Customer Reviews for

The Catcher in the Rye

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

23 out of 25 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

12 out of 28 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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  • 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.

    12 out of 28 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.

    9 out of 25 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 15 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.

    4 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 27, 2011

    horrible

    I am utterly confused by the fact that people say this is one of the greatest books they've ever read and that it is life changing and relatable. This was honestly the worst book I have ever read. The whole time I was reading it, I was hoping for a point that was the least bit exciting or intriguing. There was none. Very disappointing. I would not recommend this book to anyone. It's a big waste of time.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2008

    Another Disappointing 'Classic'

    I had to read 'Catcher in the Rye' for a summer reading assignment. I was told it was actually a decent read, but if it wasn't for the possibility of having a test over this book, I would never have finished it. Half the time I had no clue what Holden was trying to say and i always ended up feeling like I was missing several pages. He was a very annoying character who really needs to learn manners, to not refer to everybody as 'old', to be less immature, and not swear. Almost all of the swearing in the book was unnecessary, and it was extremely annoying to hear everything referred to as 'god--m this or god--m that'. This book also had no plot. It covers an expanse of a few days after Holden leaves his private school early after being kicked out. He had no life, and basically sat around smoking and drinking (or trying to drink, as he was still underage) deciding whether or not he wanted to call an old acquaintance up. ENTIRELY POINTLESS!!! And when he did interact with someone, Holden became even more annoying and immature. I have no idea why teachers force kids to read this book every year for English, because I took nothing away from this book. This plot-less book should be taken off reading lists and lose its 'classic' status because it is one of the worst books I have ever read in my entire life.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2014

    This book sucked. The whole thing was based on Holden's reaction

    This book sucked. The whole thing was based on Holden's reactions to things that happened to him, in other words nothing happened! He goes through the whole book talking about all his problems and he fails to solve any of them. This book was long, boring,and horribly written. Never read it. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2014

    The only d I ever had in school was writing a report on this boo

    The only d I ever had in school was writing a report on this book. Glad I read other reviews about hating this book before I tried to read it  again

    L

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Why Is This a Classic?

    I don't remember if I read this in high school years and years and years ago. I was in middle school when it was published, and it may not have been a "classic" yet.

    I hated this book. I was just glad it was short and I did not have to waste any more time reading it (it was the book club selection). There was nothing about the characters or the plot that made me care. I only finished it because it was for book club, and from what I understand, no one else who read it has liked it either. Perhaps it was "coming of age" but in a different time that seems so, so long ago. For me, a waste of my time and $6.99. Would not recommend it to anyone.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2008

    did not get it at all

    I decided to read this 'classic' after reading another droll, sixteen year old, boy, point of view type book 'King Dork' that made many references to it. It mentioned how our parents had a cult like love of the book, and 'carried it everywhere'. I guess I just don't get it. I had to skip over pages and paragraphs of Holden just digressing into a whole explanation of what was on his mind, what people looked like, how he felt about them, how he hated them for doing something so small and insignificant... blah, blah, blah. I kept trying to get to the point, to the plot. I couldn't believe the whole 'Catcher in the Rye' thing was such a small part of the story. I almost skipped right over it! I kept thinking he'd go back to that point, that maybe something would happen to Phoebe and he would have to save her, or someone would save him, but no he just kept on wandering around NYC getting drunk, smoking, and cursing. I had to skip over the 'goddams', etc. because it just distracted me from what he was trying to say. I was also disappointed that he talked all about Jane Gallagher and never even called her! I agree with other reviewers who feel this was a waste of time and paper, and I am truly grateful that my English classes never required the reading of this book!

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2007

    Warning: boring book

    Ive read so many reveiws about teenagers saying how mutch they like this book, say its deep and make you think. ' So phonie i want to vomite'. how could you like this book all it does is offend. Critissies everyone he meets. Its so boring that i had a hard time finishing it. i wouldent have if it wasent an assignment

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2004

    Boringest book of the year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    THIS Book SuCKS

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2014

    This book is a total waste. I recall feeling sorry about the fac

    This book is a total waste. I recall feeling sorry about the fact that many young people would have to read this piece of literary crap.

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  • Posted November 9, 2013

    I think, had I read this book as a teenager, I may have enjoyed

    I think, had I read this book as a teenager, I may have enjoyed it. As it is, I think that Holden just served to show, in a timeless way, what nasty little buggars teenagers are. It was easy to imagine this in a current setting rather than 60-70 years ago. The writing had a nice flow to it, very easy to read. But this was a book that I just couldn't seem to like. This may be in part due to the fact that I read "Looking for Alaska" at the same time. The books were very similar, but because I liked the other so much, I think that may have made me like this one that much less. I am almost ashamed to admit that it took me just about 3 weeks to read this barely 200 page book. But I suppose that's just a testament to how bad I thought it was

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  • Posted July 7, 2013

    The narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is a sixteen-year-old sma

    The narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is a sixteen-year-old smart-mouth and like most smart-mouths he is intolerable. I assume it was Salinger’s intent to make him unlikable and he did a brilliant job. 

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2012

    WHY ISNT THIS BOOK ON THE NOOK IT IS A POPULAR READ

    WHY ISNT THIS BOOK ON THE NOOK IT IS A POPULAR READ

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  • Posted July 7, 2012

    I didn't care about the character at all. Way too much time desc

    I didn't care about the character at all. Way too much time describing mundane situations like his roommate's personal habits. I guess this is supposed to make the narrative more realistic. Why was there ever a fuss over this book, there is nothing to cause any controversy. I am happy to see that I am not the only one who doesn't like this 'classic'.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2012

    Good God

    Save yourself.

    I consider The Catcher in the Rye to be the #1 worst book I've ever read, and I blaspheme against it at every chance. The only book that even comes close to this one in the "craptastic" column is The Great Gatsby (Who is the Great Gatsby? Who CARES? 180 pages and nothing interesting happens until page 150!)

    The Catcher in the Rye is a flop for several reasons. Mainly, my problem lies with the fact that there is no plot, and I want to punch the main character in the face... with a wolverine... while he's sleeping. Sure, some people appreciate it for the messages about teenage angst and growing up and so forth, but this stream of consciousness ramble-clusterf*ck does nothing for me.

    If that doesn't convince you not to look this book's way, think about this: J. D. Salinger is known for being a recluse after releasing this book. I know that if I ever wrote something this atrocious, I wouldn't show my face in public, either.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2012

    I cannot imagine why this is considered a classic. It's so shal

    I cannot imagine why this is considered a classic. It's so shallow that it's all reflection, no substance. I hated it as a young adult and I hate it still decades later. Kick Holden to the curb. He has nothing to offer but whines.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2012

    the Catcher in the Rye? More like Catcher in the Dump!

    The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is about Holden Caulfield a 16 year old boy going to Pency Prep. But not for long, as he has been expelled from this all boys prep school for failing. This would be the fourth school he has flunked out of. Holden view the world as there is everything to be judged and there is always something to be pointed out as a mistake. He is incredibly critical. After he gets kicked out he catches a train back into the city to return to his parents, but he leaves a few days early and stays in a hotel. I think it's funny how he acts as if he's so superior over everybody, when he can't even deal with his own insecurities. Now I respect this book for its literary purposes, as the title meaning something along the lines of catching a child in the rye to keep them from losing their innocence. Overall I hated the book though; it was incredibly slow to read. I would recommend this book to guys mostly. Not just any guy though, the group of guys who are maybe juniors or seniors, but maybe any guy in high school. They would have to like reading and be somewhat sophisticated.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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