J.D. Salinger's coming-of-age novel about the teenager loner Holden Caulfield has now reached cult status, yet this doesn't deter me from listing it as one of my favourite books of all time.
Put brutally honestly, Holden is clearly a freak. Isolated for almost all of the narrative, an academic failure, and completely unable to form any kind of meaningful attachment, he isn't exactly the typical hero. Yet, despite these glaring character flaws, Holden becomes impossible to dislike, and
In short, I just don't get 'The Catcher in the Rye'. I don't understand Caulfield's character. I find him sad, even a little pathetic, with nothing to drive the narrative but his short trip in 'the big city'. Playing on cliches rather than experience, the novel becomes a bit of a drag towards the end, when actually, he does not experience that cathartic moment and returns to normal life. Disappointing to all out there. I didn't find anything in the novel particularly revolutionary, didn't find the inner question of life acceptance: just a 2-D novel with no depth. The idea of 'human existence', as Louise has said, is shallow and one that other writers have accomplished much better. Salinger should have risen to the level of his contemporaries and written a better biography than this. That's all it becomes, just a biography about a guy who I feel no affection for. Sorry kids!
"The Catcher in the Rye", is, in my opinion, one of the most over-hyped books ever written. Supposedly a seminal youth-culture book, there's really nothing that remarkable about it, and it was probably great for teens at the time. Now however, it just doesn't resonate at all, and to my mind appeared a truly ridiculous book that doesn't deserve the praise and love that it so often receives.
It's weird but I had heard so much about this book that I though it was going to be amazing and then I read it and was totally disappointed. But I was really bored one evening and somehow managed to read it again. I was glad i did because it's a great novel. It's not the happiest of stories but there's a lot of meaning in there ... somewhere
This book strikes me as belonging to a very specific time in American popular culture/history. Thus, while it might have been an enormous sensation when first published, causing all kinds of reactions and debates to occur, it seems a little bit flat by today's standards (at least for me - if there are any ardent fans out there, I would love to hear your point of view as to why this is considered a classic)...
I think my biggest problem with the book is that I had to force myself to keep slogging through the words (and it's not a long book, by any means)...I was unable to sympathize or identify with Holden Caulfield, who I thought to be rather pretentious and whiny/annoying. In fact, he reminded me so much of the emo kids of this generation, that I found some scenes to be utterly hilarious (which shouldn't have been!)...
Though I did stick it out, it was definitely not an enjoyable read...and while I might return to it in the future, it probably won't be for quite some time...
This book struck me as a hybrid of "The curious incident..." and the style of J.P. Donleavy. I love Donleavy's books, but for me "The Catcher..." was a bit tedious. I suppose it gives an insight into mental illness, but it was a bit too mundane for me.
With feelings and reactions expressed so eloquently and realistically one has to wonder if Salinger experienced them himself. A touching and empathy enspiring book that is a must for confused teenagers. Love Joe x