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  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • The Catcher in the Rye

Little, Brown and Company

The Catcher in the Rye

Little, Brown and Company

The Catcher in the Rye

£46.00 £27.60 Save: (40.0%)
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Customer Reviews

Is it bad that I find Holden to be so relatable?I first read this my senior year of high school in 1994, and I had my 18 year old daughter read it recently. I identified strongly with Holden back then, and I still find him to be a highly relatable character. My daughter felt the same way. It s semi-embarrassing, seeing our innermost thoughts and feelings on paper, in black and white, for the whole world to read.It seems most people who ve read this book dislike Holden. Some actually feel serious contempt and loathing toward him. Those people are as equally suprised and confused by our feelings, as we are by theirs.So...what does that say about me and my daughter? Probably best we don t think about it too much.5Seriously?I didn't read this when I was a kid in the seventies because I'd talked with friends who'd read it and they were not impressed. I recently read about 2/3 of it and quit it. I seldom quit a book, but I just couldn't give this one any more time.As someone growing up in the heartland, I couldn't identify with a rich, entitled kid going to an east coast prep school and whining about his pathetic life. Some of the teenage angst--absolutely. But the behavior and absolute disparagement of everyone he came into contact with? Sorry.2Why is this good?This is supposedly a classic. The boy in this book just seems like a maladjusted, not particularly bright or likable kid. I gave up about 2/3 of the way through. I was hoping it'd get better, but I skipped to the last page. It didn't. I'm not sure why this is a classic, but I now understand why the author went underground after having written it.1I was worried as hell about reading this book again.I read the end of The Catcher in the Rye the other day and found myself wanting to take Holden Caulfield by the collar and shake him really, really hard and shout at him to grow up. I suppose I've understood for some time now that The Catcher in the Rye -- a favorite of mine when I was sixteen -- was a favorite precisely because I was sixteen. At sixteen, I found Holden Caulfield's crisis profoundly moving; I admired his searing indictment of society, his acute understanding of human nature, his extraordinary sensitivity (I mean, come on, he had a nervous breakdown for God's sake, he had to be sensitive). At sixteen, I wanted to marry Holden Caulfield. At forty, I want to spank him. After all, Holden's indictment of society boils down to the "insight" that everybody is a phony. That's the kind of insight a sixteen year old considers deep. A forty year old of the grown-up variety recognizes Holden's insight as superficial and banal, indulging in the cheapest kind of adolescent posturing. It suggests a grasp of society and of human nature that's about as complex as an episode of Dawson's Creek. Holden and his adolescent peers typically behave as though the fate they have suffered (disillusionment and the end of innocence) is unique in human history. He can't see beyond the spectacle of his own disillusionment (and neither can J. D. Salinger); for all his painful self-consciousness, Holden Caulfield is not really self-aware. He can't see that he himself is a phony.Compare Salinger's novel of arrested development, for instance, with a real bildungsroman, Great Expectations. Holden Caulfield is an adolescent reflecting on childhood and adolescence; Pip Pirrip is an adult reflecting on childhood and adolescence. Holden Caulfield has the tunnel vision of teendom, and he depicts events with an immediacy and absorption in the experience that blocks out the broader context, the larger view. Pip Pirrip has the wonderful double vision of a sensitive adult recollecting the sensitive child he used to be; he conveys at the same time the child's compelling perspective and the adult's thoughtful revision of events. While Holden Caulfield litters his narrative with indignant exposes of phonies and frauds, Pip Pirrip skillfully concentrates on "the spurious coin of his own make" -- that is, without letting the child Pip and the adolescent Pip in on the joke, he exposes himself as a phony. Pip Pirrip grows up. Holden Caulfield has a nervous breakdown.I suppose the only reason I begrudge him his breakdown is that so many in our culture -- many more, unfortunately, than just the legitimate adolescents among us -- seem fixated on Holden as a symbol of honesty and socially-liberating rebellion. We view nervous collapse and dysfunction as a badge of honor, a sign -- to put it in Caulfieldian terms -- that we are discerning enough to see through all the crap. Our celebration of overwrought disaffection reminds me of the last sentence of Joyce s Araby: Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger. Here is the adolescent pose non-pareil. Equally self-accusing and self-aggrandizing, it captures the adolescent at the precise moment when his own disillusionment becomes the object of his grandiose and self-dramatizing vision. That s the kind of crap that Holden Caulfield (and J. D. Salinger) cannot see through. And it is often the kind of crap that we adults like to slosh around in.The Barney beating of several years ago is another symptom of our arrested adolescence, our inability to ride the wave of disillusion into the relatively calm harbor of adulthood -- as though flailing around in the storm and raging at the wind were in themselves marks of distinction and a superior sensibility. I remember a news story about a woman in a Barney costume being seriously injured when a rabid (and probably drunken) anti-Barney fanatic attacked the big purple dinosaur at some public event. Now, I don t know the age of the Barney-beater, but the act itself is a supremely adolescent one, in which the impulsive response to disillusionment is to lash out at those symbols of childhood which made the biggest dupes of us. At the dawn of adolescence, when Barney begins to appear cloying and false, it seems natural to want to beat up on him, as though it was Barney himself who pulled one over on us instead of our own poignant and necessary misapprehension of the nature of things. I could see Holden Caulfield beating up on Barney (at least rhetorically), and I could see Holden Caulfield missing Barney (as he misses all the phonies at the end of the