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The Catcher in the Rye

by J.D. Salinger

Review of The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

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       Here we have one of the most popular books of all time.  It has been hailed as a brilliant portrayal of youth, rebellion, and growing up.  It is about a young prep-school student who is expelled...again.  Instead of going home and facing the music, he decides to spend a few days in New York.  The book is supposed to be about his downward spiral.  I, however, saw no downward spiral.  I saw no real portrayal of youth, rebillion, or growing up.  To me, it was a completely pointless story about a kid doing random stuff in New York.  There seemed to be no allegorical or philosophical significance to anything that happened.  Overall, the Catcher in the Rye is a mundate, repetitive, and disjointed novel.  I do not understand why so many people seem to find it life changing.  What a bore.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by Count Orad

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       This book does not belong on this list.  If you have not read it, don't bother.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by Scott

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       I read this novel every 10 years and get something different out of it each time.  At 16, it was hilarious.  At 26, I thought Holden was nuts. In my mid-thirties, I just thought he was a supremely lonely being.  10 years later, he's nuts again, but not too much nuttier than a lot of people I know.

       Amazing book.  Amazing insight.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by Sherlock

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       Maybe it's just because I read it when I was 17, but "The Cather In The Rye" is the greatest novel ever written.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by Vedat

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       Although there are said to be many underlying themes to this novel, In my opinion this novel is only stimulating for a certain type of person; a person  who has a cynical outlook on the world and on society. There are many things about a society that are "phony". That's why every society is different. People conform to different idea or social niceties, values and morals ect. This peeves a lot of people. For those who have that mindset and let it run them into depression, or isolation (Like Holden's utopia in the cabin by himself), it shows you that It's a common thought among many adolescents and something you need to over come. You cant let the retched or phony things about society drive you to push yourself away from society or rebel it, but rather except it.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by Will

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       I feel kind of sorry for Mr. Salinger with all the public reception this book has gotten. There's no wonder he didn't publish anything else. Anyway, it seems like the people who love this book are those who think it's supposed to be highly symbolic and that everything Holden does is a representation of confusion or distrust. The people who hate it and think it's overrated just can't stand the protagonist's ungratitude and hypocrasy. Though that may be true to a certain extent, I would like to add this: Holden Caulfield also talked a great deal about how much he loathed his own self along with the "phonies."

       One theme I found in the book no one else seems to see is a major reason why I like it.  Throughout the entire story, Holden expressed his liking to simpleness and a life where pleasure can be enjoyed without the distractions of complex society. Well, at least that's how I interpretted it. This is why he loved his little sister so much; this is why he wanted to move away and live a simple, self-sustaining life; this is why he wanted to become the catcher in the rye - "I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be."

       Of course I realize that, just as anyone else doesn't know exactly what J.D. Salinger meant by this book (even the common perception), neither do I. I do like the book, and I guess I should note too that I am indeed a 15 year old to whom a novel like this would appeal, but I don't like it for the same reasons most others my age do. No, I don't identify with Holden and his opinions all too much, and no, I don't see society as being comprised entirely of superficial "phonies" who submit themselves to everything.

       With its seminal prose and its narrative of the stark reality of adulthood, I don't think The Catcher in the Rye is overrated. I simply think it's praised for all the wrong reasons.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by The Masticater

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       When i read this book i was thriteen years old ( which i am now) but i did not excatly love the book nor hate it. I could relate to the character in many different ways, for an example holden is only passing English. So am i. Anyways I thought the book was overall terrific not too good yet not to bad. It's one of those books you wonder why it's a classic but still enjoy every minute of it.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by meee!

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       I had heard so much about this book that I finally decided to read it.  It was worth reading although shorter than I thought it would be.  The books popularity is somewhat curious to me as I didn't see what all the hub-bub was about.  It was however brilliantly written.  Salinger gives you a detailed account of how someone like Holden Caulfield thinks. 

       Overall I'd say this book does not belong in the top 100.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by Tommy Harkins

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       This book sucked. I grew up poor and hate when I see or hear about a spoiled kid and how he hates the world when everything is handed to him. Ok, got that out of the way.

       I read this book and thought it was ho-hum. Nothing really to it. I don't see how this book should be banned other than the language content. Big deal. Holden is depressing, and wants you to believe he's had it bad. Everyone is phony except him. I want to tell him, "THEN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT" or don't talk to them if you feel like that. Your scared and that's it, you talk a good game but can't be true to yourself.

       Didn't like the book. I would have given the prostitute a THROW, hell you paid for it, do it.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by Ken C.

