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I was worried as hell about reading this book again The last time I read it was about a thousand years ago when I was just a kid I was lousy with angst just like good old Holden back then I really was Now that I m a crummy old guy I figured that I wouldn t like it any That s the one thing about crummy old guys, they always hate books that kids like Every time I reread a corny book that I really liked when I was a kid it makes me want to give the writer a buzz and ask what the hell is g I was worried as hell about reading this book again The last time I read it was about a thousand years ago when I was just a kid I was lousy with angst just like good old Holden back then I really was Now that I m a crummy old guy I figured that I wouldn t like it any That s the one thing about crummy old guys, they always hate books that kids like Every time I reread a corny book that I really liked when I was a kid it makes me want to give the writer a buzz and ask what the hell is going on It s like they are trying to give you the time in the back of a cab when you don t feel like getting the time at all It s damn depressing, I swear to God it is If you want to know the truth, you probably couldn t even talk to a phony writer on the phone You would just end up talking to his butler or some snobbish person like that and asking if they would give the writer your message He probably wouldn t even do it The thing with guys like that is that they will never give writers your messages That s something that annoys the hell out of me Turns out this is still a damn good book Salinger kid is a great writer He really is Maybe I m still just an angst ridden sonuvabitch, but this part kills me All the kids kept trying to grab for the gold ring, and so was old Phoebe, and I was sort of afraid she d fall off the goddam horse, but I didn t say anything or do anything The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything If they fall off, they fall off, but it s bad if you say anything to them p.211I ll bet everyone is going to think that I m just horsin around or trying to be all sexy talking like this The reason for this corny review is because a thousand other people have already written reviews for this book and I ll bet that they have already said everything that I want to say It s pretty depressing It really is That s about all that I m going to talk about Now I just hope that no one writes fuck you on this review That s the thing with some people, they are always sneaking up and writing fuck you on your book reviews when you are not looking They really are [[ Free E-pub ]] ⇸ The Catcher In The Rye ☞ Holden Caulfield is a seventeen year old dropout who has just been kicked out of his fourth school Navigating his way through the challenges of growing up, Holden dissects the phony aspects of society, and the phonies themselves the headmaster whose affability depends on the wealth of the parents, his roommate who scores with girls using sickly sweet affection I read this book for the first time in the 8th grade I had to get my mom to sign a permission slip because of the cursing Before I began reading, I had so many expectations Back then, I read Seventeen Magazine, and back then, Seventeen Magazine ran brainy features about books and poetry There was one feature where they asked people what book changed their lives, and something likethan half said Catcher in the Rye I think there might have been some celebrity comments in there, too At I read this book for the first time in the 8th grade I had to get my mom to sign a permission slip because of the cursing Before I began reading, I had so many expectations Back then, I read Seventeen Magazine, and back then, Seventeen Magazine ran brainy features about books and poetry There was one feature where they asked people what book changed their lives, and something likethan half said Catcher in the Rye I think there might have been some celebrity comments in there, too At any rate, it was a ringing endorsement.So you can imagine my disappointment when I hated it Not only did I hate Holden, but I hated everything about the novel There was nothing I enjoyed I did my book report where I confessed my hatred which led my teacher to confess that she did, too , but I couldn t let it go I honestly felt that my loathing of a novel that so many others found life changing indicated some deep and horrible flaw I felt like hating Catcher in the Rye was my dirty little secret.Time passed, and my self loathing mellowed I began to think that perhaps I d come at it too young, so after my first year of college, I decided to re read it, go at it with fresh eyes, and see if my opinion had changed.Here s the thing it hasn t I get it I get that Holden is supposed to be loathsome I get that he is the hypocrite he hates I get that almost all teenagers go through the kind of thinking he experiences I get it I do I just don t like it.Oh, and I m not ashamed any If I could give this book a zero, I would I absolutely hated it Generally, I don t hate books, either Usually it s a very strong dislike, and generally, I give them a second chance But no, I will never be reading this book again.In my opinion, Holden is the worst character in the