The Catcher in the Rye ePUB î Catcher in the PDF

The Catcher in the Rye The hero narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult secondhand description he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but almost hopelessly impaled on it There are many voices in this novel children's voices adult voices underground voices but Holden's voice is the most elouent of all Transcending his own vernacular yet remaining marvelously faithful to it he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure However like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders he keeps most of the pain to and for himself The pleasure he gives away or sets aside with all his heart It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep JD Salinger's classic novel of teenage angst and rebellion was first published in 1951 The novel was included on Time's 2005 list of the 100 best English language novels written since 1923 It was named by Modern Library and its readers as one of the 100 best English language novels of the 20th century It has been freuently challenged in the court for its liberal use of profanity and portrayal of sexuality and in the 1950's and 60's it was the novel that every teenage boy wants to read

10 thoughts on “The Catcher in the Rye

  1. says:

    journal entrytoday i am 15 years old everything is all bullshit as usual i can't believe how fucked everything is around me like i'm surrounded by zombies i can't talk to any of my so called friends i can't talk to jamie i can't talk to my parents who would bother listening anyway i cannot wait to leave orange county this place makes me fucking sick everyone is a hypocrite everything is so goddamn bright and shiny and sunny and meaningless FUCK life is so full of crapthere is one good thing in my life though just read this book Catcher in the Rye blown away i don't know how a book written decades ago could say exactly what i would say it is like the author was reading my thoughts and put it all down in this book things i didn't even realize i felt were right there on the page I LOVED IT i think this is my favorite novel of all time which is not saying a whole lot because there is a ton of pretentious bullshit out there and i bet mrs durham will force us to read it all man i hate that bitchjournal entrytoday i am 20 years old life is great as usual just enjoyed my wednesday morning wake and bake session with j p the sun is shining the san diego weather is beautiful and tonight i'm off to rob gregg's to destroy them at bullshit love that game gregg says that joelle will be there yes but she'll probably bring that prick pete with her one of these days i'm going to lose it and kick his ass i'm in a bandfuck you pete i will never spin your recordsall i have on the agenda today is to go to the gym and then off to keracik's american lit class it is not a bad class although it is nowhere close to gender studies with halberstam or davidoff's survey of modern postmodernism last semester now that was a class it blew my mind so many things to think about the reading in american lit has been okay but we've been assigned to read Catcher in the Rye and it is terrible can't believe i ever liked this book caulfield is a whiny little bitch the book has no depth there is literally nothing going on with the narrative style theme characterization it is just one rote cliché after another he thinks he is such a rebel without a cause but in reality he is just another tired representation of rootless stereotypical masculinity and gender essentialism completely inane and without meaning i think my essay will use some acker style postmodernist techniues to show how simplistic this trite classic truly is i'm going to deconstruct the shit out of this novel babyjournal entrytoday i am 25 years old another gray drizzly san francisco morning i wish christopher would wake up i really need to talk to him after all that shit last night notes on my pillow really?? time to grow up dude i will never complete you well actually i'm glad he's still asleep my throat is too sore to get into it right now with him plus Food Not Bombs is happening this morning and i have to get the kitchen ready john is probably hard at work already typical over achieving behavior i bet the wisconsin kids are still crashing on our living room floor it's time for them to leave they've seen The Vindictives at every single Epicenter or Gilman show now and it is time for them to hit the road or learn to take a shower this apartment is not the world's crashpadi woke up early this morning and thumbed through A Catcher in the Rye i remember hating this book in college for some reason probably wasn't po mo enough for me or challenging feh what a pretentious idiot i was this is a beautiful book it changed my life as a kid i'm not sure how i would have survived orange county without it just re reading parts of it brought back all that old angst about all the fucked up shit in the world that kids have to deal with i'm not sure there is another book as insightful or as meaningful or