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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wry take on "Catcher"
I feared this book might be one of those sequels-by-another-author which so often don't work. Happily, it's nothing of the kind. Instead, it is the story, set in 2001, of Daniel, a teenager recently diagnosed with leukemia who uses Catcher in the Rye as a lodestone - "what would Holden do?" I suppose you could read Catcher, Caught without having previously read...
Published on 18 Aug 2011 by Bob Sherunkle

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting plot idea
A really interesting plot following the day to day ups and downs of a young man with cancer and the way it impacts on his life
Published 19 months ago by Jean Smith


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wry take on "Catcher", 18 Aug 2011
By 
Bob Sherunkle (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Catcher, Caught (Paperback)
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I feared this book might be one of those sequels-by-another-author which so often don't work. Happily, it's nothing of the kind. Instead, it is the story, set in 2001, of Daniel, a teenager recently diagnosed with leukemia who uses Catcher in the Rye as a lodestone - "what would Holden do?" I suppose you could read Catcher, Caught without having previously read Salinger's classic story of a rebel without a cause, but it certainly has more meaning if you know the Salinger novel. (If you haven't read Catcher in the Rye, read it - now.)

I read the original Catcher as a teenager in the 1960s, and its achievement in showing the world through the eyes of a mixed-up, fairly modern, teenager had an immense impact on me. Up to then few novels had been written with this focus, certainly very few great novels (Huckleberry Finn is the only one I can think of). Fifty years after the publication of Catcher, the thoughts and experiences of Holden Caulfield help Daniel to make some sense of his nightmare situation. (The trauma Honegger has herself experienced as a cancer sufferer is probably a major reason why she is able to give such an evocative picture of how Daniel feels to have "the Disease", including his grim sense of humour about it.)

Much of the dramatic tension is generated by the outlook of Daniel's parents. As ageing hippies, they are in some ways far more prescriptive than more conventional people. In particular, Daniel's mother steadfastly refuses for him to have chemotherapy, as an unnatural solution, preferring the remedies of "natural medicine".

Although I enjoyed reading this novel, I remain ambivalent about it. Honenberger admits in her Acknowledgments that "writing a teenage boy's story was risky, even after three teenagers of my own". As with, for example, Murdoch's A Word Child or P D James' Children of Men, I was left with doubt as to how convincingly an author can achieve first person narration by a character of the opposite sex. I also felt that some of Daniel's language is more flowery and complex than you would expect from a fifteen year-old who is bright but, on his own admission, not particularly literary.

Overall, Catcher fairly well Caught, but please check out Salinger himself.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazon Encore does it again!, 10 Sep 2011
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This review is from: Catcher, Caught (Paperback)
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I'd love to meet the team behind the choices for Amazon Encore and shake them warmly by the hand. I've read three in this series, which is chosen by the Amazon team as 'unsung beauties' basically. They may not have had the publicity when first published that they so richly deserve, but my goodness, the writing quality is outstanding.

This is an incredibly dense book, that is full of well researched and obviously cherished references to the original book. Whilst 'The Catcher in the Rye' is a real American classic, I must admit that I have little fondness for it. We're reading it for our book group choice this month, and I have realised I like it no more now than I did at school. However, this work by Honenberger gave me a lot more understanding of some of the themes of the original, and also made me think a lot more about Holden's motivations and decisions. I had more affection for it after reading this book, and I even wanted to re-read it, despite only recently finishing it!

Whilst it is dense, at no point does this book feel hard going or self-important in the way some literary offerings do. It is a rich adventure that grabs you by the hand and invites you into a young boy's journey through illness and the mudane. I loved the line near the start that explained how he felt he was 'boring before he got leukaemia'. People wanted to talk about him, but not to him. It is an insightful and uncomfortable exploration of how an acute illness turns your life upside down, and social rules abadon him.

