Genre: Classics, Fiction, YA, Literature
My Ratings: 4/5 stars
About this book:
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.
There was no story. There is just one main character going on and on about everything that HE felt was wrong with the world and it is just a long angry rant, very long and very angry but I love it. You know why? Because I do the same.
No one understands what a teenager goes through beside a teenager. The constant fear of future, the confusion about sexuality, education, morality, expectations, the loneliness because there are so many thoughts passing through your head and no one to share them with. That is Holden Caufield. He is flawed, he is careless and has strong opinions about things. he talks in that angry rambling voice and remembers his past, the days of drinking and dancing with girls. He cares about his little sister but worries (yet not too much) about being expelled from school.
He is the most human character I have come across in books and though, I would have liked if there was a point to all this instead of just a long monologue, I wouldn’t say that I did not enjoy it. Holden, however brash his personality may be, was charming to me because of his humour,
“Anyway, I’m sort of glad they’ve got the atomic bomb invented. If there’s ever another war, I’m going to sit right the hell on top of it. I’ll volunteer for it, I swear to God I will.”
“When you’re dead, they really fix you up. I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you’re dead? Nobody.”
his indifference at times
“I don’t even know what I was running for—I guess I just felt like it.”
and of course, for the seclusion he felt.
“I can’t explain what I mean. And even if I could, I’m not sure I’d feel like it.”
And then there’s Salinger’s writing. Beautiful, just Beautiful. the way he strings along one thing after the other.
“The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.”
“It’s such a stupid question, in my opinion. I mean, how do you know what you’re going to do till you do it? The answer is, you don’t. I think I am, but how do I know? I swear it’s a stupid question.”
I would really like to call up Salinger right now.
“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”