Title: The Catcher in the Rye
Author: J.D. Salinger
No. of pages: 230
Genre: Literature, Classic, Young Adult
Publication date: July 16th 1951
Date read: September 11th 2017
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. Written with the clarity of a boy leaving childhood behind, “The Catcher in the Rye” explores the world with disarming frankness and a warm, affecting charisma which has made this novel a universally loved classic of twentieth-century literature.
I have been dying to read this highly appreciated classic ever since high school, so for about seven years now. It seemed to be loved by many, but unfortunately I’m not one of them. I had several troubles with this story which all start with the character of Holden. I just didn’t know what to think, nor to expect of him, except for that I thought he was quite … restless. One moment he seems to be full of energy and wants to call people up to make plans to see them, the next moment he wants to jump out of the window and pick fights with his roommates. I guess you could also see him as the typical high school dropout, the “bad boy” so many girls fall for. (Luckily the girls in this book know better!)
Although there were some words and phrases I didn’t understand (like “being yellow”), it was quite an easy read. I noticed that I flew through the book. That is, when I finally found the motivation to pick it up again. Maybe it was because not a lot happened and I was really just waiting for that one big climax to come. Every situation that could grow out to be that climax, just suddenly ended. Holden was really all over the place, which kind of annoyed me. I just didn’t know what to expect, for all I knew he could really just … jump out of that window!
Halfway through the book I already had made up my rating. I was planning on giving it 2.5 out of 5 stars, if it wasn’t for the ending. I actually quite liked the ending, which finally really showed how a child can lose its innocence. It was funny to see that, although Holden was the typical rascal, he could appreciate his little sister’s youth and loved her for that. I could say a lot more about my thoughts on the ending, but I think I wouldn’t be able to do so without spoiling everything. So I’ll leave it here!