funny that part with the clipping of the toenails is hilarious ackley is such a douche this book is the foundation of every zine that i have ever loved a perfect novel it is sohuman i guessjournal entrytoday i am 30 years old man my head hurtsso hungover my birthday party last night was awesome even got to spend some time on the turntables thanks kraddy for actually relinuishing a tiny bit of control for once i must have made out with a half dozen people sadly no real action i think last night's party will be the last big party i will ever throw things have got to change no partying like the world is about to end i still have my entire life ahead of me tomorrow i am going to go into AIG and hand in my notice i am not an entertainment insurance underwriter that is not me fuck them if erika can get me that job working with homeless kids at Hospitality House than i am set although moving from the biggest room in the flat to the water heater closet will be no fun i'm 30 years old now for chrissakes still i've got to do something meaningful with my life it cannot all be about booze drugs hooking up and paying everyone's rent when they're broke things have got to changei cracked open A Catcher in the Rye yesterday before the party and read some of my favorite parts what an inspiration seriously that is a classic novel it is packed with meaning i'm twice caulfield's age but i still somehow connect with him in a very direct way my life is going to change and the attitude expressed in that book is at the heart of that change i love you holden caulfied it's not too late for me to learn from you to find some meaning in lifejournal entrytoday i am 35 years old another intense sad but deeply fulfilling week has passed every day something meaningful happens something so emotional and real sometimes i find myself just losing it in a fetal position because of the things i've seen working with people who are drug addicted or who have been abused or who are dying is HEAVY but it is also beautiful it's hard to believe i am dealing with all of that and supporting my folks too thank God i have good friends to talk to about these things anyway so now marcy wants to have a kid i just don't know how i feel about that this is such a fucked up world do we really want to bring new life into it? i dunno it seemsselfish somehow she should just uit her job with the da's office and get back to her roots in the public defender's office instead does she think that having a child with me will bring meaning into her life? my life has meaning enough already and i really am not sure i can handle that responsibility on top of everything elsei skimmed A Catcher in the Rye yesterday after an awkward talk with marcy about having a baby it was not an inspiring read caulfield is so full of misplaced angst i'm not sure i even understand him any why is he so pissed off? he's seen nothing of the world and what the world can actually do to people i want to like him i want to re capture that feeling of affection i had for him but now his contempt and his anger just seem so meaningless so naive he really does not have it so bad there is so much worse out there i don't know how i would handle a kid like that i hate to say it but i constantly rolled my eyes when reading it oh the emotional self absorption of youth just you wait caulfield it sure gets a hell of a lot complicated once you grow upjournal entrytoday i am 40 years old when did i become a boss? it is like i woke up one day mysteriously transformed into an old man am i really a leader? what does that even mean? sometimes i feel like i am just faking it all and someone is going to figure it out and blow the whistle on me last week i made a huge play on the Council i had all my ducks in a row and all the votes came in just as i had planned everyone has their own agenda and the way to get things done is simply to recognize and engage with that disappointing fact some folks got up and started clapping and then the whole room joined in even council members who voted against my motion feh phonies the experience was sort of amazing but it also made me feel very odd almost disconnected from myself is this who i am now a public policy figure a community advocate a mayoral appointee? ugh i can't stand the mayor i don't feel like me there is accomplishment there and some satisfaction but i am missing something something visceral something real sweet Jesus is this what a mid life crisis feels like? it is a weird feeling like i know everything that i need to know about the world about the people around me how everything connects but yet i still feel like i know so little about life oh such angst mark surely you've outgrown this?i've started re reading A Catcher in the Rye it's so strange during different parts i felt like crying a wonderful and moving novel i feel like i really understand holden like he is my guide my son my brother my friend myself i think of him and i know that change in the world and changing myself can still happen it just has to happen that's life after all right?