I cannot recommend this highly enough. Whilst originally written to awaken a new generation of teenagers to the delights of Holden's exploits in the original novel, this is a truly inspired book that deserves a wide audience. And if you're struggling for new things to read off the beaten track of popular chart fiction, you could do far worse than to search for Amazon Encore.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A moving and engrossing tale, 20 Oct 2011
This review is from: Catcher, Caught (Paperback)
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I'm one of that small group of infidels who hasn't actually read Catcher In The Rye, so I've no doubt missed out on a lot of nuances in Catcher, Caught that other readers may have been able to appreciate.

However, I still found Catcher, Caught an entertaining and moving book in its own right. It is written in the voice of 15-year-old leukaemia sufferer Daniel, complete with grammatical errors and rather odd phrasing at times, but that doesn't make it clunky or awkward to read. In fact, it's very easy to read, one of those books that grabs you straight away. What surprised me was that the characters were all rather flat initially, certainly not jumping off the page. You'd expect to get quite a strong insight into the perpetrator when the book is written from his perspective, and might also hope to get a good feeling for the other characters since they're being described to you by someone who knows and understands them rather than by that impartial third person. But I found myself quite detached from all of the secondary characters in the book and was even finding it hard to fathom Daniel's own motives at times. Perhaps being acquainted with Holden from Catcher In The Rye would have helped in this respect!

Daniels' parents, especially, I did not only feel detached from but positively disliked. I'm not sure whether this was Honenburger's intention. I may be wrong, but I suspect she wanted us to feel both frustration and sympathy towards his parents. I found it extremely difficult to feel any sympathy towards them at all, despite their dire situation. They not only consistently ignore Daniel's opinions on his treatment but actually hide their own plans from him. His mother is an unyielding fantasist who would rather treat Daniel with lavender than chemotherapy, and his father is too weak to stand up to her balmy ideas. Daniel accepts all this with remarkably placidity and mainly just goes along with everything until the very end of the book when he takes matters into his own hands. Even then he seems to feel very little resentment towards his parents for denying him the one thing that may possibly save his life. It may be that he has little opinion on his treatments as he doesn't believe there is any hope for him - certainly from the very beginning of the book he is quite open with the assertion that the leukaemia will kill him.

Despite wishing that someone would slap his parents and that Daniel would be a bit more forthright, I still found this a very moving book, particularly as the story progressed and I got to know Daniel a little better. The romance between Daniel and Meredith was very touching and bittersweet and it made me want Daniel to recover all the more strongly. When I finished the book I was left with an odd sort of ache in my chest which stayed with me for some time.

To me this book reads like fiction for young adults and I think on the whole it will appeal mostly to teenagers. It may be an emotional and readable book, but it is certainly not another modern classic. J. D. Salinger and William Golding are safe for now. I would also say that it is sometimes evident that this is a middle-aged woman and not a 15-year-old boy speaking. Honenburger tries a bit too hard at times to be that teenager, and it does show. Obviously a convincing character shouldn't be seen to be working hard to be that character! This is still a book that I would recommend, and one that will probably stay with you for some time. And if you've read Catcher In The Rye, all the better, as I'm sure Catcher, Caught will take on even more meaning then.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CATCHER, CAUGHT, 29 Sep 2012
By 
Amanda "sac" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Catcher, Caught (Kindle Edition)
Daniel is a fifteen year old boy terminally ill with leukaemia, his parents are non believers in modern medicines preferring natural remedies. Daniel begins to question his life, the choices made on his behalf, as well as the people around him.Comparing himself to a character in his favourite book Catcher in the Rye he embarks on a journey in the hope of soul searching answers.
Told through the eyes of a teenager, a well written and thought provoking novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, 5 Sep 2011
By 
Benjamin (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Catcher, Caught (Paperback)
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Fifteen year old Daniel Landon tells his own story since he has been diagnosed with leukaemia and given just one year to live. Daniel is a bright boy, and while his anti-establishment hippie parents being suspicious of Doctors' intentions are intent on pursuing a course of natural treatment for Dan, he begins to question their insistence on the avoidance of the obvious treatments, and eventually takes matters into his own hands. Encouraged by his literary hero, Holden Caulfield of J D Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, whom he defers to at every turn, he eventually heads off for New York from his sleepy Virginia home town of Tappahannock to seek his own solutions.

