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

msbedelia's review against another edition

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I think I would get a *lot* more out of this if I reread it. (But would I though? Would I really?)

dmantonya's review against another edition

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I wasn't that impressed -- the story is about a "rich" boy who doesn't care about a lot of anything. It felt like I was reading a sob story!

levijs's review against another edition

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Perhaps Salinger's greatest achievement here is that he finds a way to articulate those seemingly inarticulable bouts of life-doubt and sadness that strike as fast and as bright as lightening – too fast to ponder, too intense to dwell on. And he does so using a 16 year old’s voice, no less.

Holden is a great balance—really, tension not balance—between existential hardboiled-dom and good ol’ childlike tenderness. This tension finds representation best in Holden’s criticisms of who and what he perceives to be as ‘phony’. And it’s with the business of phonies that Salinger presents the essential paradox at the heart of the pursuit of authenticity – that is, how to satiate one’s hunger for authenticity without engineering it into existence. Viewed more broadly, Salinger seems to be toying with the idea that idealism and criticalness are necessarily related. Ideals can only be realized through the lens of criticism is one way of putting it.

My only gripe is that the penultimate chapter (where Holden comes to himself(?)) is predictable and heavy handed even if affecting. And how affecting the novel is! in a strange, 16 year old going thru it kinda way.

jthern's review against another edition

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I find this one hard to rate. I'll give it 3 stars.

I didn't like reading it so I want to give it 1 star. On the other hand, I think it's really well written and want to give it 4 stars. The problem is that I think the author did a fantastic job of creating a main character that I really didn't want to read about.

Holden is a hypocritical phony. He thinks that by recognizing that everyone else is a phony, he's justified in being a phony, but never actually realizing that he is a phony.

Yet, as we currently live in the age of "millennials", there's something about Holden that needs to be recognized and understood, because in 1945, J. D. Salinger created a stereotypical "millennial" - a bright young adult, ready to take on the world, but having no inspiration to actually apply actual effort to do so.

Great quote by one of Holden's teachers: "This fall you're riding for - it's a special kind of fall, a horrible kind. The man taking isn't permitted to feel or hear himself hit bottom. He just keeps falling and falling. The whole arrangement's designed for men who, at some time or another in their lives, we're looking for something their own environment couldn't supply then with. Or get thought their own environment couldn't supply them with. So they gave up looking. They gave it up before they ever really even got started."

The same teacher later attributes a quote to William Stekel, a psychoanalyst: "The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one."

So I plodded through the whole book, hating the main character, but at least I felt rewarded with this life lesson from one of his teachers. Was the advice heeded by Holden? I found myself mildly disappointed to find no clear answer, for Holden recognizes that he has no idea what he will feel like doing at the start of his next school year. But that too likely indicates that he still finds himself desperately lacking a purpose that he so clearly wants.

Go ahead and yell "Digression!"... 3 stars

yeimyaileen's review

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challenging funny 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


reading this book is just catching holden lie after lie... he hates phonies but the truth is he was the real phony after all
its interesting to see him hate the world because he is so unhappy with himself,

aydaybay's review against another edition

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Rating: 2.5
I did like it towards the middle but I couldn't really handle reading Holden's dialog the whole time. Most of the time I just wanted to grab him by the collar and yell in his face because how dumb he was acting. The ending made sense but as it was only 1 1/2 pages long, the resolve I wanted wasn't there. It wasn't a bad book but it isn't a book I would necessarily recommend to other people.

isabelmarks's review

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emotional funny reflective slow-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


first off, when i read the blurb i thought that holden would have a manic episode. twas actually a depressive episode. different vibes.

things i liked
- holden's attitude towards jane (main love interest) wasn't absolute garbage
- holden has a v strong voice
- easy to read
- relatable
- fun
- good ending
- solid mental illness depiction

things i didn't like
- SO SLOW PACED. kind of boring.

innae's review against another edition

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I really don't remember much about this book. So I can't say one way or the other much about it.

sydneyrose07's review

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


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alittlehaze's review against another edition

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I first read 'Catcher' about 20 years ago. I didn't know what it was about; I just knew that it was one of those modern classics that everyone should read. I never knew that it would become my book. The character of Holden Caulfield is one of the most polarising characters out there; you either love or hate him. I was firmly on the side of love. Holden's words spoke to me, to the lonely kid dealing with a serious illness. He got it. He knew what it felt like to be lost and confused, to be sad, to feel like every situation was life or death... He just got me. And this book became a part of my soul.

"Among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You're by no means alone on that score, you'll be excited and stimulated to know.
Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You'll learn from them - if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you.
It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement.
And it isn't education.
It's history. It's poetry."

Now a lot of time has passed. I'm older and hopefully wiser. Would Holden still speak to me? How would I feel about him now as an adult? Looking at him from the other side?

I wanted to read this book so badly but I was scared. Scared of falling out of love with the one boy who understood my teenage soul.

However, a few days ago my wonderful friend and current GR absentee Rohisa made a beautiful post on Instagram about writing in books. About weaving your life into the book for the next person after you to connect with. And she struck a chord within me. Some people may be appalled at this notion; how could I desecrate a book in such a way?

I like to believe that books have a memory. They not only tell the story within their pages, they also tell the story of those who have held the book; the stories of whose eyes have peered within their soul and whose hearts have been stolen by their words.

So to me, the concept of writing in a book is about leaving my mark and a part of my soul within these pages. The cracked and broken spine tells of a book much beloved rather than the unflawed and unread shiny new paperback. The lovingly creased and folded pages with highlighted passages tells of a personal connection to the novel. What words moved the reader the most.

So what better book to mark with my thoughts and feelings in the margins than my old favourite, The Catcher in the Rye.
The journey would not just be Holden's story, but mine too.

And how did it go???
Better than I could ever have imagined. Sometimes there are no words to describe how a book makes you feel but I will try...

When I finished the story I had tears in my eyes. I still loved Holden. I love him. I still understand Holden but it is now from a different angle. He still feels like me but I have seen so much more of life since I first read this book that now I feel I understand better than he does... But he will always be the first one who understood me.

"Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around - nobody big, I mean - except me.
And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them.
That's all I do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all.
I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be."

five stars and my heart forever


original recollections and rating

"All morons hate it when you call them a moron"

Holden... My heart. My friend. My teenage confidante and comfort.

five star perfection