Customer Reviews


497 Reviews
5 star:
 (273)
4 star:
 (80)
3 star:
 (34)
2 star:
 (35)
1 star:
 (75)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cynical Adolescent, or Innocent In A Cynical World?
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...
Published on 15 May 2006 by H. Pierce

versus
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I Missed the boat
I think I was too old when I first read this book. This is a book which should be read in one's late teens, preferably alongside the discovery of Sylvia Plath. It is one of the classic novels of disaffected youth, a young man, lost in his own life, wanders aimlessly making chance encounters which force him to look at his experiences and potentially make meaning out of...
Published on 26 May 2008 by Mrs. K. A. Wheatley


‹ Previous | 1 2 350 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best novel ever written?, 15 Dec 2006
By 
Andrew Page (Linslade, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Catcher in the Rye (Paperback)
Well, I don't know whether it is the best novel ever written, but it must definitely be up there.

This novel is about the original rebel without a cause, Holden Caulfield, and the period in his life when he decided to turn his back on society in disgust. From the opening lines, the first person narration sallies forth in what turns out to be almost 200 pages of rant at post-war society. The thoughts, memories and language of the novel are clearly those of an adolescent refusing to be "phoney" and speaking out in his own natural voice. However, his musings on the squalid state of New York society, on frustrated desires in modern life, and on the need for the individual to construct one's own morality amount to a satire worthy of a place on the shelf next to Swift or Pope.

Caulfield's voice is so distinct, coherent and consistent, that it really draws you in. Although the character is clearly adolescent, and his language throughout is crude and colloquial, this does not ultimately detract from the literariness of the novel. It is deceptively simple language, that makes for an easy, though thoughtful read. For example, his slang set phrases, such as "goddam" or "it killed me", become motifs, and are used in a variety of applications, emphasising the tonal richness of English and suggestive of the ineffable that lies beyond the compass of language. Listen not to what Caulfield says, but to what he in his immaturity is trying to say. The young still speak the language of God. His progression from failure and disillusionment, to his realisation of a moment of happiness in the simplest thing is one long epiphany.

Salinger's observations are perceptive and his expression is witty and humorous. It will make you laugh out loud, though the laughter is nervous, as you are never sure to what extent you are the object. So it is with all good comedy and satire: it will make you laugh at the ridiculousness of humanity, and will hopefully make you wish to reform your own "phoney" or "perverty" behaviour. It is about creating a space where you can make your own rules in a society where order is disintegrating.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic literature, 10 July 2006
By 
Redeye (England/Italy) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Catcher in the Rye (Paperback)
I've been promising myself to read this book for ages having noted references by other people and assumed there must be something special about it. I have just finished reading it and my assumption was correct. The adolescent Holden Caulfield reveals his thoughts and feelings, and I think we can all relate to these as he drifts into a nervous breakdown. His misadventures and mishaps are heart-wrenching as are his recollections of his late brother and his love for his younger sister. How times have changed from the post-war era that it's set in, he sets off on a suburban train into New York late at night and the mother of one his fellow students gets on alone! An absolute 'must' read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Catcher in the Rye, 23 Aug 2006
By 
A. Hill "Zinc" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Catcher in the Rye (Paperback)
The catcher in the rye follows a few days in the life of a cynical adolecsent who has just beem expelled from prep school. Feeling that his life is a failure he sets of to New york, where he experiments with drink and sex. As he begins to discover his emotions he is helped along by his younger sister to realise that his dream of running away and starting a new life is ridiculous and what he really needs is to grow up. And come home.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I Missed the boat, 26 May 2008
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Catcher in the Rye (Paperback)
I think I was too old when I first read this book. This is a book which should be read in one's late teens, preferably alongside the discovery of Sylvia Plath. It is one of the classic novels of disaffected youth, a young man, lost in his own life, wanders aimlessly making chance encounters which force him to look at his experiences and potentially make meaning out of what seems empty and vacant. It just really doesn't cut the mustard in your early thirties with three small kids.

I'm afraid that I had little time or sympathy for the protagonist and found the whole thing faintly boring. It is undoubtedly well written, and as I say, if I had discovered it at the age of seventeen it probably would have deeply affected me. I'm quite disappointed that I missed the boat on this one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Catcher is an anomaly, 17 Jun 2012
This review is from: The Catcher in the Rye (Paperback)
You can't really say it's a good or bad novel. It is what it is and stands out like a sore thumb in the history of literature. If nothing else, it is unique that's for sure.

It is most certainly a classic, but whether that's due to quality of story or other more unusual reasons is open to debate...

The novel is definitely not an easy read. It's character-driven, rather than plot focused. Not a great deal happens in terms of events, it's more about what happens within Holden's mind. Therefore, it's veering strongly toward a literary style...Problem is, the writing style is not really strong enough to be an all-out literary classic in my opinion. Then again, it is held up as a literary classic by many (perhaps most?) critics. So often readers come to this novel expecting so much, then soon end up being seriously disappointed - as is evidenced by the large amount of 1-star reviews here on Amazon. Many have commented they couldn't even finish it - few if any other literary classics receive this level of criticism. But this is of course offset by the amount of readers who view it as the greatest novel ever written.

