Wednesday, June 21, 2017

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE BY J.D. SALINGER - BOOK REVIEW

Before I go into this review, I just want to say that I thought this book and I would jive. I didn't know a lot about it, but I knew that Holden was an unlikable MC, I knew he was basically talking to a bench (still not 100% on that one), and I knew that people either loved it or hated it. With these things in mind, I had so much higher expectations.


Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.


The book basically follows Holden in his journey from being kicked out of a fancy school and leaving early in the middle of the night to making his way home and saying goodbye to his sister Phoebe before he takes off somewhere. There was a lot of off-shoots of the story, flashbacks, retellings, that sort of thing. Digressions if you will. That's pretty much the story. I feel like there is a lot I am missing, that his journey home represents his journey through life or something like that, but the plot, once boiled down, is pretty vague and boring.

Holden's character was ok for me. I didn't find him as annoying as some people I know have but I didn't connect with and love him as much as some other people have. I never was able to figure out how old he really is, I think somewhere around 15 years old but based on his voice, he could have been 12. It bothered me that he kept trying to pass as someone who could buy alcohol when he was very clearly a minor, again, I'm sure this has some sort of significance. This is, supposedly, one of the greatest coming-of-age stories of our time.

I can definitely see why this book is taught, and why so many people love it. If things are explained, if you are in the mindset, Holden's tale offers some interesting insight into the world. I, however, was ultimately unable to connect with Holden on a fundamental level and I think that is where things start to fall apart for me. If I had been able to better connect with him, I think I would have liked the book a lot more than I did.

There was a point, about 100 pages in when I just didn't think I could do it anymore. The story was going nowhere fast and I was tired of Holden's cynism. I'm all for a good dose of cynism and bitterness, but there is just something about Holden's brand of it that rubbed me the wrong way. I mean really, what does he have to be bitter about? Sure he got kicked out of school but his family is rich and he'll just end up at another private school. I don't know, maybe I'm missing the point.

Overall, I didn't hate this book, but I think I had higher expectations.