The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

It’s a 50’s classic. But is it worth perusing?

When I purchased this book, I was aware of its cynical, sometimes melancholy tone. I was not aware, however, of the language used in all 288 pages of the version I now, regretfully, own.

This book is on banned book lists for a reason, folks. Salinger uses several choice curse words liberally on nearly every page, turning me immediately off of what might have been an interesting read.

That said, however, I can speak for the thirty pages I grudgingly got through. The main character, Holden, was immediately endearing to me, despite his sour tone and dour outlook on life…or maybe, that was what made him endearing.  My first reaction was one of humor; how can a human being possibly be this down? I think we’ve all come to low points in our lives, when we think like Holden seems to about every aspect of his life. But his sourness soon got to me. I found myself skipping pages, not just to avoid those curse words, but because I was genuinely bored out of my mind. This kid is wasting his life! I thought. Why should I waste mine with this book?

Salinger’s style, however, does make you want to read. As I turned quickly to the end, whatever page I randomly fell upon made me want to see what was happening. Skipping on ahead, unwilling to spend any more time in Holden’s depressing world, I read the last page, hoping for some hope in the last few sentences. Unfortunately, I could find none. Holden doesn’t seem to grow as a person whatsoever…then again, the book only accounts for a few days in his life.

So hate  or love the story, the Catcher in the Rye definitely turned me off with its incessant profanity. Other than that, I might have been compelled to see Holden’s more human side through interactions with Phoebe, and whatever misadventures he might have gotten into. But now I’ll never know. Will you?

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This entry was published on April 30, 2011 at 3:29 am and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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