So basically it divides readers. People either love or hate it. Personally, I love the first-person intimacy of it, but also hate the repetitiveness of the story. Reading Catcher is like being in a like a loop you can't get out of, but strangely there is a side of yourself that enjoys it! Weird. The book defies normal story logic in a way. It could be a 5-star or could just as easily be a 1-star book, I can't say for sure...therefore, out of confusion, I give it 3 stars.

It is strange in a way that this book is part of the curriculum and compulsory reading for high school students in most Western Hemisphere countries. That doesn't seem to add up given the highly rebellious and anti-social nature of the book, plus its dubious literary quality.

What adds complexity to the whole Catcher legend is that numerous serial killers, assassins have had a copy (or in some cases numerous copies) of this book on them when killing...while other murderers have been found to have multiple copies in their homes, many with notes scribbled on every single page...the most famous examples: Copies of Catcher were found on the men behind the assassination and attempted assassination of John Lennon and Ronald Reagan respectively...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Culture, Alienation, Boredom & Despair, 22 Dec 2011
By 
Stappo (Ipswich UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Catcher in the Rye (Paperback)
The problem with a book such as The Catcher in the Rye is that it will always polarise opinion. Those who love it will be evangelical about it, those who hate it won't be able to understand the fuss. Personally I really enjoyed reading it but I have put my own interpretation on it which may or may not be correct (however, if I enjoyed it, I guess that's the important part).

Holden Caulfield shares my despair at the state of the 'phony' people & world around him. At the time of the novel's setting, he expresses his opinion at what really grates on him. He is at a crossroads in his life and struggles to find inspiration & motivation in his school, the people he knows and New York but he does take comfort in his love of literature and the innocence of his young sister.

In answering the criticism that nothing really happens, in my opinion, that is pretty secondary. The objective is to portray the feelings of someone who can't find comfort in an environment he considers to be ultimately shallow and unreal.

I can certainly relate to those feelings today and although the situations described are certainly of their time, the isolation Caulfield feels translates to anyone who feels that the world today is 'phony'.

Just my opinion, try it you may enjoy it. If you don't then it's only just over 200 pages & won't take you long.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Exploration Of Teenage Life, 3 July 2007
By 
C. Zanre "Eddie Zanre" (Dundee, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Catcher in the Rye (Paperback)
This book has had very harsh comments and things said about it that might not want you to read this book. Let me tell you i read this book in a day because it was that good. The novel covers a few important days in the life of the protagonist Holden Morrissey Caulfield, a tall, lanky, highly critical and depressed sixteen-year-old who academically flunked out of Pencey Prep boarding school. Because he is so critical of others, and points out their faults only to exhibit them himself later, Holden is widely considered to be an unreliable narrator, and the details and events of his story are apt to be distorted by his point of view. His penchant for wild exaggeration only serves to exacerbate this. Nonetheless, it is his story to tell. Hope This Helped.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Time Piece, 24 Jun 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Catcher in the Rye (Paperback)
Gwen Sellers, an avid reader,
An Excellent Time Piece is what I would call Catcher In The Rye. A book that should forever flow through the ebbs of libraries and be a wonderful book for the teenagers report. Not only did I enjoy this wonderfully written piece of work, but will read it again and hope that one day my children will too.
Also recommended: Of Mice And Men, Dry,Secret Life Of Bees,Finding Fish,Nightmares Echo
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply the greatest book of all time, 6 Oct 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Catcher in the Rye (Paperback)
Cather in the Rye is a book so often misunderstood: it is not an attempt to achieve literary perfection or construct sentences woven with more polysyllabic words than a Tory MP's speech. Rather it is a subtle and deft insight into the human mind, and Holden Caulfield, a character so brutal yet so tender that we are able to identify with him.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holden Caulfield - the perfect encapsulation of growing up., 7 Dec 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Catcher in the Rye (Paperback)
I am a 16 year old female. I feel like this book was written by me - that Holden is a male version of myself. Although my slang isn't quite as sharp on the ear, and I don't use the word 'phony' and 'yellow' too much, Holden goes through just about everything I've went through. Loneliness, confusion, hypocrisy, uncertainty, isolation and introspection. Yet this book is a necessity for everybody; it'll help you understand the teenage mind. I especially think all parents should read this; I gave my father a copy of the Catcher in the Rye for Christmas after we had a huge fall out. I told him that I'd hoped he could see me as a Holden character and that it would help him know what I'm going through. Needless to say, he was thrilled to know the underlying reason for my bitterness and harshness.
Anyhow, enough about me; the book is brilliant. It's easy to read, it keeps you turning the page and it is about nothing and everything at the same time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 350 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Catcher in the Rye
The Catcher in the Rye by J. Salinger (Paperback - 4 Mar 2010)
6.29
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews