Tuesday, 4 September 2012

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger


"The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it. There are many voices in this novel: children's voices, adult voices, underground voices--but Holden's voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep."

I'm going to keep this review short for two reasons, one being the fact it will turn into a rant, and the next being that I don't want to upset anybody who loves this book. I'm not disputing the fact that it is a classic - I totally see why it is. I just, personally, was one of the people who didn't like it. That is all.

The MAIN problem that I had with this book (and trust me, there was a few), was Holden. To like a character driven book, you kinda have to like the main character. And I didn't. Not at all.

For starters, he flunks all his subjects except English, but I really don't see why. He gets sent to all the best schools, has all the best teachers who actually try and work with him, but it's like he's on a mission to waste anything and everything that he can. From the way he writes and gives an insight into certain things, it's obvious that Holden isn't stupid. But yet, he refuses to apply himself in anything other than what pleases him. I guess it doesn't help that intelligent people who do not apply themselves is one of my major pet peeves.

Secondly, he has some kind of superior attitude to everyone else, and is so quick to judge we don't even have the time to form our own opinion on something. Holden isn't perfect, but yet he judges other people without a second thought, and it reaaally annoyed me.

FINALLY, (and I know a lot of people are going to disagree), Holden, to me, was just a whiny, spoiled brat. He had opportunites that other kids would die for, and yet, he just wastes it all. He complains that he feels bad that he got kicked out of PP because his mum is going to be upset - what?! TRY A LITTLE HARDER THEN. AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

OKAY, rant over. I'm sorry. I. Just. Don't. Like. It. 2 STARS.


  1. I read this in high school a few years ago and I remember having the same issues as you. I couldn't understand why my classmates liked Holden so much because, to me, he was nothing short of annoying. I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one with that opinion.

  2. Yay someone agrees with me! Haha, I just didn't see what all the fuss was about.

  3. i agree with you totally! i didnt like holden at all and like you said i felt he was a whiny spoiled brat! and i felt like the whole books tone felt dry and not caring