English language Salinger tried just too damn hard to make him universal , to the point where he becomes unrealistic His train of thought is annoying and repetitive, and God, those catchphrases of his Can someon If I could give this book a zero, I would I absolutely hated it Generally, I don t hate books, either Usually it s a very strong dislike, and generally, I give them a second chance But no, I will never be reading this book again.In my opinion, Holden is the worst character in the English language Salinger tried just too damn hard to make him universal , to the point where he becomes unrealistic His train of thought is annoying and repetitive, and God, those catchphrases of his Can someone shut this kid up Holden is almost the anti Gary Stu Nearly every thing s wrong with him The one good thing about him being his love for his younger sister The plot is one of the worst I ve ever read It s boring, and it, like Holden, is unbelievably and painfully repetitive Holden calls up an old friend, has a drink Holden calls up a girl, has a drink Holden dances with a girl Then he drinks Was there a climax to this book I must have missed it Maybe it was Holden nearly freezing to death um, what in Central Park No, no, maybe it was when Holden called up that hooker Maybe not The plot is so fuzzy and flat I couldn t tell when to peak my interest.And that s just it, it never did.So buh bye, Holden Your book s been gathering dust on my shelf for the past two years and it ll stay that way Until I decide to sell it, of course My theory as to this book s unusually polarizing nature either you identify with Holden Caulfield or you don t.Those who see themselves either as they were or, God help them, as they are in Holden see a misunderstood warrior poet, fighting the good fight against a hypocritical and unfeeling world they see in Salinger a genius because he gets it, and he gets them.Those of us who don t relate to Holden see in him a self absorbed whiner, and in Salinger, a one trick pony who lucked into perform My theory as to this book s unusually polarizing nature either you identify with Holden Caulfield or you don t.Those who see themselves either as they were or, God help them, as they are in Holden see a misunderstood warrior poet, fighting the good fight against a hypocritical and unfeeling world they see in Salinger a genius because he gets it, and he gets them.Those of us who don t relate to Holden see in him a self absorbed whiner, and in Salinger, a one trick pony who lucked into performing his trick at a time when some large fraction of America happened to be in the right collective frame of mind to perceive this boring twaddle as subversive and meaningful 5.0 stars I LOVE IT when I go into a book with low expectations and it ends up knocking me on my ass Admittedly, this is tougher to do with classics but it certainly happened in this case I remember first reading this in school like many of us and not thinking it was anything special However, having first read it almost 25 years ago, I knew I had to read it again before I could feel justified in actually reviewing it Of course, I didn t hold out much hope that my feelings would change a 5.0 stars I LOVE IT when I go into a book with low expectations and it ends up knocking me on my ass Admittedly, this is tougher to do with classics but it certainly happened in this case I remember first reading this in school like many of us and not thinking it was anything special However, having first read it almost 25 years ago, I knew I had to read it again before I could feel justified in actually reviewing it Of course, I didn t hold out much hope that my feelings would change and was expecting a fairly painful reading experiece In fact, as I started reading, I was already thinking about what my amazingly insightful, completely isn t it cool to bash on the classics 1 star review was going to focus on I thought maybe I could bag on the less than spectacular prose used by Salinger making myself feel really smart in the process Or maybe I could take some jabs at the less than exciting narrative pacing and throw in a few references to watching paint dry In the end, I thought my most likely avenue for attacking reviewing this anthem of teen angst was that it was utterly yawn inspiringno longer relevant today because of the GLUT of teen angst that the recent generations have been exposed to ad nauseam growing up I mean we live in a time in which teen angst is EVERYWHERE and even has its own sub genre label now You can find it in MUSIC MOVIES AND EVEN THE SHITTY POPULAR LITERATURE OF OUR TIMESLiterature is a serious stretch, but I must admit that these books do IN FACT fill me with ANGST So what happened to all of the preconceived notions I had before I starting reading this book Instead, I found myself completely drawn into the rich, nuanced story of Holden Caulfield I found myself empathizing with Caulfield almost from the beginning something I did not expect to do His annoying , pseudo rebellious and just don t care exterior were so obviously manufactured and so patently hiding a seriously sad and lost boy that I was transfixed on finding the real Holden Caulfield Despite the book being written in Holden s own words the reader was still able to discern