Book: The Catcher In The Rye

Author: J D Salinger

Rating: 3.5/5

The Catcher In The Rye-J D Salinger

The book centers around the events in the life of the narrator, a 15 year-old teenager named Holden Caulfield, a few days between the end of the school term and just before the break for Christmas. The book begins on a Saturday, the end of classes at the Pencey prep school in Agerstown, Pennsylvania. Holden has just come to know that, due to failing four out of his five classes, he is being expelled from the school but is not scheduled to leave for home till Wednesday. After an altercation in his dormitory with his roommate, who is dating the girl Holden still likes, he leaves early for Manhattan and decides not to inform his parents that he's back three days early. He goes to New York and stays in the Edmont hotel where he observes all sorts of people. Being free from any sort of restriction, he decides to take advantage of it and attempts to engage in sexual experiences which do not go off very well. Feeling lonely and alone in the big city, he contacts old acquaintances and meets with his former English teacher Mr Antolini, who advises him on his choice of philosophy and the much memorable lines: the wise man seeks to live on for a cause rather than die heroically for it. At last, he finds his way to the only person whom he thinks understands him: his younger sister Phoebe. Together they discuss plans for the future and Holden's dream: to be a 'Catcher in the Rye' and how to fulfill it.

Click here to know more about Literature and Fiction books.


Social/Historical context:

The book was written in 1951 and though originally intended for adults, it has become a symbol for the coming-of-age pains of adolescent youth. Selling more than 65 million copies, the book and it's iconic protagonist have become symbols of teenage rebellion against the establishment. The book gives a voice to long standing ideas of identity, belonging, connection, alienation and what the youth feel to be hypocrisy in the diplomatic order of adult society.


Writing Style:

The book is written from the point of view of a 15 year old protagonist. The style of writing as well as the language is typical of the colloquial in use by the youth of that time. The narrative follows the stream of thought of the narrator and is hence disjointed and irregular throughout, that lends it its 'angst-y' and teenage feel.

My Thoughts:

I had just heard of this book just a few days before I bought it and was completely unaware of it's significance while reading it. I was myself 16 at that time and found it a stunning read. It is pertinent for readers of all ages because everyone passes through that 'me against the world' phase at some point of time or the other. Subsequent readings bring to mind subtler aspects of the book that had hitherto slipped notice. It can be read again and again at any and every age above 13. All in all an excellent read.


Book Reviewed By Sayan Mukherjee

Read other best selling book reviews here











Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)
Then

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Book Lovers Club News.


Write a book review and get a web page dedicated to yourself! Click Here


Got an opinion on this book?

Did you read this book too? Got an opinion on it? Share it!

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

its the foremost american novel a modern classic. Not rated yet
it is one of those books that have to be read atleast once in the lifetime..but the amazing thing is i have yet to find a person who has not gone back …

Click here to write your own.



Encouragements

Nice site(I like the eating books concept!)
-Maggie Ball


Dear Ashmita,
Allow me to congratulate you on your constant efforts at keeping the love for literature and the love for reading constant -amongst us netizens by regularly posting quizzes and information as this current read on Pulitzer prizes! Excellent!
Warm wishes,
Nita


Thank you Ashmita. And I would like to take this as an opportunity to express my appreciation of the effort that has gone into the making of such a fabulous website.
-Amrita Dutta


I would like to take an opportunity to congratulate you for all your efforts in creating such an insightful and informative Group ( Book Review Circle) It is surely a great platform to gather and learn more about like-minded people.
-Jai Prakash Dangwal


This was really a wonderful piece of information. It was enriching and educating. Thank You.
-Palashpriya


I am amazed at the number of reviews and the wide range of books you have read and written about. Really impressive!
-V.Dhanalakshmi


Without the educative literary information from you I feel spiritually dry. Nice to hear from you.
-Palashpriya Bose Jaiswal


It was interesting to know about the significance and use of diary entries in the world of writing. I read something like this for the first time, so I thank and congratulate you for your choice of topic :-)
Cheers
Suchandra