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The Catcher in the Rye Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 1991
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Novel by J.D. Salinger, published in 1951. The influential and widely acclaimed story details the two days in the life of 16-year-old Holden Caulfield after he has been expelled from prep school. Confused and disillusioned, he searches for truth and rails against the "phoniness" of the adult world. He ends up exhausted and emotionally ill, in a psychiatrist's office. After he recovers from his breakdown, Holden relates his experiences to the reader. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
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One reason I like this book is because the way things are always happening. Holden is a character that supports this aspect of the book and is almost always on the move. I also liked how Holden is not perfect like in many books. This book shows you the darkside of life and the dangers of pyschological depression. It really makes you feel bad for Holden and wish the others in the book can help him in the right way, when there isn't a good way to help him in entirety.
Holden really does feel real when I find myself thinking about him. He makes realistic decisions and you find yourself hoping for him to do something and he does it. When he doesn't do something you want him to do it just makes you even more exicted to see what he will do next.
As Holden begins his tale, apparently from a hospital of some sort, he takes us back to the recent past where he is struggling in every possible way as a high school student at Percy Prep ( A high - end sleep away school in Agerstown PA.) From there, the book is just one long Goddamn story Holden conveys to us, which includes encounters with teachers, peers, and other random people as he gets kicked out of Percy and returs to his home town: New Yory City.
As I am reading about Holdens escapades, I start to feel as if I know him... well. Holden's story is shared with us - the readers - in a very conversationsl style; as If Holden and I were sitting in a coffee shop somewhere and he was simply filling me in on the last 12 months of his life. And I find myself relating to his story in two distinct ways:
First, it is obvious that he is in that akward stage that occurs somewhere between childhood and adulthood - terribly frusturated with everyone and everything, struggling to make sense of all that is happening around him. I too suffered through that stage and probobly would have connected with the charachter on an even deeper level had I read the classic back then.
Second, I am appreciating the descriptive and revealing sights and sounds of New York City, having been raised in Queens, spending much time in NYC growing up.
As this fairly ammusing story prgresses, I find myself " rooting for Holden" - hoping that at the end he will become "enlightened", turn a corner, get his act together.
Ultiamtely, I find myself wanting more - wanting to know how my friend Holden turns out. But for better or worse, as this ammusing tale winds down, the future and fate of Holden Caulfield is left to the imagination of the reader.
It is the simple story of a youth who has not exactly found his direction in life just yet. A classic story of a young man looking for direction, regardless of the era in which it was written, all young people have gone through this stage in their life.
This is part of what makes it so fun to read, his style flows very well and although the whole book takes place over a matter of a few days, you feel like you are with the character every minute of every day and can visualize his whole surroundings and his thoughts and how and why he sees everything how he does.
Truly a fun book to read.