  2. says:

    I was worried as hell about reading this book again The last time I read it was about a thousand years ago when I was just a kid I was lousy with angst just like good old Holden back then I really was Now that I’m a crummy old guy I figured that I wouldn’t like it any That’s the one thing about crummy old guys they always hate books that kids like Every time I reread a corny book that I really liked when I was a kid it makes me want to give the writer a buzz and ask what the hell is going on It’s like they are trying to give you the time in the back of a cab when you don’t feel like getting the time at all It’s damn depressing I swear to God it is If you want to know the truth you probably couldn’t even talk to a phony writer on the phone You would just end up talking to his butler or some snobbish person like that and asking if they would give the writer your message He probably wouldn’t even do it The thing with guys like that is that they will never give writers your messages That’s something that annoys the hell out of me Turns out this is still a damn good book Salinger kid is a great writer He really is Maybe I’m still just an angst ridden sonuvabitch but this part kills me“All the kids kept trying to grab for the gold ring and so was old Phoebe and I was sort of afraid she’d fall off the goddam horse but I didn’t say anything or do anything The thing with kids is if they want to grab for the gold ring you have to let them do it and not say anything If they fall off they fall off but it’s bad if you say anything to them”p211I’ll bet everyone is going to think that I’m just horsin’ around or trying to be all sexy talking like this The reason for this corny review is because a thousand other people have already written reviews for this book and I’ll bet that they have already said everything that I want to say It’s pretty depressing It really is That’s about all that I’m going to talk about Now I just hope that no one writes “fuck you” on this review That’s the thing with some people they are always sneaking up and writing “fuck you” on your book reviews when you are not looking They really are

  3. says:

    I read this book for the first time in the 8th grade I had to get my mom to sign a permission slip because of the cursing Before I began reading I had so many expectations Back then I read Seventeen Magazine and back then Seventeen Magazine ran brainy features about books and poetry There was one feature where they asked people what book changed their lives and something like than half said Catcher in the Rye I think there might have been some celebrity comments in there too At any rate it was a ringing endorsementSo you can imagine my disappointment when I hated it Not only did I hate Holden but I hated everything about the novel There was nothing I enjoyed I did my book report where I confessed my hatred which led my teacher to confess that she did too but I couldn't let it go I honestly felt that my loathing of a novel that so many others found life changing indicated some deep and horrible flaw I felt like hating Catcher in the Rye was my dirty little secretTime passed and my self loathing mellowed I began to think that perhaps I'd come at it too young so after my first year of college I decided to re read it go at it with fresh eyes and see if my opinion had changedHere's the thing it hasn't I get it I get that Holden is supposed to be loathsome I get that he is the hypocrite he hates I get that almost all teenagers go through the kind of thinking he experiences I get it I do I just don't like itOh and I'm not ashamed any

  4. says:

    If I could give this book a zero I would I absolutely hated it Generally I don't hate books either Usually it's a very strong dislike and generally I give them a second chance But no I will never be reading this book againIn my opinion Holden is the worst character in the English language Salinger tried just too damn hard to make him 'universal' to the point where he becomes unrealistic His train of thought is annoying and repetitive and God those catchphrases of his Can someone shut this kid up? Holden is almost the anti Gary Stu Nearly every thing's wrong with him The one good thing about him being his love for his younger sister The plot is one of the worst I've ever read It's boring and it like Holden is unbelievably and painfully repetitive Holden calls up an old friend has a drink Holden calls up a girl has a drink Holden dances with a girl Then he drinks Was there a climax to this book? I must have missed it Maybe it was Holden nearly freezing to death um what? in Central Park? No no maybe it was when Holden called up that hooker Maybe not The plot is so fuzzy and flat I couldn't tell when to peak my interestAnd that's just it it never didSo buh bye Holden Your book's been gathering dust on my shelf for the past two years and it'll stay that way Until I decide to sell it of course

  5. says:

    My theory as to this book's unusually polarizing nature either you identify with Holden Caulfield or you don'tThose who see themselves either as they were or God help them as they are in Holden see a misunderstood warrior poet fighting the good fight against a hypocritical and unfeeling world; they see in Salinger a genius because he gets it and he gets themThose of us who don't relate to Holden see in him a self absorbed whiner and in Salinger a one trick pony who lucked into performing his trick at a time when some large fraction of America happened to be in the right collective frame of mind to perceive this boring twaddle as subversive and meaningful

  6. says:

    50 stars I LOVE IT when I go into a book with low expectations and it ends up knocking me on my ass Admittedly this is tougher to do with classics but it certainly happened in this case I remember first reading this in school like many of us and not thinking it was anything special However having first read it almost 25 years ago I knew I had to read it again before I could feel justified in actually reviewing it Of course I didn’t hold out much hope that my feelings would change and was expecting a fairly painful reading experiece In fact as I started reading I was already thinking about what my amazingly insightful completely “isn’t it cool to bash on the classics” 1 star review was going to focus on I thought maybe I could bag on the less than spectacular prose used by Salinger making myself feel really smart in the process Or maybe I could take some jabs at the less than exciting narrative pacing and throw in a few references to watching paint dry In the end I thought my most likely avenue for attacking reviewing this anthem of teen angst was that it was utterly yawn inspiringno longer relevant today because of the GLUT of teen angst that the recent generations have been exposed to ad nauseam growing up I mean we live in a time in which teen angst is EVERYWHERE and even has its own sub genre label now You can find it inMUSIC MOVIES AND EVEN THE SHITTY POPULAR LITERATURE OF OUR TIMES Literature is a serious stretch but I must admit that these books do IN FACT fill me with ANGSTSo what happened to all of the preconceived notions I had before I starting reading this book? Instead I found myself completely drawn into the rich nuanced story of Holden Caulfield I found myself empathizing with Caulfield almost from the beginning something I did not expect to do His annoying pseudo rebellious and just don't care exterior were so obviously manufactured and so patently hiding a seriously sad and lost boy that I was transfixed on finding the real Holden Caulfield Despite the book being written in Holden's own words the reader was still able to discern that Holden's surface response to a situation was hiding a much deeper emotional resposne For Salinger to be able to infuse that kind of nuance into the sparse prose of Caulfield’s narrative was nothing short of brilliant in my opinion Caulfied is lazy He is stubborn He is immature He is unfocused He is untruthful He is dangerously short sighted and he is lost in his own world or unrealistic expectations Sounds like that could certainly be a not unsubstantial portion of the male 16 year old population However after reading this book I learned a few other things about Holden that I though were fascinating and that are not as often discussed1 He is desperately lonely he even goes so far as ask his cab drivers to join him for a drink;2 He is generous with his time and his things he writes an essay for his roommate despite being upset with him and even lets him borrow his jacket; 3 He is extremely sensitive and longs for an emotional rather than just a physical commitment he mentions several times his need to “be in love” in order to be physical and his experience with the prostitute certainly bears this out;4 He is intelligent despite being lazy and unfocused Holden displays great insight and intelligence regarding books he has read and displays at the museum; and 5 Despite being unable to process it correctly he is full of compassion and has a deep capacity for love which he shows most notably for his sister this was one of the most powerful parts of the story for me as it was Holden’s desire to avoid hurting Phoebe that keeps him from running away at the end of the book Taking all of the good and the bad together I was left with the feeling that Holden is an adolescent on the cusp of adulthood who is achingly afraid of the loss of his childhood and the responsibility and commitment that he sees as reuired to make it in the “adult” world He is compassionate intelligent and deeply emotional and yet is unable or unwilling to focus that energy on those steps that he sees as leading him away from his “happy memories of childhood” and closer to the “scary world of the adult” I think this is superbly shown in Holden's expressed dream of wanting to being the “Catcher in the Rye” uick side note I had no idea what the title to the book referred to until I just read the book Here is a person so afraid of growing up and so averse to giving into the pain and sadness that he sees as the result of becoming an adult that he wants nothing than to spend his life protecting others from losing the innocence of childhood Big crazy “I want to save the world” dreams are a wonderful part of childhood and it is a shame that such ideas and beliefs are too often destroyed under the barrage of “you really need to grow up” rather than having such dreams transitioned and re focused into daring the improbable within the world of the possible A great and moving reading experience and one that I give my HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION

  7. says:

    I read the end of The Catcher in the Rye the other day and found myself wanting to take Holden Caulfield by the collar and shake him really really hard and shout at him to grow up I suppose I've understood for some time now that The Catcher in the Rye a favorite of mine when I was sixteen was a favorite precisely because I was sixteen At sixteen I found Holden Caulfield's crisis profoundly moving; I admired his searing indictment of society his acute understanding of human nature his extraordinary sensitivity I mean come on he had a nervous breakdown for God's sake he had to be sensitive At sixteen I wanted to marry Holden Caulfield At forty I want to spank him After all Holden's indictment of society boils down to the insight that everybody is a phony That's the kind of insight a sixteen year old considers deep A forty year old of the grown up variety recognizes Holden's insight as superficial and banal indulging in the cheapest kind of adolescent posturing It suggests a grasp of society and of human nature that's about as complex as an episode of Dawson's Creek Holden and his adolescent peers typically behave as though the fate they have suffered disillusionment and the end of innocence is uniue in human history He can't see beyond the spectacle of his own disillusionment and neither can J D Salinger; for all his painful self consciousness Holden Caulfield is not really self aware He can't see that he himself is a phony Compare Salinger's novel of arrested development for instance with a real bildungsroman Great Expectations Holden Caulfield is an adolescent reflecting on childhood and adolescence; Pip Pirrip is an adult reflecting on childhood and adolescence Holden Caulfield has the tunnel vision of teendom and he depicts events with an immediacy and absorption in the experience that blocks out the broader context the larger view Pip Pirrip has the wonderful double vision of a sensitive adult recollecting the sensitive child he used to be; he conveys at the same time the child's compelling perspective and the adult's thoughtful revision of events While Holden Caulfield litters his narrative with indignant exposes of phonies and frauds Pip Pirrip skillfully concentrates on the spurious coin of his own make that is without letting the child Pip and the adolescent Pip in on the joke he exposes himself as a phony Pip Pirrip grows up Holden Caulfield has a nervous breakdown I suppose the only reason I begrudge him his breakdown is that so many in our culture many unfortunately than just the legitimate adolescents among us seem fixated on Holden as a symbol of honesty and socially liberating rebellion We view nervous collapse and dysfunction as a badge of honor a sign to put it in Caulfieldian terms that we are discerning enough to see through all the crap Our celebration of overwrought disaffection reminds me of the last sentence of Joyce’s Araby “Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger” Here is the adolescent pose non pareil Eually self accusing and self aggrandizing it captures the adolescent at the precise moment when his own disillusionment becomes the object of his grandiose and self dramatizing vision That’s the kind of crap that Holden Caulfield and J D Salinger cannot see through And it is often the kind of crap that we “adults” like to slosh around in The Barney beating of several years ago is another symptom of our arrested adolescence our inability to ride the wave of disillusion into the relatively calm harbor of adulthood as though flailing around in the storm and raging at the wind were in themselves marks of distinction and a superior sensibility I remember a news story about a woman in a Barney costume being seriously injured when a rabid and probably drunken anti Barney fanatic attacked the big purple dinosaur at some public event Now I don’t know the age of the Barney beater but the act itself is a supremely adolescent one in which the impulsive response to disillusionment is to lash out at those symbols of childhood which made the biggest dupes of us At the dawn of adolescence when Barney begins to appear cloying and false it seems natural to want to beat up on him as though it was Barney himself who pulled one over on us instead of our own poignant and necessary misapprehension of the nature of things I could see Holden Caulfield beating up on Barney at least rhetorically and I could see Holden Caulfield missing Barney as he misses all the “phonies” at the end of the book but I cannot see Holden Caulfield accepting the postlapsarian Barney on new terms as a figure who is meant for children and not for him For all his touching poses about wanting to be the “catcher in the rye” what Holden really wants is not to save children but to be a child again

  8. says:

    In my hand I hold 5 I will give it to anyone who can explain the plot of this book or why there is no plot and make me understand why the hell people think it's so amazing

  9. says:

    Sometimes truth isn't just stranger than fiction it's also interesting and better plotted Salinger helped to pioneer a genre where fiction was deliberately less remarkable than reality His protagonist says little does little and thinks little and yet Salinger doesn't string Holden up as a satire of deluded self obsessives he is rather the epic archetype of the boring yet self important depressiveI've taken the subway and had prolonged conversations on the street with prostitutes not concerning business matters and I can attest that Salinger's depiction is often accurate to what it feels like to go through an average unremarkable day However reading about an average day is no interesting than living oneBeyond that Salinger doesn't have the imagination to paint people as strangely as they really are Chekhov's 'normal' little people seem real and alive than Salinger's because Chekhov injects a little oddness a little madness into each one Real people are almost never uite as boring as modernist depictions because everyone has at least some ability to surprise youSalinger's world is desaturated Emotions and moments seep into one another indistinct as the memories of a drunken party Little importance is granted to events or thoughts but simply pass by each duly tallied by an author in the role of court reporterWhat is interesting about this book is not that it is realistically bland but that it is artificially bland Yet as ridiculous a concept as that is it still takes itself entirely in earnest never acknowledging the humor of its own blase hyperboleThis allows the book to draw legions of fans from all of the ridiculously dull people who take themselves as seriously as Holden takes himself They read it not as a parody of bland egotism but a celebration poised to inspire all the bland egotists who have resulted from the New Egalitarianism in Art Poetry Music and AcademiaThose same folks who treat rationality and intellectual fervor like a fashion to be followed imagining that the only thing reuired to be brilliant is to mimic the appearance and mannerisms of the brilliant; as if black berets were the cause of poetic inspiration and not merely a symptomOne benefit of this is that one can generally sniff out pompous faux intellectuals by the sign that they hold up Holden as a sort of messianic figure Anyone who marks out Holden as a role model is either a deluded teen with an inflated sense of entitlement or is trying to relive the days when they wereBut what is interesting is that those who idolize Holden tend to be those who most misunderstand him Upon close inspection he's not depressive not consumed with ennui or an existential crisis he's actually suffering from 'Shell Shock' now known as 'Post Traumatic Stress Disorder'The way he thinks about his brother's and classmate's deaths going over the details again and again in his mind but with no emotional connection it's not symptomatic of depression but of psychological trauma He is stuck in a cycle unable to process events going over them again and again but never able to return to normalcyIt takes a certain kind of self centered prick to look at someone's inability to cope with the reality of death and think Hey that's just like my mild depression over how my parents won't buy me a newer ipod It's not an unusual stance in American literature there's an arrogant detachment in American thought which has become less and less pertinent as the world grows and changes As recently as The Road we have American authors comparing a difficult father son relationship to the pain and turmoil of an African civil war survivor and winning awards for displaying their insensitive arrogancePerhaps it's time we woke up and realized that the well fed despondence of the white man should not be euated with a lifetime of death starvation war and traumas both physical and emotional And as for Salinger a real sufferer of Post Traumatic Stress who was one of the first soldiers to see a concentration camp who described how you can never forget the smell of burning flesh I can only imagine how he felt when people read his story of a man crippled by the thought of death and thought to themselves Yes that's just what it's like to be a trustafarian with uncool parents No wonder he became a recluse and stopped publishing

  10. says:

    Well this was a pain to get throughFirst of all this is a shitty way to start a novel no matter how you want to introduce your main character If you really want to hear about it the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me and all that David Copperfield kind of crap but I don't feel like going into it if you want to know the truth That is easily one of the saddest most pathetic introductions to a book As I started this book I wondered if the introduction is like this how will the rest of the book be?This is what the rest of the book looked likeHe was also the nicest in lots of ways He never got mad at anybody People with red hair are supposed to get mad very easily but Allie never did and he had very red hair I'll tell you what kind of red hair he had I sort of used to go to Allie's baseball matchesIt was around ten thirty I guess when I finished it I can imagine Holden as this very insipid boring little kid with no life in him whatsoever Also Holden thinks everyone besides him is a phony and a moron And he makes it very clear because he mentions it like every two pages Literally every damn time I read some of the comments regarding how I didn't understand this book because I didn't relate to it That may be true Very very true Regardless I still think to this day that this book is a drag and has an unlikable main character and a dry boring writing style Perhaps I will read it again when I am older and maybe I'll enjoy it

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