Customer Reviews for

The Catcher in the Rye

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

21 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

The Catcher in the Rye-a book for the young, old, readers and nonreaders

J.D. Salinger's coming of age novel The Catcher in the Rye has delightfully captured the attention of readers for decades. Its popularity is primarily, but not exclusively, due to the realism behind the plot, characters, and themes. Although the story takes place duri...
J.D. Salinger's coming of age novel The Catcher in the Rye has delightfully captured the attention of readers for decades. Its popularity is primarily, but not exclusively, due to the realism behind the plot, characters, and themes. Although the story takes place during the late 1940s, teenagers everywhere can still relate to the sixteen year old protagonist, Holden Caulfield. The combination of his criticism, bitterness, and pessimism towards society was carefully crafted to create Holden as a unique narrator with many conflicting thoughts. In fact, Holden feels so torn between becoming an adult and staying a child that he essentially alienates himself from those who have conformed to one or the other. The distress and confusion of growing up is the underlying theme that follows Holden throughout the entire novel.
From just the first chapter of the novel readers come to learn that Holden is not your typical adolescent boy. He does not hold back when criticizing his "phony" schoolmates, whose obsessions include girls, sex, smoking, and drinking. Although Holden feels compelled to engage in the latter two activities himself, he does not necessarily agree with it. He is merely trying to find a medium between childhood and adulthood. Feeling alone and isolated, Holden carries out the extreme by leaving his prep school to escape those around him already engrossed in maturing into adults. The story follows with a number of events that all contribute to Holden's intriguing journey to understanding himself; a journey many young people in the world today go on themselves.
Because Salinger's themes are so universal yet realistic, The Catcher in the Rye is found to be satisfying and relatable to all types of readers. Holden and his struggles bring each reader back to a time in their own lives when they were going through a drastic change. For that reason The Catcher in the Rye can easily be considered timeless. The thought of keeping this novel off libraries' shelves because of its vulgar language, sexual references, and so-called promotion of drug use is ludicrous. Do not let the accusations and believers of censorship keep you from becoming immersed into the world of Holden Caulfield.

posted by CC19 on June 14, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

10 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

I've Been Duped

Having never read this 'classic,' I thought it high time I do so. There are several hours of my life I'll never get back. This book is TERRIBLE! Am I the only one who thinks so?? The writing style is cumbersome, the characters - ESPECIALLY Holden - are wholly unlika...
Having never read this 'classic,' I thought it high time I do so. There are several hours of my life I'll never get back. This book is TERRIBLE! Am I the only one who thinks so?? The writing style is cumbersome, the characters - ESPECIALLY Holden - are wholly unlikable and the story... well, WHAT story? Nothing happens! I can't believe I've felt, all these years, that I was missing out on a work of literary genius only to finally find myself suffering through THIS. I rank this as the second worst book I've ever read - and I've read many.

posted by Anonymous on July 15, 2008

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  • Posted June 14, 2009

    The Catcher in the Rye-a book for the young, old, readers and nonreaders

    J.D. Salinger's coming of age novel The Catcher in the Rye has delightfully captured the attention of readers for decades. Its popularity is primarily, but not exclusively, due to the realism behind the plot, characters, and themes. Although the story takes place during the late 1940s, teenagers everywhere can still relate to the sixteen year old protagonist, Holden Caulfield. The combination of his criticism, bitterness, and pessimism towards society was carefully crafted to create Holden as a unique narrator with many conflicting thoughts. In fact, Holden feels so torn between becoming an adult and staying a child that he essentially alienates himself from those who have conformed to one or the other. The distress and confusion of growing up is the underlying theme that follows Holden throughout the entire novel.
    From just the first chapter of the novel readers come to learn that Holden is not your typical adolescent boy. He does not hold back when criticizing his "phony" schoolmates, whose obsessions include girls, sex, smoking, and drinking. Although Holden feels compelled to engage in the latter two activities himself, he does not necessarily agree with it. He is merely trying to find a medium between childhood and adulthood. Feeling alone and isolated, Holden carries out the extreme by leaving his prep school to escape those around him already engrossed in maturing into adults. The story follows with a number of events that all contribute to Holden's intriguing journey to understanding himself; a journey many young people in the world today go on themselves.
    Because Salinger's themes are so universal yet realistic, The Catcher in the Rye is found to be satisfying and relatable to all types of readers. Holden and his struggles bring each reader back to a time in their own lives when they were going through a drastic change. For that reason The Catcher in the Rye can easily be considered timeless. The thought of keeping this novel off libraries' shelves because of its vulgar language, sexual references, and so-called promotion of drug use is ludicrous. Do not let the accusations and believers of censorship keep you from becoming immersed into the world of Holden Caulfield.