Through the course of the account in addition to getting to know Dan very well we get to know his parents, his younger brother Nick and older brother Joe, his best friend Mack and the twin girls who move in next door to Mack, one of whom Dan gets to know very well. Dan's narrative is honest and revealing, both about himself and others, if he speaks often with a voice more mature than one would expect for a fifteen year old boy we can forgive him for the warmth and candour his words convey.

Reading Catcher in the Rye is not a prerequisite for enjoying this book - I read it so long ago in the early 1960s that while it remains with me as a landmark book I have forgotten its content (but I will have to read it again now!) - although it does provide a framework for Catcher, Caught; at least I can remember Holden's character which is perhaps what is most important.

I found Catcher, Caught an engrossing read, Dan is a most endearing character, his laid back father and high strung mother set each other off well, and his brothers who clearly love him but at the same time give him no slack despite his illness are convincing; and his relationship with one of the twin girls is touching for its sincerity. Catcher, Caught is a moving and believable read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 14 Dec 2012
By 
J. le Poidevin (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Catcher, Caught (Kindle Edition)
This book has some good twists to it and is an easy read especially when on holiday. A good ending.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting plot idea, 14 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Catcher, Caught (Kindle Edition)
A really interesting plot following the day to day ups and downs of a young man with cancer and the way it impacts on his life
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captures the spirit of its inspiration., 24 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Catcher, Caught (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed Catcher Caught. It felt like it captured the spirit of Catcher in the Rye, and used that spirit to inspire both the character of Daniel and the story itself of what would appear to be the very bleak situation of a teenager dying of leukemia. The tensions in the unconventional family and between Daniel and his friends are convincing but above all I found myself enjoying the thoughts of Daniel as his story rattled along. Now it is time to go back and re-read "Catcher in the Rye" itself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely and life-affirming, 14 Aug 2011
By 
Bess_Wheat - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Catcher, Caught (Paperback)
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The Catcher in the Rye is one of my favourite books. That is why I chose to read this one. Young Daniel Landon identifies with the character of Holden Caulfield and draws strength and understanding from this relationship. This enables him to work through things following his diagnosis of leukemia. Despite this, life does go on for Daniel and he struggles to come to terms with his illness and fear alongside family life and the emergence of his love for Meredith.

This is a lovely book and highlights the importance of family, communication and love. I do think that having read J.D. Salinger's book has enhanced my understanding and enjoyment of this one. So I would suggest you read both to make the experience more enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catcher, Caught by Sarah Honenberger, 8 Aug 2011
By 
June Doll "June" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Catcher, Caught (Paperback)
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This book tells the story of Daniel, a 15 Year old boy who has been diagnosed with Leukaemia and has been given only a year to live. While his friends cope with the usual teenage traumas, he has to cope with the prospect of imminent death. The situation is complicated by the fact that his hippie parents will not allow him to undergo conventional treatment with chemotherapy and, as a minor, Daniel has no say in the matter. His parents will only allow "new age" treatments which do not help in the slightest and we see Daniel's health progressively deteriorating. This all sounds very depressing but in fact the book is moving and uplifting. Daniel is very engaging - smart, funny, caring - and we cannot help but warm to him. This is a book which will be enjoyed by teenagers and adults alike. The title of the book comes from "Catcher in the Rye" by J D Salinger which Daniel is reading and which he is inspired by. You don't need to have read Salinger's novel to enjoy this novel, but it will add to your understanding and pleasure if you have.

Altogether this is a delightful book. I loved it and can thoroughly recommend it. Would the author please write a sequel as I want to know what happens next?
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Catcher, Caught (Unabridged)
Catcher, Caught (Unabridged) by Sarah Collins Honenberger
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