Schönfeld, EikeÜbersetzersecondary 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."
Quotations
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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Book description
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 it to keep.

J.D. Salinger's classic novel of teenage angst and rebellion was first published in 1951. The novel was included on Time's 2005 list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923. It was named by Modern Library and its readers as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. It has been frequently challenged in the court for its liberal use of profanity and portrayal of sexuality and in the 1950's and 60's it was the novel that every teenage boy wants to read.
Haiku summary
Boy in funny hat
Wanders around N.Y.C.
Phonies everywhere.
(Christopher451)
A quoi bon la vie. Ses chemins nous mènent au trou. Attrape mon coeur!

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014023750X, 0241950430

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