that Holden s surface response to a situation was hiding a much deeper, emotional resposne For Salinger to be able to infuse that kind of nuance into the sparse prose of Caulfield s narrative was nothing short of brilliant in my opinion Caulfied is lazy He is stubborn He is immature He is unfocused He is untruthful He is dangerously short sighted and he is lost in his own world or unrealistic expectations Sounds like that could certainly be a not unsubstantial portion of the male 16 year old population However, after reading this book, I learned a few other things about Holden that I though were fascinating and that are not as often discussed 1 He is desperately lonely he even goes so far as ask his cab drivers to join him for a drink 2 He is generous with his time and his things he writes an essay for his roommate despite being upset with him and even lets him borrow his jacket 3 He is extremely sensitive and longs for an emotional rather than just a physical commitment he mentions several times his need to be in love in order to be physical and his experience with the prostitute certainly bears this out 4 He is intelligent despite being lazy and unfocused, Holden displays great insight and intelligence regarding books he has read and displays at the museum and 5 Despite being unable to process it correctly, he is full of compassion and has a deep capacity for love, which he shows most notably for his sister this was one of the most powerful parts of the story for me as it was Holden s desire to avoid hurting Phoebe that keeps him from running away at the end of the book Taking all of the good and the bad together, I was left with the feeling that Holden is an adolescent on the cusp of adulthood who is achingly afraid of the loss of his childhood and the responsibility and commitment that he sees as required to make it in the adult world He is compassionate, intelligent and deeply emotional and yet is unable or unwilling to focus that energy on those steps that he sees as leading him away from his happy memories of childhood and closer to the scary world of the adult I think this is superbly shown in Holden s expressed dream of wanting to being the Catcher in the Rye Quick side note I had no idea what the title to the book referred to until I just read the book Here is a person so afraid of growing up and so averse to giving into the pain and sadness that he sees as the result of becoming an adult that he wants nothingthan to spend his life protecting others from losing the innocence of childhood Big, crazy, I want to save the world dreams are a wonderful part of childhood and it is a shame that such ideas and beliefs are too often destroyed under the barrage of you really need to grow up rather than having such dreams transitioned and re focused into daring the improbable within the world of the possible A great and moving reading experience and one that I give my HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION I read the end of The Catcher in the Rye the other day and found myself wanting to take Holden Caulfield by the collar and shake him really, really hard and shout at him to grow up I suppose I ve understood for some time now that The Catcher in the Rye a favorite of mine when I was sixteen was a favorite precisely because I was sixteen At sixteen, I found Holden Caulfield s crisis profoundly moving I admired his searing indictment of society, his acute understanding of human nature, his I read the end of The Catcher in the Rye the other day and found myself wanting to take Holden Caulfield by the collar and shake him really, really hard and shout at him to grow up I suppose I ve understood for some time now that The Catcher in the Rye a favorite of mine when I was sixteen was a favorite precisely because I was sixteen At sixteen, I found Holden Caulfield s crisis profoundly moving I admired his searing indictment of society, his acute understanding of human nature, his extraordinary sensitivity I mean, come on, he had a nervous breakdown for God s sake, he had to be sensitive At sixteen, I wanted to marry Holden Caulfield At forty, I want to spank him After all, Holden s indictment of society boils down to the insight that everybody is a phony That s the kind of insight a sixteen year old considers deep A forty year old of the grown up variety recognizes Holden s insight as superficial and banal, indulging in the cheapest kind of adolescent posturing It suggests a grasp of society and of human nature that s about as complex as an episode of Dawson s Creek Holden and his adolescent peers typically behave as though the fate they have suffered disillusionment and the end of innocence is unique in human history He can t see beyond the spectacle of his own disillusionment and neither can J D Salinger for all his painful self consciousness, Holden Caulfield is not really self aware He can t see that he himself is a phony Compare Salinger s novel of arrested development, for instance, with a real bildungsroman, Great Expectations Holden Caulfield is an adolescent reflecting on childhood and adolescence Pip Pirrip is an adult reflecting on childhood and adolescence Holden Caulfield has the tunnel vision of teendom, and he depicts events with an immediacy and absorption in the