    21 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Greatest Book I've Ever Read..

    I read this book this year for school, I was in a bad mood and I ended up reading half of it in one night. Its a book that's so easy to understand, its so human. There's no action or any thrill much at all besides the everyday life of Holden Caulfield. I recommend this book to anyone who's human. Its enjoyable and relatable. Also, I love the Holden.

    16 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2009

    An awesome classic!

    I only read Catcher in the Rye for my english class, but it turned out to be one of my favorite books! I hadn't really read too many classics before and had heard a lot of negative feedback about them, but this was a great surprise! It was funny and packed with wit, and full of self discovery. There was a TON of swearing, but somehow it really fit with the characters. I loved it!

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2010

    "The Catcher in the Rye": More Than Timeless

    The novel "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger was written in 1951. However, it is still being read in schools today. Unlike many timeless novels, "The Catcher in the Rye" not only provides a strong message that still resonates today, it also is a fascinating, creative piece of writing.
    "The Catcher in the Rye" takes place in the 1940s and tells the story of Holden Caulfield, a troubled teenager haunted by the death of his little brother. The story follows Holden as he runs away from private school while hoping to find to find happiness somewhere in the streets of New York. Holden is both the protagonist and antagonist of his story. He is stubborn, rude, and judgmental without a cause. On the other hand, Holden loves his little sister and wants to protect children from the world around them. He is broken and in search of something he can't seem to find. He is searching for love. When his brother died, Holden lost someone who loved him. Even though Holden couldn't see the love depart, he feels it slipping away. Holden's parents are too caught up in their own pain to recognize that Holden is struggling. Holden is forced to bear all of his burdens by himself. It is this struggle that makes the novel timeless. In essence we are all Holden, a little lost and a little broken, but always pushing forward, looking for a glimmer of happiness in the distance. Everyone knows the feeling of being in a place where everyone else belongs. Anyone can relate to Holden's struggle to find himself in a place where people look down on those who differ from the status quo. "The Catcher in the Rye" makes the experience both poignant and humorous. Holden is a teenage boy whose thoughts are often ludicrous and socially incorrect. J.D. Salinger knew that there was more to writing a novel then just getting the message across. He accomplishes it with comedy and intrigue. It is hard not to laugh when Holden is lying to a women about his age while calling those around him phonies. "The Catcher in the Rye" is a classic because it would remain a talented piece of writing even without a moral "point". The novel merges timeless and engaging with an effortlessness that many authors can't achieve.

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2008

    I've Been Duped

    Having never read this 'classic,' I thought it high time I do so. There are several hours of my life I'll never get back. This book is TERRIBLE! Am I the only one who thinks so?? The writing style is cumbersome, the characters - ESPECIALLY Holden - are wholly unlikable and the story... well, WHAT story? Nothing happens! I can't believe I've felt, all these years, that I was missing out on a work of literary genius only to finally find myself suffering through THIS. I rank this as the second worst book I've ever read - and I've read many.

    10 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2008

    A good book for late teens

    I read this many years ago when I was a teenager, and then again just recently. It once again reminded me of all of the freedom a young man has compared to an adult and the book brought me back to when I was young. This is a must-read for all teens since it will give them a sort of guide as to what to do and not to do, but it will also entertain them if they are a cosciencious reader.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    It Was the Worst Book I've Ever Read

    If you want to read a book about a guy who fails at life, drinks on every other page, only thinks about sex, hates everyone and everything and ends up going crazy at the end, then this is the book for you.

    8 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Disappointing

    I'd always wanted to read this book because I'd always heard it was a very excellent story full of excitement about a teenager going through the phases of growing up.
    Unfortunately the entire book is about him romping around New York for 3 days on his own, not doing anything out the ordinary; seeing a movie, visiting old friends, etc.
    I was very disappointed.

    8 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2010

    one of the worst books I have ever read...

    No plot - no real interest - forced myself to finish this book. Tried again as an adult with hopes of seeing something I missed the first go round - nope, still one of the worst books i have ever had the misfortune of reading (twice). With all the wonderful books out there why is this book still on the literature lists in high schools and colleges.

    6 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    No wonder so many serial killers have this book in their inventory.

    Lee Harvey Oswald and other disturbed individuals have this book in their libraries. I do not like the character and think he is mentally disturbed. I would not recommend this book to anyone.

