A review by harriet_dolby
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

adventurous dark emotional 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


Until the last 4 pages, I hated this book, I felt it such a slog despite it being only 230 pages long. I think the rreason why this book is so liked is the same reason why I don’t like it- the ‘teenage agnst’ which plagues the book. I feel now, that despite being 16, I would of enjoyed this book more when I was 10-13, although I wouldn’t have understood the more adult themes. 

The main plot of this book is that a privilidged boy gets kicked out of his boarding school (his time at the boarding school was described using his favourite word in the first 50 pages… crumby- which I didn’t really get) and has to wait around for 3 days until he can go home for christmas- when the normal term time ends, so his parents don’t expect anything. During this time, he drinks a lot and visits some people from his past such as previous ex-girlfriends. He also tries to sleep with a sex worker but he gets too nervous and gets into trouble about it. The only parts I liked were hearing about him and his sister and when there are the symbolic moments- the catcher in the rye (the children are playing amongst the rye bales and in order to stop the children from falling off the cliff there is a catcher-  the catcher in the rye which is symbolically what Holden relates to) and near the end when he feels himself falling everytime he crosses the road (in which he says that he is closer to his cousin, who has died- perhaps showing how due to his sleep deprivation, he questions his mortality, subsequently after this moment he undergoes some character development and spends more time with his sister and becomes more sympathetic to her).

My favourite quotes
-last line ‘dont ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody’
- a quote by the psycoanalyst- Wilhelm Stekel
      ‘The mark of the immature man is thathe wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one’

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