The catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Holden Caulfield has just been kicked from school, again. He decides to already leave his school and takes the cab to New York. In the next three days, he will be wandering through the streets, meeting old friends, a tutor and his sister Phoebe. We learn that Holden has lost a younger brother Allie and that he’s struggling to find his place in the world.

This is the kind of classic that I didn’t know what to expect from. I didn’t understand the title at all, now of course I do. The story is about a seventeen year old teenage boy who experiences a difficult period in life and is forced to leave his school again. He knows his parents will be disappointed and already leaves for New York but without going home.

The language in this story is repetitive and filthy. Holden is an unsympathetic main character. The story also felt very American. And being told through the eyes of a teenage boy, it was not easy for me to empathize. But still, his thoughts, fears and pains felt real in some way. And I can understand that youngsters will identify with Holden’s story.

I can also understand the negative reviews of this book. It’s no literature. The language is a blur at times But I also think there are a lot of symbols in this book. So I’m a bit in between opinions. I am sure that it appeals to a certain generation, but I don’t feel a part of it. I also don’t know what to think about a certain scene where an old tutor from Holden makes a strange move during the night..

For me, it was nice to discover a more readable classic and finish it in a few days. I also feel that I understand the message the author wanted to bring, which is not always the case. I’m glad I read this book, but I won’t reread it I think.

This is book 9/50 for the classics club.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Have you read ‘The catcher in the Rye’? What did you think?


3 thoughts on “The catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

  1. When I read it over 40 years ago, I felt quite relevant, and I liked it. But… I don’t get why they make high school kids read it today. Surely there are plenty of coming-of-age stories written for today’s students that would resonate better!

    Liked by 1 person

      • No doubt! A few years ago I read a book that was really good – The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence – which was also a coming of age story, set in the present day, and I was so impressed, I went so far as to say that Alex Woods could be the 21st Century’s Holden Caufield. I’ve reviewed it here (one of the VERY few YA books I’ve reviewed).


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