I often give away novels after reading them. But this evergreen classic, ("The Catcher in the Rye"), turned out to be one of those few exceptions. It is for keeps! My contact with the novel actually came by chance (a couple of years back). I had just finished biamping the Surround Speakers of my friend, who wasn't a fan of all those techie-fumblings, associated with high-end Audio-Visual Receivers. I tested and optimized all the digital inputs and outputs, before asking for an analog source: so as to fine-tune those input/output ports as well. My friend handed me a portable cassette player, which contained the audio-tape of this book. I listened casual at first. But on concluding my work, I paid closer attention to the narrations. It was captivating.
Although I listened considerably to the book (on tape), and could have had it if at all I requested it, I simply noted-down the title and bought the mass-market paperback few days later. Of course, I liked the audio version; but prefer reading such a fine story on my own, and at my own pace. It was sensational. Right from the first page, the story's dynamic pattern remained consistent until the last. Very few novels possess the arresting aura of this book.
I was so impressed that I couldn't help wondering why I discovered it only recently, (and by chance for that matter), despite the fact that it has been in the market since my parents were kids.
The author's ability to explore the extreme realms of human nature: using nothing but culpable cynicism, (which is laced with mocking guesses), is commendable. This is one of those novels that I like reading twice or even more. That is: to relive and to remaster all those intrigues after some lengthy layoff. This book keeps one on the edge. It will keep you thinking long after the pages have been closed. Salinger succeeded in creating a Mona Lisa here. And, readers can get it for a chopped liver!
The story centered around one Holden Caulfield, a teenager who was expelled from a prep school. Unsound and almost going waco, he devised a way of exploring the truths vis-a-viz the corruptions of the adult world. His exhaustive discoveries wrecked him mentally as well as emotionally. His intriguing story began to unravel in a psychiatrist's clinic. …Oh! Let me stop here, because I am not doing enough justice to the fine book. It is better read than discussed. Seeing is believing! Meanwhile, I just can't stop thinking about Holden. How could a psycho become the sanest voice around? Thank God it's all fiction! A masterfully knitted one indeed!!
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