Now Reading J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye

While I was at the library about a week ago picking up Michael Crichton’s Prey, I also picked up George Orwell’s Animal Farm, and my next selection, which also appears on my Classics Club List, J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye.  The Catcher in the Rye has been at the top of my Goodreads to be read shelf ever since I signed up for the site in 2009.  This book also happens to be one of my brother’s favorite books, and he’s also been asking me to read it for quite some time now.  I’m also well aware of the history of the book and its controversial nature.  That’s more along the lines why I’m reading this book, because I’m curious as to why it’s been banned from schools at various times, and why my brother finds it so fascinating.

I checked out the paperback version from the library, and here’s a quick synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:

Anyone who has read J.D. Salinger’s New Yorker stories ? particularly A Perfect Day for Bananafish, Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut, The Laughing Man, and For Esme ? With Love and Squalor, will not be surprised by the fact that his first novel is fully of children. 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 looking forward to seeing what the hype has been about the book, and my brother’s fascination with the story.  As I mentioned, my brother highly recommends it, so I hope it isn’t a complete let down.  So, Chief, I’m taking the journey that you’ve been asking me to take for quite some time now, you typically don’t steer me wrong with reading suggestions, so I’m looking forward to an enjoyable read!


About Jeremy

Husband, book lover, Civil War Buff. If I could read for a living I would, but unfortunately, it doesn't pay the bills!

7 Responses to “Now Reading J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye”

  1. This was on my to read list for a long time. I finally read it last year and reviewed it on my blog. It was okay, but I wasn’t blown away by it.

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    • I managed to finish the book last night before heading to bed. I’m still confused as to what the point of the story was. I’ll be putting up my complete thoughts on it here in the next couple of days. Thanks for dropping by!

  2. I really didn’t like it; the story turned me off. I don’t either get why people like it.

    • Same here. I’m wondering if I should’ve read it when I was significantly younger, such as when I was a teenager, maybe I would’ve gotten it more and enjoyed it a bit more than I did.

  3. I’ve never understood it either. I just want to make Holden eat a sandwich and drink a glass of milk, and then send him off to work construction for a summer.

    • Now there’s a rather interesting idea! 🙂 Given what I’ve discovered of his character while reading the book, I don’t think Holden would last very long on a construction site though! Although, it would certainly put hair on his chest! Thanks for dropping by!


  1. What’s The Fascination With Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye? | Beltwayliterature - March 18, 2012

    […] after it being on my to be read shelf for a significant period of time.  As I mentioned in my post here, my brother had also been asking me to read it for quite some time now, and had even offered to […]

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