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The Catcher in the Rye

A novel by J. D. Salinger.

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Controversial but captivating book

  • Jul 1, 2010

The Catcher In The Rye is a controversial book both due to its content and the amount of profanity and because of the writing style. Is it a great book written in a satirical style? Is it a poor book written by a subpar author? That's really up to you to decide although in my case I feel it's the former. It's a short story written in a very novel fashion - as if the main character, Holden Caulfield, was telling you the story rather than you reading it. This brings an interesting perspective to the book and of course leads to bias. There is much debate over the main character and whether he is a genius or simply crazy; of course, since we only have his perspective, there is author bias and we shall never know. Holden is famous for calling everyone "phonies", people he sees as fake but without quite describing why.

Holden Caulfield is a mysterious character and despite the fact that the story is told through him you still never quite feel like you know the character and there is a lot that goes unexplained. This is a book that divides people more than most others and you could read 20 reviews of it and come away with 20 different beliefs/interpretations. The best way to decide if you like this book or not is to read it yourself. It's a short book you can easily finish in a day and well worth it so you can join in the debate. Plus it's required reading on quite a few college reading lists!


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July 01, 2010
This was required reading in high school, so that's how I got introduced to this! Never had it in college though. I loved your breakdown of this book. Thanks so much for sharing!
More The Catcher in the Rye reviews
review by . June 23, 2010
As a college student, I can still easily recall reading "The Catcher in the Rye" for English class during my sophomore year of high school.  J.D. Salinger's coming-of-age story spoke to me-- it spoke to all of us who read it.  No one really reads the books in sophomore year English class at a public high school. But everyone, and I mean everyone, read this book, willingly, every word of it.      I don't want to give spoilers, but the story is that …
review by . June 14, 2010
The Catcher in the Rye will always be one of my favorite books. His writing style is very unique in that there are so many elements that draw the reader in immediately. There truly is nothing else like it out there. J.D. Salinger created the perfect literary character in Holden Caulfield and by the end of the novel you feel like he's one of your very own life long friends because the way he feels is so relatable. Many of us will probably never get into the situations that he manages to, but …
review by . July 02, 2010
              Well, It wasn't the most interesting book I've ever read but it's special like all the other books I read when I was younger in school. I read it again not long ago. I found a lot more humor in it than when I was younger. I remember thinking a long time ago how the book would just drag on and on and there wasn't much of a point to the story. Now I realize what a great novel it is and how wonderfully written it is.   …
review by . July 30, 2010
Holden Caulfield, the main character of J.D. Salinger's novel is a teen age boy filled with angst that we can all relate to at some point in our lives. Holden Caulfield like many of his age is bored with his current life. Living at an all boy school, nothing too exciting happens for him. Seeking something more, he leaves and goes on an adventure throughout New York City. The duration of the story is about a full day, but it is the most action packed day that ensures Caulfield enough life …
review by . July 10, 2010
   As so many other young American high schoolers were, I was assigned to read The Catcher in the Rye. I had heard good things and my teacher had said this was considered an influential book. As I began reading I found a very whiny, angst-filled boy lacking adult direction. As the book continued little change. Holden annoyed me and I do not feel bad for him. His fate was of his own doing and whining about it doesn’t help the situation. I feel like this book gave a lot of people …
review by . July 21, 2010
     Like many who have come before me and are sure to come after me, I had heard many good things about The Catcher in the Rye. Going into it, I had heard that it had been placed on the banned book list at one point due to the profanity of language and certain adult themes that were presented.. However, upon finally reading it recently, I found it quite disappointing. It seemed like countless other coming of age tales which star a rebellious teen who gets kicked out of school …
review by . July 02, 2010
The Catcher in the Rye will always hold a special place in my heart.  I read it in High School, and I can remember thinking "when are we going to get to the point of this story!?"  Then I read it again, in college, and saw so much more.  In the few years between readings, I watched so many people experience some of the same frustrations as Holden Caulfield; the story finally made sense.

      My favorite character every time I’ve read this book …
review by . March 01, 2010
Teenager Holden Caulfield has just been expelled from yet another prep school for failing his classes and having a really bad attitude. This story recounts his adventures and observations during a weekend on his own in New York City.       I remember being quite shocked at Holden's anti-social thoughts and non-stop profanity and not liking him at all when I first read this book. It was a pleasure to reread it forty years later and find that my feelings for him had changed …
Quick Tip by . August 08, 2010
Strange, tormented book...but grows on you towards the end.
Quick Tip by . July 26, 2010
Don't let the hype about the book get in the way. It is a solid treatment about the universal and perpetual teenage blend of apathy and angst.
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About this book


The Catcher in the Rye is a 1951 novel by J. D. Salinger. Originally published for adults, it has since become popular with adolescent readers for its themes of alienation and rebellion. It has been translated into almost all of the world's major languages. Around 250,000 copies are sold each year, with total sales of more than sixty-five million. The novel's protagonist and antihero, Holden Caulfield, has become an icon for teenage rebellion.

The novel was included on a 2005 Time Magazine list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923, and it was named by Modern Library and its readers as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. It has been frequently challenged in the United States for its liberal use of profanity and portrayal of sexuality and teenage angst. It also deals with complex issues of identity, belonging, connection, and alienation.
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Author: J.D. Salinger
Genre: Classic
Date Published: July 16 1951

Polls with this book
1984 (British first edition)



1984 (British first edition)

Collection of Classics


A Clockwork Orange

Coming of Age Novels


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