Monday, March 8, 2010

Book Review: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger

Review: The Catcher in the Rye
Author: J.D Salinger
No. Of Pages: 214
Release Date: July 1951

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 haemorrhages 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 Thoughts:

This is a masterpiece?

I think this book has just taken the prize for worst book I’ve ever read.

After all of the hype surrounding this book I was expecting something controversial and mind blowing. Powerful, ground breaking literature it was not.

The Catcher in the Rye follows the story of Holden Caulfield but is in essence, what story? This entire book was nothing but one big whinge. He gets himself thrown out of school and instead of going home like a normal person; he wastes money by going to some hotel and perving on the neighbours (which sounds a lot more interesting than what it actually was).

Holden did nothing but talk himself up and call everyone surrounding him a “phony”. The book was one big bore and I had to force myself to read it. It took an entire week of my reading time and stuffed up my February reading goals, something I am very unhappy about.

The style was atrocious. It was like Holden was talking to us, which is great if the author can pull it off, but this book crashed and burned. It was repetitive in too many places and the time jumps were very hard to keep track of.

There isn’t much more I can say about this book. It was absolutely terrible. The characters were annoying, the style was disgusting and I had trouble staying awake as I read it.

It is supposed to be a must read, but I don’t recommend you waste your life on this book.


Cherry said...

Hey Wings, thanks for sharing your thoughts! Pretty honest, I like that!

Lily Child said...

I am so glad that I am not the only person who didn't like this book! Hope your next book is better! :P

Addicted Book Reader said...

Haha I didn't like it was pretty much very pointless. Nice review ; )

Josette said...

Wow, that was a very honest review. :) I'm sorry to hear that you didn't like the book cos I did. Here is my review of it.


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