experience that blocks out the broader context, the larger view Pip Pirrip has the wonderful double vision of a sensitive adult recollecting the sensitive child he used to be he conveys at the same time the child s compelling perspective and the adult s thoughtful revision of events While Holden Caulfield litters his narrative with indignant exposes of phonies and frauds, Pip Pirrip skillfully concentrates on the spurious coin of his own make that is, without letting the child Pip and the adolescent Pip in on the joke, he exposes himself as a phony Pip Pirrip grows up Holden Caulfield has a nervous breakdown I suppose the only reason I begrudge him his breakdown is that so many in our culture many , unfortunately, than just the legitimate adolescents among us seem fixated on Holden as a symbol of honesty and socially liberating rebellion We view nervous collapse and dysfunction as a badge of honor, a sign to put it in Caulfieldian terms that we are discerning enough to see through all the crap Our celebration of overwrought disaffection reminds me of the last sentence of Joyce s Araby Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity and my eyes burned with anguish and anger Here is the adolescent pose non pareil Equally self accusing and self aggrandizing, it captures the adolescent at the precise moment when his own disillusionment becomes the object of his grandiose and self dramatizing vision That s the kind of crap that Holden Caulfield and J D Salinger cannot see through And it is often the kind of crap that we adults like to slosh around in The Barney beating of several years ago is another symptom of our arrested adolescence, our inability to ride the wave of disillusion into the relatively calm harbor of adulthood as though flailing around in the storm and raging at the wind were in themselves marks of distinction and a superior sensibility I remember a news story about a woman in a Barney costume being seriously injured when a rabid and probably drunken anti Barney fanatic attacked the big purple dinosaur at some public event Now, I don t know the age of the Barney beater, but the act itself is a supremely adolescent one, in which the impulsive response to disillusionment is to lash out at those symbols of childhood which made the biggest dupes of us At the dawn of adolescence, when Barney begins to appear cloying and false, it seems natural to want to beat up on him, as though it was Barney himself who pulled one over on us instead of our own poignant and necessary misapprehension of the nature of things I could see Holden Caulfield beating up on Barney at least rhetorically , and I could see Holden Caulfield missing Barney as he misses all the phonies at the end of the book , but I cannot see Holden Caulfield accepting the postlapsarian Barney on new terms, as a figure who is meant for children and not for him For all his touching poses about wanting to be the catcher in the rye, what Holden really wants is not to save children but to be a child again In my hand I hold 5 I will give it to anyone who can explain the plot of this book or why there is no plot and make me understand why the hell people think it s so amazing. Sometimes truth isn t just stranger than fiction, it s alsointeresting and better plotted Salinger helped to pioneer a genre where fiction was deliberately less remarkable than reality His protagonist says little, does little, and thinks little, and yet Salinger doesn t string Holden up as a satire of deluded self obsessives, he is rather the epic archetype of the boring, yet self important depressive.I ve taken the subway and had prolonged conversations on the street with prostitutes n Sometimes truth isn t just stranger than fiction, it s alsointeresting and better plotted Salinger helped to pioneer a genre where fiction was deliberately less remarkable than reality His protagonist says little, does little, and thinks little, and yet Salinger doesn t string Holden up as a satire of deluded self obsessives, he is rather the epic archetype of the boring, yet self important depressive.I ve taken the subway and had prolonged conversations on the street with prostitutes not concerning business matters , and I can attest that Salinger s depiction is often accurate to what it feels like to go through an average, unremarkable day However, reading about an average day is nointeresting than living one.Beyond that, Salinger doesn t have the imagination to paint people as strangely as they really are Chekhov s normal little people seemreal and alive than Salinger s because Chekhov injects a little oddness, a little madness into each one Real people are almost never quite as boring as modernist depictions, because everyone has at least some ability to surprise you.Salinger s world is desaturated Emotions and moments seep into one another, indistinct as the memories of a drunken party Little importance is granted to events or thoughts, but simply pass by, each duly tallied by an author in the role of court reporter.What is interesting about this book is not that it is realistically bland, but that it is artificially bland Yet, as ridiculous a concept as that is, it still takes itself entirely in earnest, never acknowledging the humor of its own blase hyperbole.This allows