The Catcher In The Rye
by J.D. Salinger
Published on : July 16, 1951 (Little, Brown)
Genre : Classics, Fiction
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.
I’ve finally read one from the three classic novels that I’m planning to read this year. The other two are The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
A lot of my friends told me to read this book already because it’s so good. Honestly, I didn’t expect too much anymore because I haven’t read a lot of classic novels (yet) and if I do, I always end up not liking it. For example, I had high expectations with Fahrenheit 541 by Ray Bradbury and The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson but ended up disappointed.
This book was different though. This book killed me! Boy, it killed me.
I read the first page and got hooked immediately. It took me quite a while to finish it because I didn’t want it to end. I enjoyed reading Holden Caulfield‘s perspective. I was aware that he is an annoying, exaggerating and a sarcastic character. So I get that some (or many) of you didn’t like him and ended up hating the book. But I loved him. He’s a very interesting character and I liked his sense of humor. I can relate myself (back in my teenage years) to some of his “struggles” which probably why I loved and admire his character.
I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be. I know it’s crazy.”
This was my first experience reading a J.D. Salinger book and I liked how extraordinary his writing is. There were so much symbolism (one perfect example was Holden’s red hunting hat) which I thought was very brilliant. The last few chapters were even quite emotional for me.
This was a very entertaining and unique read that will definitely stay with me forever. I wouldn’t force you to read it but at least give it a try.
What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.