Friday, November 30, 2012

Book Review #236 - The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye

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.
My Rating: 5/5
I had pretty low expectations for this book as I am never usually able to even finish classics.
I didn't like this book at first as I found it slow and boring, but once Holden left Pencey I found the book picked up.
I related to Holden a lot, and for a character driven novel this was very important.
There were parts of the book that reminded me of the movie Remember Me especially the relationship between Holden and his sister.
I didn't like the ending that much as I felt it ended too abruptly. Also I feel like this is a book that I am going to love it more every time I re-read it.

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