Sunday, June 20, 2010

Catcher in the Rye By: J.D. Salinger

So I am finally don hearing "Old" Holden Caulfield rant about crazy, pointless things in his life..whew!! I had heard about Catcher in the Rye off and on through out my life. I have heard the name in movies, tv and even other books; but I never knew what it was about. I figured since it had so many reference it was this literary gold medal or something. Quite the opposite. I honestly have no idea why people like it so much or are even obsessed with it! It is all about a whiny teenager..Then again, that might be the one good thing I CAN say about the book. It demonstrates a few days in the life of a teenager or adolescent. Many young adults in similar positions might be able to identify with this book, but it does nothing but state the obvious. Maybe they love it because it shows that such crazy feelings and ways of looking at things that more than just 'you' deal with. My thing with the book was that there was no real plot. Nothing was accomplished, gain, or taught. Nothing bad or good happened. Heck, he never even called the girl he was talking about calling and/or seeing the entire book! Never even made contact! I feel that this book is not so influential and could potentially depress someone worse. Although in my teen years I would definitely identify with some of the things Holden felt and did, I can't see my young self really enjoying a book. 9 times out of 10 if I commit to reading a book it is because I want to hear a good story, or want to learn something new, or just feel something other than constant depression. This book did nothing for me!

Now, personally I hated the book, there are lots out there that feel quite the opposite. Here are some things I found (mostly through my learning at school).

A group of boys decided to take a raodtrip in Holden or Salinger's footsteps and record it. You can find that documentery here: Catching Salinger

Interesting fact: Between 1961 and 1982, The Catcher in the Rye was the most censored book in high schools and libraries in the United States. (Welllllllll DUH! Could it be the overuse of curse words? I mean, no one ever needs to say a curse word in every other sentence..Quite frankly I think it makes the story just that much more confusing because I have no idea what they are trying to actually say! I should have counted how many times he used the 'GD' word..gooooooodness!)
According to the American Library Association, The Catcher in the Rye was the 13th
most frequently challenged book 1990-2000.
For a list of banned books, see this.

1 comment:

  1. Basically I agree with everything you said. I wonder - if I had read this at a different time in my life, would I have liked it? I just know that when I read it last summer at 22, I was so turned off (and that is saying something!). I just want to ask people who are devoted Salinger fans - why?! Like, I really and truly want to know what it is about this book that fascinates people.

    I am, however, intrigued by the group of boys who took the road trip. I respect that - it's something I would do as well, but for a different author.