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       I was driven to read this book after receiving some very impressive reports about its narration style etc.But very soon it feels jaded.
I would not have had a problem with the central charecter, holden being so disapproving of people around him, had he been even close to perfect which is not the case at all.On the contrary, while he is brimming with imperfections, he feels free to be picky. This irony and holden's misplaced sense of self rightousness stares you in the face all the way and is a major turn off.

       laid back and casual narration style alone should hardly be somebodys ticket to glory.

       If you havent read this book, you havent missed anything.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by M G

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       It's a whatever book. might get something out of it..or you might put the book down when you finish and say.."Okay, what did I get out of this?" If you don't want to waste your time, don't read it.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by smileysweetie

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       This is a great book for people who've got a clear mindset and are determined to follow it.Otherwise you'd end up thinking like Holden.But I guess that's just me.I must agree the plot was a little dull.BUT the fascinating thing was his views and thoughts towards things.They were all very true and honest,very raw.Salinger did it well.I'd truly recommend this one.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by Noodle

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       I have a feeling i'm one of the few people who don't completely hate or love this book.  There are parts about it that I do love, like the continual theme of non-conformity, but there are plenty of other parts that I can't stand, such as the writing style.  I don't see how the writing style can truly be considered 'classic', but rather just obscure and very different.  And for me, this type of writing style shouldn't make a book have a top 5 standing, especially when its written with words that repeat and are for the most part very dull and nondescript.  And as for the theme of innocence in Catcher in the Rye, even though this theme is one to read about and to ponder, the way Sallinger does it I think cheapens the experience by making Holden care about innocence so much, but yet being hypocritical in that he can't even save himself from losing innocence.  Not to mention Holden sees the world in completely black and white, so the decision in life is either to preserve all innocence and to never grow up, or to lose it all and grow up and completely embrace the corrupt adult world.  But for Holden, and Sallinger it seems, there is no compromise as to what parts of your life you should have innocence in.  Another part I can't stand is the portrayal that all teenagers contain an enormous amount of angst in their life towards almost everyone.  Not only is this not true, but also it gives the false impression that feeling angst is okay and acceptable, since its a 'teenager thing'.

       At least one positive I see in the book is the theme of non-conformity.  Although the theme of innocence I don't think is portrayed to its fullest value it could have been, the theme of non-conformity I think is probably the best I've seen anywhere other than maybe the movie Cool Hand Luke, which obviously is irrelevant since thats a film, not a movie.  Holden's continued defiance of the norm of society is encouraging since it shows that we don't always have to become what society wants us to be, just because that's how society is.

       Overall I would recommend this book simply to spark discussion, but I really don't like the book as a whole, simply because Holden only changes what he wants to happen in his life, not what his actions are, showing that just thinking about something is what counts.  And it isn't.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by Josh

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       This book is overrated. The only impression I was left with after having finished The Catcher in the Rye was that the protagonist, essentially, dislikes most things and most people. Call this characterisation if you like but it still just reads like a drawn-out diatribe. Tedious.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by Jones

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       Best book I have ever read,its incredible how appealing a novel this is.Holden is so easy to relate to and has a side all of us can identify to.His free mind is a thing to admire,hes tells it as he sees it and hes nit impressed by the adult "phony" world he sees.The book deals with holden prosponing his inevitable transformation into adulthood a must read for any teenager or anyone who enjoys a good read. 10/10.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by Kevin

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      Yikes! I somehow missed Catcher in the Rye while growing up in the 70s, so in honor of Salinger's passing, I sought out a copy and read it, shaking my head the entire time. If this is great literature....yikes! And triple yikes! (Often times, I get the impression that because someone once said something was great, everyone else has to jump on the bandwagon or risk being throught of as a fool) The narrative style might have been innovative in its day, and the language somewhat shocking for the post - WWII generation, but I found it bland and lifeless. Nothing much of note happens. There's a lot of immature introspection and such, but it is mostly fluff and hardly novel-worthy. YA fans should stick with Robert Cormier, or for those of a more contemporary stripe, try Graham McNamee. Now, that guy can write, and has a narrative style that beats Salinger all to hell.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by Fallon

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      When I was 16 I heard alot of contraversy over this book. Some people recommending it as a must read, while others discouraged the book due to its contents and also due to the main character Holden Caulfield. So, when I came across the book in a second hand bookshop I had to read it as to gather my own opinion on it. I must admit that it is one of my favourite novels, and it is clear to me why it appears in the top 10 best novels catagorey. 

       Although it may be depressing in stages, it is still very entertaining. Holden Caulfield is such a train wreck in parts that he instantly cheers me up. I find it easy to relate to him, and I have always wanted to leave school and see the wonders of the world just like Holden.

