Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger

IMG_20190411_101807613.jpgCatcher in the rye is one of those books that’s always on must read lists. I remember watching a programme on BBC once (it might’ve been the Big Read in 2003) where celebs talked about their favourite books, this was on there and might’ve encouraged me to read it.

I’ve read a few reviews and the negative ones put me off but I’ve been wanting to read this book for some time and you have to read things to see what you think about them. This year I wanted to start reading the books I’ve been meaning to read for a while (years) and this one is the main one.

I got this copy from the library.

My thoughts

I didn’t expect to start reading this book and be riveted from the beginning. I thought I would hate the style, it’s first person written in the voice of  Holden Caulfield, but it was the style that pulled me in and made me care so much about him. At times I disagreed with his decisions and his behaviour made me want to shout at him, but I tried to understand him rather than judge him. 

I didn’t really think much of the plot, not much happens and I found Holden’s ability to get into bars questionable, surely he wouldn’t look old enough even though the book suggests he does? But I did feel sympathy for him getting kicked out of yet another school.  And through the events of the book you learn a lot about Holden and his mental state as he leaves school and hides out in hotels and clubs. 

I like Holden. He is dealing with something and it could easily get written off as teen angst. He has a way of looking at the world-seeing through the false people which affects him a lot. Maybe he is just growing up but I think he does experience mental health issues which he struggles with. (I’d love to know what others think about this).

I didn’t get the big deal about this book until I got to the end. I realised it wasn’t really written for me. It’s written for a teenager, a young adult, maybe one whose smart and lost their way, maybe struggling with angst or depression.
Saying that if you’ve ever felt lost in life with regards to purpose this could help (I thought I’d written down the quote, need to be more organised). This would be a great gift for a person who fits those descriptions.

I enjoyed this book and get why it’s an important book to read. Especially for younger people. I definitely read it too late but better late than never.

Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it? When did you read it?

2 thoughts on “Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger”

  1. I like this book – it’s probably best read as a teen. The language is obviously dated and you’re right there isn’t much of a plot, but it’s really a statement about doing what you want to do and not playing along with the system. I think. That’s my take on it 🙂


  2. I agree – it’s a book written for a younger audience. I remember reading it as a teen and enjoying it, but it wasn’t until I reread it years later as a high school teacher – with a lot of students dealing with similar issues as Holden’s – that I really appreciated it. Sometimes we as adults overlook how real a teenager’s issues are to them. Just because we can put them in perspective doesn’t mean they don’t matter to a teen.


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