Reviews

The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

lememories's review

Go to review page

adventurous funny lighthearted sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.25

anaelle2rt's review

Go to review page

challenging dark emotional fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

madisone's review

Go to review page

adventurous lighthearted tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

jtobes's review

Go to review page

4.0

I was assigned to read The Catcher in the Rye as a part of my AP Lit class. Since it was one of the classics, I was expecting my read to go one of two ways-- I was going to hate it and not understand a single chapter or I was going to love it and think it changed my life. While I wouldn't say it changed my life, I definitely really enjoyed it.

Holden Caulfield is a teenager at a private boarding school. After a few encounters before Christmas break that allow for his expulsion, Holden decides to leave school early and head home to New York City. Though Holden and his family are a part of the upper-middle class, his life hasn't been necessarily easy. He lost his brother to leukemia and is surrounded by people who make him feel worthless every day. Throughout the novel, Holden reflects and goes into detail on past experiences that make him happy or sad, going off-topic for a lot of the novel. Holden just wants to make people happy and escape the loneliness that makes him act rashly. In the lead up to Christmas, Holden begins to spiral, deathly upset with the people around him and himself.

I really enjoyed this book. Though not fully, I definitely felt like I could connect with Holden and some of his feelings, and I found myself wondering, "why does this sound like me?" at certain points. Holden also had a really intriguing voice. Salinger had him use many of the same phrases like "phony," "crumby," and "it killed me." You could almost predict how Holden was going to describe a situation.

Even though it definitely adds personality and character to Holden, Holden's digression was a bit annoying when you didn't know where he was going with it. Though it did give insight, it was still kind of irritating. The ending didn't tie up any loose ends because there almost wasn't a central problem--there were many stories with their own problems. I also didn't really like the way Sallinger had Holden interact with women. Though this was written in a much different time, it did feel kind of gross at times.

shikug's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

Holden Caulfield is a 16 year-old boy who has just been expelled from yet another prestigious school in New York when he decides he wants to spend some time in the city before going back home and breaking the news to his parents during Christmas break. From Sunday night to Tuesday afternoon, Holden has quite an adventure around the city meeting up with old friends, acquaintances, and his younger sister.

For a book that is just over 200 pages and only covers a couple of days, the reader is immersed in the mind of someone who is clearly lonely, depressed and is suffering from his repressed traumas. He believes he is smarter than everybody and isn't fake like the rest which is ironic because he is failing everything except English and is part of the socio-economic class of the people he thinks are such "phonies" and lives exactly like they do. This can be annoying to read but he is literally a teenager and I'm pretty sure we all thought we were better than somebody at that age. The repetitive writing style perfectly reflects his thoughts as he yearns for some hope and companionship and wants to preserve the innocence in children, especially in his sister.

I feel sympathetic for Holden because he's just a child who's mentally ill and feeling very lost knowing his parents wouldn't understand his situation and will send him off to military school. But then again he is a rich white boy in the 1950s so things could be a lot worse.

This is definitely a "thesis novel" because you can write pages and pages of character analyses and its influence in post-war American literature.

zhzhang's review

Go to review page

4.0

Cannot relate myself when I read the book for the first time as a youth, yet I can connect the dots when I read it the second time after more than 20 years as a mother of a youth.

tolkienqueerfriend's review

Go to review page

slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

1.0

Usually I would argue that you don't have to like the main character of a book for the book to be good. 
This book is the exception to that general rule. 
Holden is insufferable. He hates women (calling his date a pain in the ass for not agreeing RIGHT THEN AND THERE to run away and live in the woods with him) he hates anybody "phony" (by which he means anyone who enjoys anything. Ever.) And the movies and culture in general. He's not even fun to dislike, he's just ... blech. 
All of this is intensely ironic when you consider how shallow both the character and the book are. I feel like if Holden met himself ... he would hate himself as much as he hates everyone else. And maybe that's the point. But for me, since basically nothing happens in this book, it doesn't survive the unlikable main character. 

donkbrown's review

Go to review page

1.0

Terrible. No plot. No character development. It's some dunce, chain smoking kid's awful weekend diary.

jeffrybrad's review

Go to review page

emotional tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

nhedges's review

Go to review page

challenging slow-paced

3.0