       After I read the book I found myself wishing I could somehow ring up J.D Salinger to discuss the book and the character Holden Caulfied and how I can identify to his character. Overall I would highly recommend this book. One of my favourites. :-)

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by Natalie AC

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        Catcher in the rye is the greatest book i have ever read. i read five times already and i will read it again. i love Holden Caulfield his the best main character ever.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by lamarana

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        I read this a few years ago after realising that it had the reputation of being a vital one to read. So, as I read through it, I wondered when something interesting was going to happen. I went on anyway. It's not too long a book but when I got to the end, I thought the most interesting thing about this book is that I've finished it and can read something that actually has a story. Probably the worst book I have ever read.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by Elliot

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        This book is so great because you don't love the main character but you don't hate him either. It's very neutural and matter of fact. But I do beleive that readers will enjoy it because there are certain points that you might have in common with holden. Also if you analyze the book it helps you to enjoy it more (in my  humble opinion.)

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by Whitney

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       I echo several of the other reviews I have read on this site. I read this book twenty years ago and found it to be an entertaining read, but it has not stayed with me at all. I can only think that the notoriety associated with the shooting of Ronald Reagan plays a part in its ranking.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by Jeff

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          I read a review on this site saying that they did not understand how this book became so popular. He called Holden Caulfield, the main character of this book, a coward, as opposed to the radical hero most people percieve him as?

       But ironically John B has actually proved how clever the book is. Holden is not a one-sided character. People percieve him differently when they read the book. On one hand he is a radical fighter, against consumerism and phoniness. On the other hand, he is an immature childish cynical idiot who thinks he is worthy enough of preaching his narrow-minded ideas to others. The point is, 'The Catcher in the Rye' is a bildungsroman, no matter how hard it tries not to be. Throughout the book, Holden matures and grows up, and watching his sister on the carousel changes him from a Catcher in the Rye to a man who lets the children free, regardless of the risk.

       It is amongst the top 100 books, for very good reasons. No one can accuse it of not being clever. The name itself, Holden Caulfield, symbolises a boy holding onto his caul (the protective membrane some children are born with), therefore refusing to let go of his childhood.

       So, in my opinion, this book is modern classic that everyone should read, no matter how many schools try to ban it, because in a sense, they are being as narrow-minded and phony as the people Caulfield hates

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by Mark Geranium

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         This was a mildly enjoyable read, but hardly noteworthy. I have to say I'm baffled by the high ranking it has been awarded on this site. I can only assume that the underlying theme of the book - that children are born honest and guileless and only grow up to be disingenuous - has struck a chord with a surprising number of people. I don't understand the popularity, but I'm obliged to respect it! Would I recommend it? No.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by Paul B. 

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        Although a good book, I'm amazed that Catcher in the Rye often appears in the top ten of many top 100 novel lists. I applaud the novel for having arguably the best 1st person narrative style ever written and for providing an extremely well developed personality. It's hard not to think of Holden C. as someone I know, rather than a character in a book.

  Although a good book, I do not consider Cather in the Rye a great book. To rank as a great novel, I believe it should have at least one socially redeeming factor such as a hero or a message that transcends the story towards a pertinence or a truth. It is on this point I believe that I differ from those that love this book and those that describe the novel as a coming of age story.

  I do not accept Holden as a hero. Some may see him as standing for what he believes, in the face of authority. But even by his own admission Holden is a coward. His actions supports this. He doesn't fight back against the co-ed who strikes him and he lacks the courage to face his parents and tell them that he has flunked out of school. Holden is from at least a middle class family if not an upper middle class family. The success of a comfortable and secure life is laid out for him. All he has to do is go to school, graduate from college, and secure a professional career. Is this so bad? We live in a country where many do not have the opportunity for college or an upper middle class life style. Is Holden really a hero for throwing this away?

  And is Holden truely making a stand or is he merely immature, stubborn, and cowardly in wilting before his responsibilities as he wilts in the face of other challenges as well? I vote for the latter. I would side with Holden if he was choosing his path vs. a path laid out by his parents or by society. What Holden does is fail by default from having no direction, no dream, no path --- other than escaping from accountability.

  Critics often rave that Catcher is a coming of age story. For me, coming of age means growing up, as in maturing or becoming wise in the ways of the world. Holden is immature and unwise when we meet him in the beginning of the story and he is still immature and unwise when we bid him a fond adieu at the end.

  In an earlier review someone wrote that it was a shame that Catcher could not be found in a school library. I'm adamantly opposed to banning books. But, I wouldn't go as far as claiming that not having Catcher in a school library is a shame. Standing for what we believe has merit. Aimlessly floating through life as a perpetual victim does not.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by Ron B.