book), but I cannot see Holden Caulfield accepting the postlapsarian Barney on new terms, as a figure who is meant for children and not for him. For all his touching poses about wanting to be the catcher in the rye, what Holden really wants is not to save children but to be a child again.2 While it is certainly a good book, it is questionable whether it deserves its ...Holden Caulfield, a 16 year old boy, is stuck between getting kicked out of his prestigious private school and returning home to his understandably upset parents. As a result, he is left wandering the streets of New York, depressed, lonely, and nearly suicidal. In his journey he has numerous encounters with a variety of characters. Catcher in the Rye is a coming of age book written with an interesting style, through the lens of an introspective and confused adolescent. The book touches on important themes in a manner that excels in impacting the reader. As a relatable character, Holden helps to make the book a fairly worthwhile read. However, as Holden meets character upon character in the book, it can be difficult to keep track of them. The nature of Holden s wandering means nearly constant changes that sometimes make the plot feel incoherent. His frequent tangents can be an insight into his mind, but can occasionally leave the reader thinking get back to the story already. While it is certainly a good book, it is questionable whether it deserves its classical literature reputation or not. I did not find it to be significantly better than an average book to be worthy of the popularity that it has. Overall, definitely not a bad book.4I was 15 and absolutely hated it. I thought Holden was such a loserI've read this book three times. The first time, I was 15 and absolutely hated it. I thought Holden was such a loser. At 33, I read it again, and still thought it was highly overrated. This past summer, 20 years later, I read it again. FINALLY, it totally clicked and I loved the book! I can tell you why I hated the book at both 15 and 33. The reason I hated it was the entire novel is written from the perspective of a teenager, Holden, which is immature, snotty, negative, whiney, and just annoying as hell. The voice that narrates the novel resonates immaturity and the simplicity of his whining is godawful but quite necessary for the impact of the plot. It's also told from the first person point of view, which is not my preference. The language, though, sounds exactly like a teenager who has lost his way complete with insightfulness, honesty, and confusion as he tries to make it through high school. Holden is not really a likable character, but his message needs to be heard. After reading it, I decided it would be required reading in my AP class.5/ felt like the ramblings of a teenage boy with little storyNot a fan of this book :/ felt like the ramblings of a teenage boy with little story1but OMG I hate it! I'm the type who can't not finish ...I know it's a classic and all, but OMG I hate it! I'm the type who can't not finish a book or movie, no matter how awful it is. I just have to finish it. But this book... it took me a good 2 years to get through it, simply because I couldn't stand it. I would read a chapter and then set it aside for months at a time. Finally, when we had some bad weather and I had nothing else to do, I sat and read the last third or so in one day, just to get it over with. And oh what sweet relief when I did finish it! And then it got put in the box of stuff to donate.1... Rye was a book full with a lot of great imagery and a lot of thought put into itThe Catcher in the Rye was a book full with a lot of great imagery and a lot of thought put into it. The book is a very easy to read , it can be read very quickly and very easy to understand. I enjoyed reading this book due to the fact that the main character Holden Caulfield is a 16 year old boy growing up. Holden struggles with deciding whether he is grown up or if he is still a kid. Recently , getting kicked out of his school Pency Prep before Christmas Break due to poor grades and only being able to pass one class, he decides to go on a journey through New York. As he starts his adventure he talks about people he knows and cares about. Holden talks about how smart , red headed and friendly his brother Allie is and how he passed away due to Leukemia. Holden also tells the reader about his other two siblings D.B and Phoebe. D.B is Holden's brother in Hollywood and Phoebe is his little sister who still leaves with her parents. As the story goes on Holden claims that everyone he meets is a phony. Not only does he say that but he also lies to everyone he meets. He either changes his name or makes up a story on how he got there and why. Through out the book Holden shows that all he wants to do is sit down and talk to someone about the problems he goes through in his life but when someone tries to get close to him he pushes them away and makes up lies on why he can't be there with them and leaves. He mentions a lot a girl who used to live near by, Jane Gallagher . Holden explains how close he used to be to her when he has a child , and every adventure they did together. Later to reveal he is in a mental institute waiting to get out and go back to school. The most controversial part about this book is the fact that Holden is a heavy smoker. He tries to lie about his age just so he can get a couple drinks at a bar or he gets people to do it for him. Holden also uses a lot of profanity during the story. He also hires a prostitute in one part of the book. He talks about his sexual life and who he would like to be with. Definitely how a person going through puberty would feel like. I would recommend this book to kids who understand what Holden is going through or can relate to what he does and why he does, but then be of an age 16 or order due to the strong language he uses. Very controversial but a very realistic book.4A Sorrow Beyond DreamsClassic American literature. Some do hate this book, but I loved it as a teen. I remember crying at the end of the book, wishing that I could spend more time with the main character. In rereading it as an adult, it still haunts me. This is the perfect example of voice in writing. This is a beautifully wrought story that feels like the author just sat down and wrote it straight through. It is a pity that Salinger did not write another full novel. His stories are, however, like an extension in some ways. If you fall down the Salinger rabbit hole, you will know what I mean.5
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