    6 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2010

    amazing.

    absolutely amazing. Catcher in the Rye is a wonderful novel by J.D. Salinger. I love how Holden, the main character, narrates the happenings of several of days in his teenage life. So although this book is only a few days time, it did not lack in content at all.
    I liked this book because when Holden talks, it feels like he is speaking only to you. J.D. Salinger is an amazing writer, and made me laugh throughout the book. He gave Holden a very unique and interesting personality.
    Holden goes through seemingly pointless events, though he hopes somebody will care. Holden feels hopeless and lonesome, in a world that he thinks is heartless and filled with fake people. It really makes you think about the world as you see it. Holden's beliefs and judgments alone were very amusing. After you read the book, you start thinking about situations in your life and wonder what Holden would do in your place, or at least I did.
    Throughout this book, Holden gives his opinions and observations on everything he encounters. I didn't ever want to stop reading. There are not many books i'd ever read again, but this book is one that i could read over and over again. There are so many things that didn't make total sense to me, but im sure that if i read it again, it will become more clear. LoVED IT! read IT.
    So, I loved every bit. I don't think i will ever forget it, great book from the start to finish. read it! if you start reading and it doesn't seem to be your kind of book, keep reading! you may surprise yourself.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2008

    Wasn't Missing A Thing!

    For many years I thought I was missing out on reading a great book. Turns out. No! I hated the book. I guess I can say at least I read it, and just move on.

    6 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Definitely worth my time

    I knew that "The Catcher In the Rye" was an older book because my dad had talked about how it was such a classic, even to my grandpaw. I decided to buy it and I finished it the day it was purchased. I usually don't read that quickly but it was very good. Not a lot actually happens within the time it was narrated by Holden, but the best part of the book is how the author is descriptive about things that deserve to be described and leaves out the less important things, which many other authors fail to do, making their books drag on. One of the few books I'll remember for a long, long time.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 7, 2010

    The Catcher in the Rye is a Great book

    The Catcher in the Rye is not a waste of time, it will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time while reading it. I am one of those people who hate reading to and I could not put this book down. The author is grerat and his originality is amazing. just read the book it will not be a waste of time or a disapointment.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2008

    I'm not alone!

    I'm 38 years old and an avid reader, but believe it or not, I've never read Catcher in the Rye until now. I have to say, it's very difficult to keep reading, because, as other reviewers point out, there's NO PLOT! I'm eager to read some literary analysis of this book, because I want to know what I'm missing (if anything!). I can't imagine being assigned to read this book in high school....I don't know what would have kept me hooked enough to continue. I guess I'm just stubborn, because I intend to finish it, but can't see it getting any better!

    4 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2008

    No High School Relevancy

    In my reading of the book, I've realised that J.D. Salinger's book, The Catcher in the Rye, is nothing more than a moot account of three days from Holden Caulfield 'the main chactrer's' tales of drunken debauchery and excessive tobacco use. The book also contains very little symbolism which would prove useful from a teachers standpoint. Holden as a person, is also very negative, and due to the fact that the story is told in first peron, the views in the book are highly limited. Also, the examples of tone and diction throughout this book are very limited as well for the same reasons listed above. J.D. Salinger provides a fun read but not a literary example for the high school english class.

    4 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2006

    Simply overrated, and - I hate to say it - 'phony'

    I will not lie, I am a literature geek/nerd/whatever. I love great writing. If that sounds like you, then do not pick up Catcher in the Rye. It does not come close to a masterpiece of literature. On the other hand, if angst, poor prose, and even poorer ideas/themes are your thing, pick up Catcher and you might even love it. Hell, you might start to live by it and think that everyone around is so fake that you want to shoot them up. Sorry, J.D., but if throwing in curse words into a novel and writing about a teenager are great literary innovations, then I am sorry to say, literature is going downhill (and it really just might be). If you have been told this is a classic and that is your reason for reading it, you probably shouldn't pick it up. Read some real classics.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2013

    Love this book! I'm so happy to finally have this on my nook! 5

    Love this book! I'm so happy to finally have this on my nook! 5 stars!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2012

    A Great Classic

    "The Catcher in the Rye" has rigid reaction; you either hate it or you love it. I personally enjoyed it to full extent. Holden Caulfield is a young boy who criticizes those around him and doesn't want to grow up, yet is contradicting himself loads throughout the book. The author writes with real emotion, and doesn't hold back on language. All in all, Holden is really just a kid not ready to take the responsibility of growing up. One of my favorite books.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2006

    Are You Kidding Me???

    Are you serious??? I swear, J.D. Salinger was in a mental institution when he wrote this. Was this man on crack? This book is pointless and disgusting. Save your money and don't buy it.

    3 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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