Sunday, January 16, 2011

Review: The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

I hate reading J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. I find the book disturbing, depressing and it affects my mood so much, I actually need some time to recompose myself after spending time with it. Finally, it scares me. At the same time, I love it so much. I find it masterfully written, eye-opening and completely fascinating. It's probably one of my favorite books ever.

I remember my first time reading The Catcher in the Rye when I was in high school. I didn't think much about it then - it was an easy-to-read book everyone was has already read and I felt it was my duty to read it. Holden Caulfield was someone I couldn't understand (his motivations were not at all understandable back then), but at as any other teenager, I understood the feelings of sadness, rebellion, as well as other growing pains. I just figured Holden had it particularly difficult.

Now that I've read the book again for college, as well as loads of secondary literature, I am in awe. The Cather in the Rye is a masterpiece. So much so, that to tackle the book's themes and try and write a regular review, I think it would be impossible. It has to be read. What I liked best is how unpretentious it is. It twists you around and makes your head explode, but it's no Ulysses. It is enjoyable and digestable and, although really disturbing, ultimately it gets very sweet.

This is a lousy review. I guess it's the book. It's so good, that whatever I try to write about it, I feel like it's trivialized. Let's leave it at this and let me know if you loved it too!



Amanda said...

I didn't read this the first time until I was 22, and it left absolutely no impression on me, positive or negative. I finally reread it about a year ago and I remember it this time, but didn't particularly enjoy it. :/ I wish I'd read it when I was younger...

Suzanne said...

I read this last year for Banned Books Week and was amazed at what controversy this slim little book could cause. I did enjoy it, and wish I had read it in high school to appreciate it's "radicalness". You are right though- definitely a must read!

Wall-to-wall books said...

You know what??? I have never read this book! I know, what is wrong with me?
I will read it though, someday.
Thanks for inspiring me!

Amy said...

I had to read it in high school too, in the same year we had to read several other depressing books (e.g. Death Be Not Proud), and re-read it later (much later!) and actually enjoyed it even more, with a bit of hindsight. I agree with you that it is disturbing, in fact, what was most disturbing to me was, where the heck was his family while everything was going on??? And it totally crushed my illusions that the 50's and early 60's were such a happy time for everyone.

kamagra said...

It is a brilliant, extremely accurate tale of a typical teenager trying to find his place in the world.