the book to draw legions of fans from all of the ridiculously dull people who take themselves as seriously as Holden takes himself They read it not as a parody of bland egotism but a celebration, poised to inspire all the bland egotists who have resulted from the New Egalitarianism in Art, Poetry, Music, and Academia.Those same folks who treat rationality and intellectual fervor like a fashion to be followed, imagining that the only thing required to be brilliant is to mimic the appearance and mannerisms of the brilliant as if black berets were the cause of poetic inspiration and not merely a symptom.One benefit of this is that one can generally sniff out pompous faux intellectuals by the sign that they hold up Holden as a sort of messianic figure Anyone who marks out Holden as a role model is either a deluded teen with an inflated sense of entitlement, or is trying to relive the days when they were.But what isinteresting is that those who idolize Holden tend to be those who most misunderstand him Upon close inspection, he s not depressive, not consumed with ennui or an existential crisis, he s actually suffering from Shell Shock now known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.The way he thinks about his brother s and classmate s deaths going over the details again and again in his mind, but with no emotional connection it s not symptomatic of depression, but of psychological trauma He is stuck in a cycle, unable to process events, going over them again and again, but never able to return to normalcy.It takes a certain kind of self centered prick to look at someone s inability to cope with the reality of death and think Hey, that s just like my mild depression over how my parents won t buy me a newer ipod It s not an unusual stance in American literature there s an arrogant detachment in American thought which has become less and less pertinent as the world grows and changes As recently as The Road we have American authors comparing a difficult father son relationship to the pain and turmoil of an African civil war survivor and winning awards for displaying their insensitive arrogance.Perhaps it s time we woke up and realized that the well fed despondence of the white man should not be equated with a lifetime of death, starvation, war, and traumas both physical and emotional And as for Salinger a real sufferer of Post Traumatic Stress who was one of the first soldiers to see a concentration camp, who described how you can never forget the smell of burning flesh I can only imagine how he felt when people read his story of a man, crippled by the thought of death, and thought to themselves Yes, that s just what it s like to be a trustafarian with uncool parents No wonder he became a recluse and stopped publishing J.D Salinger s Catcher in the Rye was published on July 16, 1951 It was his first novel It became very popular among young adolescents yet not so popular with older generations I personally thoroughly enjoyed every part of this book I felt very close to Holden Caulfield, the main character in the story, as I read it Holden Caulfield, a sixteen year old boy from New York, was quite unlike kids his age He had no interest in being popular or social From the very beginning he lets us into J.D Salinger s Catcher in the Rye was published on July 16, 1951 It was his first novel It became very popular among young adolescents yet not so popular with older generations I personally thoroughly enjoyed every part of this book I felt very close to Holden Caulfield, the main character in the story, as I read it Holden Caulfield, a sixteen year old boy from New York, was quite unlike kids his age He had no interest in being popular or social From the very beginning he lets us into part of his personal life His parents are very touchy and his mother is especially protective It becomes clear very quickly where Holden s interests lie and where they start to veer off He tends to lean away from the fake in the world and is a teller of what is real Holden is not a fan of the movies at all He saw his brother, D.B., throw away his natural writing talent all for a large Hollywood check Any other boy Holden s age would have been absolutely ecstatic to have a sibling working amongst the stats in Hollywood, but not Holden It was all far too phony for him and phony is his worst enemy Salinger s use of sarcasm and irony is beautiful and hilarious As I read through each chapter I found myself highlighting funny, sarcastic things Holden would say or think and trust me, there are DOZENS of time where this occurs One specific time in Chapter 8 he is talking to a cab driver who is acting like a real fool Holden says to the readers, He certainly was good company Terrific personality Salinger s character Holden is actually a lot like Salinger in his real life Like Holden, Salinger was known for his reclusive nature Uninterested with the fakeness of the world, Holden keeps his distance from phony people After Salinger s success of The Catcher in the Rye , he slowed down his publishing and slowly but surely drifted out of the public eye To this day Salinger refuses any offers to have The Catcher put on the big Hollywood screen Salinger s ex lover, Joyce Maynard, even once said that, The only person who might