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        This is what I would call a well thought out book. It is interesting and very truthful. Holden Caulfield is one of the better characters I've read about. He just seems totally incapable of any form of unhappiness. The other characters in the book are all unique in their own way whether it's their level of phoniness or coolness. There are alot of good scenes throughout the novel like the one on the train where he lies to a class mates mother about having a brain tumor and the weird scene at the end of the novel with his favorite teacher Mr Andolini. My favorite though has to be the scene where he picks up a hooker just to talk to her.

       I truly did enjoy this book. It was quick and easy to read and it said alot about being young and uncertain. Holden Caulfield kinda reminded me of a G-rated version of Alex Portnoy in Portnoy's Complaint--I'm not exactly sure why but he does. I would give this book a 9 out 10.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by Frank Manner

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       Brightly entertaining. Through the book, i have managed to visualize the other side of gansters and bad boys in the public sphere, knowing that despite the notorious looks and explosion of teenage angst, they still posses the weak hearts of children who looks for love.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by Nortrine seth vecylik

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         I was lucky enough to attend a highschool that seemed to have no controversy over the books in the library, although it also seemed that I was one of the very few people who ever read any of the books there. One day I was bored in my English class, one of the only classes I passed that year, and I found a copy of the Catcher in the Rye on my English teacher's shelf. i started reading, and before the class was over I knew that I just had to read the entire book. I loved it so much that I read the entire thing in two days of school time. It was amazing. It captured feelings that I thought could never be put into words. Quite depressing, but highly recommended. It will forever be included in my favorite book list.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by Skylor Wold

100 Greatest books of all time the catcher in the rye

       The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is the short narrative of a 16 year old boy who failed out of prep school. The novel follows Holden Caulfield through the three days between when he failed out of Pencey Prep School and Christmas. The book is an extremely easy read and can be read from cover to cover in one sitting.

       The narrator, Holden Caulfield, fails out of prep school and decides to go back to NYC a few days early and not tell his parents. His plan is to just bum around New York for a few days and stay in a hotel. That’s exactly what he does. As the story progresses the reader gets to know Holden on a very personal level and you will begin to realize the struggles that he is going through. 

       The Catcher in the Rye, and more so Holden Caulfield himself, has become the anthem for misunderstood youth in America. The book has a cult like following for a good reason. It’s a look inside the mind of a teen age boy who isn’t ready to grow up and join the adult world that he just doesn’t agree with. 

        Unfortunately The Catcher in the Rye has been banned by many school districts in America due to its very frank language and sexual references. Due to this, many teens are missing out on this phenomenal piece of literature. The good news is that you can read it right now(just not at school). I recommend that you do.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by Viktar Yett

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       I'm not a native english speaker, but i have read this book when i was in high school 3 years ago. The book was awesome. Used simple words, so i could understand everything yet the content was unbelievable.

       Now im in college and i read the book again. it amazed me once again. Holden Caulfield, the main character is such a special person and he describes everything so clear and true. like the times he talkes about the behaviuors of men and women, especially in relationships. Moreover, the parts he talks about Romeo and Juliet, and many other novels, and movies. it just knocks me out. its so fun to read and you never, never gets bored. its so awesome. it really worth reading and spending money on.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by booklover

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       I had read this book just recently and finished this book in about 7-8 hours straight non was a fun ride let me tell you,the thing that is different in this book is the narration style which is excellent.the story is the short narrative of a 16 year old boy who failed out of prep school. The novel follows Holden Caulfield through the three days between when he failed out of Pencey Prep School and Christmas.i would rate it as the best after 1984 i.e.,

       Anyway i would say it is a must read for all especially high school students.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by ajay

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       I'm 15 and I read this book a few months ago. When I finished the first chapter, I kinda of fell in love with the narrative style of the author, I understood every single intention he tried to communicate, it's awesome, deep and drepressing, but not the crying out loud depressing, it`s just too evocative and its language can only cautivate your mind, a must read for everyone who would like to analyze the world in which we live.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by Riley

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       It was required of me to read this novel over the summer. Unforunatley, I read it directly after One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, a phenominal book be Ken Kesey. Catcher is, quite possibly, one of the worst books I have ever/will ever read. The rhetorical style is annoying in it's simplicity and Holden's repetition of a few key phrases almost made me put the book down and walk away. There is little plot and Holden is too cowardly to fall in love with as a character. That being said, the overall theme of the novel is what kept me reading, though it can be ascertained halfway through the novel. I do think this novel is worth reading, though I do not recommend it highly if you are a fan of novels written in a poetic prose, such as Dickens or Orwell.

      If you've read The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger please feel free to add your own review. Any contributions are welcome.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger was reviewed by E.C.


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