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The Catcher in the Rye [Paperback]

J. D. Salinger
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (511 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Aug 1994

The Catcher in the Rye is J . D. Salinger's world-famous novel of disaffected youth.

Holden Caulfield is a seventeen- year-old dropout who has just been kicked out of his fourth school. Navigating his way through the challenges of growing up, Holden dissects the 'phony' aspects of society, and the 'phonies' themselves: the headmaster whose affability depends on the wealth of the parents, his roommate who scores with girls using sickly-sweet affection.

Written with the clarity of a boy leaving childhood behind, The Catcher in the Rye explores the world with disarming frankness and a warm, affecting charisma which has made this novel a universally loved classic of twentieth-century literature.

J. D. Salinger was born in 1919 and died in January 2010. He grew up in New York City, and wrote short stories from an early age, but his breakthrough came in 1948 with the publication in The New Yorker of 'A Perfect Day for Bananafish'. The Catcher in the Rye was his first and only novel, published in 1951. It remains one of the most translated, taught and reprinted texts, and has sold some 65 million copies. His other works include the novellas Franny and Zooey, For Esme with Love and Squalor, and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters, published with Seymour - An Introduction.



Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (4 Aug 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014023750X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140237504
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 12.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (511 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J D Salinger was born in 1919. He grew up in New York City, and wrote short stories from an early age, but his breakthrough came in 1948 with the publication in The New Yorker of 'A Perfect Day for Bananafish'. The Catcher in the Rye was his first and only novel, published in 1951. It remains one of the most translated, taught and reprinted texts, and has sold some 65 million copies. It was followed by three other books of short stories and novellas, the most recent of which was published in 1963. He lives in Cornish, New Hampshire.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Since his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with "cynical adolescent". Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his 16-year-old life, just after he's been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists. It begins:
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. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two haemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them.
His constant wry observations about what he encounters, from teachers to phonies (the two of course are not mutually exclusive), capture the essence of the eternal teenage experience of alienation. --Amazon.com

About the Author

J D Salinger was born in 1919. He grew up in New York City, and wrote short stories from an early age, but his breakthrough came in 1948 with the publication in The New Yorker of 'A Perfect Day for Bananafish'. The Catcher in the Rye was his first and only novel, published in 1951. It remains one of the most translated, taught and reprinted texts, and has sold some 65 million copies. It was followed by three other books of short stories and novellas, the most recent of which was published in 1963. He lives in Cornish, New Hampshire.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
By H. Pierce VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This book has been challenged and banned in many places since its publication. It is amusing to think that, nowadays, as if it were given an age rating it would probably only get a PG, or a 12.

Critics have described Holden as a cynical teenager, but maybe we should reconsider that thought and turn it back on itself? Holden is an innocent, he can barely cope with the cynical world at all. He is so innocent and alone that he tries to get a prostitute to just chat and keep him company.

He has been through some awful things, and he is desperately lonely. Nobody seems to notice he is falling apart, he is adrift in an uncaring world.

The book is somewhat dated, but it is still something that teenagers could get a lot from. In fact, anybody who feels they can relate even a little to the protagonist should pick it up too.

The lack of accountability by his teachers about his disappearance really do mark this as reaching out from an earlier era, as do things like the causal racial references. So why has a book which in many respects is outdated stayed as one of the major books set in English classes across the world? It must surely be the strength of emotion and the poignancy that shines through; Holden is still a character that can be identified with, even by todays adolescents. He is an exquistitely rendered character, and through his story you can learn a lot about yourself as well.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern classic 13 Mar 2007
By J.E.T
Format:Paperback
I chose to read this book as I had heard about it in the past but never actually knew what it was about, so when I saw it in the bookshop one day I decided to give it a go. I must say that I found it fantastic.

I can see why this is billed as one of the modern classics, as it is a timeless tale that will continue to have an impact for many years to come. It maps out that journey from childhood to adolesence, a confusing and troubling time, in a very realistic way. Although it could be said that there is no main plot to it I think the way that it has been written to just follow 3 ordinary days has so much more impact than if any major life events had occured to the main character during the novel. Indeed, it captures the essence of this time of life and everything that comes with it.

I really enjoyed the narrative style as the use of the first person meant it seemed as if Holden was a real person whose life I was watching. It meant it was really easy to relate to him and that we got a real sense of his personality. It was truly an insight into a slightly disturbed but ultimately very interesting character.

I would recommend this novel to anyone as it is a refreshingingly different type of novel to many of the others that are out there today. It is thought provoking and is something that will remain with you once you have finished it. You will be both amused and saddened by Holden's opinions and altogether very negative views of the world which seem much older than his years. He is a teenager trying to be a successful adult in a world he just can't seem to relate to, which makes the plot very interesting. Ultimately it will make you challenge your own thoughts and ideas and so will have an impact on you.
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113 of 120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic - it caught my eye!! 9 Jan 2006
By Al
Format:Paperback
Given this as a present from a friend, I felt obliged to read this alleged 'classic'. Initially, I felt burdened to read what the popular consensus deemed as a book to be remembered in the ages to come.
The first few pages eased me in, with little event to give an impression of what the book would be like as a whole. But, with every paged turned, the book became so engrossing which lead to that 'don't want to eat, drink or sleep until I have finished this book' feeling.
The book is short and thrives in its simplistic thought patterns of the narrator. Simplistic but actually with deep feeling and meaning. The book is simply fascinating, following the decisions and thoughts of a boy seeking fulfilment in his life away from school, having been expelled from school.
J D Salinger style of writing is natural and fluid with great communication of a boy struggling with his insecurities, enjoying his objects of happiness and feeling around for a grasp of his own personality. It is a natural and, to a certain extent, slow moving and limited in spectacular and dramatic events. But, don't let this put you off, it is part of the purposeful magic that J D Salinger spills into this fantatic book.
I can only recommend this book and praise it for what it is. Get reading it, even if its people telling you its good - because it is!
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it or hate it, you should still read it 22 Jan 2008
Format:Paperback
This is, without doubt, easily my favourite book of all-time, and yet I cannot generally fathom why. It's just my perfect book, in every concievable way, from style to form and characterisation, and absolutely nothing anyone could say against it would ever make me think otherwise.

I can't say exactly in plain and reasonably simple words what makes this novel so fantastic, for I feel that it is really a personal experience for each reader, to make an emotional connection with it. All I can say is that I feel that I connected with Holden, and that is it. I firmly believe that those who dislike (or hate) this novel are simply missing the entire point of it. You have to have experienced emotions similar to what Holden is going through to get a full grasp of this novel, and for those who find Holden moronic and egotistical, this is impossible to do as they cannot empathize through him.

This is the only book that has often made me laugh and cry, often both at the same time. It has no other political or social meaning, and is viable for every generation. I hope they never make a film of it, because, as J.D. Salinger put it: "it wouldn't be what Holden wanted".

Overall then, it seems that "The Catcher in the Rye" is truely a book of literary Marmite: you either love it or hate it. But whatever your view, you should still read it, simply because of the widely varied opinions of the novel.
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