ever have played Holden Caulfield would have been J.D Salinger It seems to me that it is no coincidence that Holden is no fan of Hollywood and that Salinger in real life and doesn t want anything to do with turning his popular novel into a movie Holden says, If there s one thing I hate, it s the movies, Don t even mention them to me Since I have learnedabout Salinger s personal life, I recognize a lot of Salinger s personality in Holden In the story, Holden has overbearing parents much like Salinger s parents Salinger said his mother was over protective Salinger has one sibling, a sister, which is ironic because it is Holden s sister Phoebe who has a profound influence on Holden He often talks about her with very high regards.Holden is not a character who tried to sugarcoat the way he sees the fakeness around him Holden, making fun of the people around him, often says things like you would ve puked and it was very phony I think that is another one of the reasons I like his character so much For example, he is quite upset with the fact that his brother D.B is selling his work to Hollywood instead of using his talents for his own pleasure Holden even says that his brother is his favorite author Salinger himself is a man who wrote for his own pleasure and likeness I made a similar connection to a girl named Sally that Holden likes in the book, to a real life lover of Salinger s named Oona Oona O Neil was self absorbed and stuck up, according to Salinger, yet he still phoned and wrote her letters quite often Holden s Oona in the story was a girl named Sally Hayes Though he found her extremely irritating he thought she was very attractive as well After spending a day with her, he pointed out about a dozen instances where he thought she was being phone as hell By the end of their only meeting in the book, Holden says to Sally, You give me a royal pain in the ass if you want to know the truth The real life Oona O Neil ended up breaking it off with Salinger and married the famous actor, Charlie Chaplin.Despite Holden being a sixteen year old teenage boy he acts much older than his age One time in the story he has the chance to be with a prostitute but instead of acting like a pig, he starts to feel sorry for her and instead tried to have a conversation with her He even offers to pay her for good conversation instead of for sex He also stays alone in hotels randomly, drinks at bars and clubs often, and even tells people he s older than he really is But the reason I find his character mature and intellectual is for other reasons.Holden does not hold money or material things to be really important He isexcited to hang out with his kid sister than he is any other time in the entire book He is content with something that would probably be boring to other guys his age.Like many teenagers, Holden is often depressed The way he deals with it most times actually breaks my heart in a way He likes to talk to his deceased kid brother, Allie He will take a real event that he can remember where he was talking with him and pretend he is talking to him again He says, I started talking out loud to Allie I do that sometimes when I get very depressed It is really very heart wrenching to hear Holden talk about his brother One of my favorite moments in the book is when Holden and Phoebe are talking in Phoebe s room and she points out that Holden doesn t like anything Holden responds quickly by saying, I like Allie And I like doing what I m doing right now Sitting here with you and talking and thinking about stuff Phoebe says to Holden, Allie s dead you always say that If somebody s dead and everything, and in heaven then it isn t really Holden interrupts her with his final comeback, I know he s dead Don t you think I know that I can still like him, though, can t I just because somebody s dead, you don t just stop liking them, for God s sake especially if they were about a thousand times nicer than the people you know that re alive and all One of the most beautiful things about The Catcher in the Rye is the way Salinger uses symbolism From Holden s red hunting hat, to Jane Gallagher s checker playing technique, Salinger wrapped upthan meets the eye into things you never would have dreamed The main thing that drew me into this story is the realness of Holden s character He is a teenage boy with a teenage boy s mind but seems to have farcommon sense than anyone else around him He is not a jock He is not a math whiz or a science whiz He is not really interested in sports He sort of makes up his own category a category that I call the genuine He is on his own a lot and loves it at first, but happiness and love are meant to be shared with others It has a much less meaning when by itself and he realizes it by the end of the novel He is growing intellectually little by little throughout the whole book He realizes what really makes him happy I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone and everyone who would like to read a story that could possibly change the way they view the world I have honestly laughed outloud to myself as I read this story Yes, there is talk about drinking, sex, and lots of cussing, but if you are going to avoid reading this story because of that then your missing out on a beautiful masterpiece