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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to Feel Less Lonely; also, The Inspiration of a Lifetime
"The Catcher in the Rye" made me feel less lonely at a time (15 years of age) when all I touched, as Salinger put it in one of his legendary nine short stories, seemed to turn to complete loneliness. It's the reason I started writing.

THE INFATUATION
For the longest time I tried to keep my obsession with Salinger's only full-length novel to myself. Oh I...
Published on Sept. 21 2009 by Jonathan Mendelsohn

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Uniquely American Tale of Teenage Cynicism
For several years the connotation of a being a "classic" had kept me from reading J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. Not knowing specifically what it was about, I finally gave into curiosity when I read it for a literature class. I was instantly sorry I had waited so long to read this book. Holden Caulfield is a lazy, cynical teen in 1950s America and he has just...
Published on May 19 2003 by Jonathan Hawks


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to Feel Less Lonely; also, The Inspiration of a Lifetime, Sept. 21 2009
This review is from: The Catcher in the Rye (Paperback)
"The Catcher in the Rye" made me feel less lonely at a time (15 years of age) when all I touched, as Salinger put it in one of his legendary nine short stories, seemed to turn to complete loneliness. It's the reason I started writing.

THE INFATUATION
For the longest time I tried to keep my obsession with Salinger's only full-length novel to myself. Oh I would tell people I loved the book, or that Salinger was my favourite writer, but I honestly tried to not go further with it than that, to put a lid on it. I'd never have admitted that it wooed me to falling in love with New York forever, never mind the number of times I have read it, not including random flips for favourite passages. Or the fact that I somehow managed to write my Masters thesis on it, when my Masters was in applied linguistics not English literature.

That first 15 year-old time was not for school, which may be the key to everything. I read it fast, just a few days and I was not (and am not) a fast reader. Holden Caufield's breezy first-person narration was so much like conversation you just zipped through. The book's famous opening:

"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth."

The book read so fast, so easy, so true I was convinced it was pure autobiography. Not even, cause autobiography still implies some semblance of putting together, of structure, work, effort. 'Catcher' to me that first read, and the way it stayed in my mind long after (cause I wouldn't re-read it for at least five years, afraid of tainting that first read experience) was, I was sure, simply, if beautifully, Salinger writing his thoughts and experiences in a journal. The book was a particularly fascinating series of diary scribblings. This to me was profound because it felt like the true heart of a person, which has always captured me more than the mind, and the gimmicky tricks it can play (much as a twist ending is always exciting it's not the kind of thing that'll make it to my desert island).

WHAT LIES BEYOND POP IN MUSIC, AND HARRY POTTER IN FICTION
"Catcher" was not a story, not in the Narnia, Hardy Boys sense. "Catcher" spoke the truth about things that I was living, that I was struggling with. The "Hardy Boys" was like a Coke treat. "Catcher" was water. I NEEDED it.

HIS TRUTH
Holden spoke of things I'd never heard anyone say. He spoke the thoughts I had in my head. About the phoniness of people. About dishonesty and how hard life can be. And somehow, in travelling with him as he sneaks out one night to leave Pencey Prep forever (the school he is about to be kicked out of anyway) and trains it to New York, I felt less lonely. This kid was searching for something as I was, as so many kids do as they hit that age when they start to become aware of the world. And what I love is that the novel is as much about grand philosophies, on death, and what it means to live, and about losing the innocence of childhood, as it is about the simpler (or maybe more complicated) things. Like girls.

"I was half in love with her by the time we sat down. That's the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty, even if they're not much to look at, or even if they're sort of stupid, you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are. Girls. Jesus Christ. They can drive you crazy. They really can."

Great art is about connection. At 15 I was sure I was Holden. In my twenties it was Salinger I wanted to emulate most. The real point though is about what makes a book great, what makes something worth re-visiting. Holden, of course, says it better than I can:

"What really knocks me out is a book, when you're all done reading it, you wished the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it."

This is the end of Part I.
-Bookworm, Movie Nerd
For Part II:
[...]
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Novel, Sept. 4 2006
By 
It's the second time I am reading this novel. The first time was about 10 years ago when I just came to Canada for studying in the ESL 3 high school class. It was one of our required readings. I didn't quite like the book the first time I was reading it because at that time I thought the whole story was about this damn stupid crazy kid Holden horsing around in New York City and swearing throughout the book. I couldn't remember and doubt if I actually finished reading the whole book first time. Anyhow, this time I've realized that this book is much deeper then I previously thought. It uses a lot of metaphors to describe the world that crazy kid was experiencing at that moment of his life. But even so, I wouldn't recommend this book to ESL or grade 10 students.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of a Kind!, May 26 2005
By 
The storyline is remarkably intriguing and is exceptionally simple. The reason for this book's success, in my opinion, is the way the story is told. Since the story happens to be so common (adolescent escapades) Salinger had to make the book standout in his own way. His formula for success in this case was speaking in a truly original dialect. The slang that Holden speaks, is still edgy to this very day. Salinger is a master of dialect, and it really shines in The Catcher in the Rye.
Salinger's characters are also among the main ingredients in his recipe for success. Each character with it's own trademark. He really captures the different personalities in the world. The characters are written about in such a way that keeps you entertained, and interested. The emotions portrayed by the characters make such a strong impact. When someone is annoyed you can empathize, when someone is angry, you feel bad for them.
I really can't emphasize enough, the talent that Salinger has. He is so fresh, so unique, so smart. The conflicts he comes up with really make you think. The whole story makes you think, and it doesn't stop at the last word. The Catcher in the Rye will leave you in puzzlement for many days. There are so many questionable actions, and so many questionable reactions.
If you like an intelligent and clever entertaining novel, check out The Catcher in the Rye. If you've read some of Salinger's work, and you liked it, you have to read The Catcher in the Rye, it's by far his best work. I really can't stress enough how important this piece of literature is in the fabric of today's books.
Quite frankly, this book was breathtaking. I was truly astonished by the fact that something written in 1951 was this fascinating. Who would have thought that a book about a cynical adolescent would become one of the greatest bestsellers of all time? If you're in the mood to learn a lot of lessons from an entertaining perspective, you should read The Catcher in the Rye. Another, more recent book I enjoyed is "The Losers Club: Complete Restored Edition" by Richard Perez, a lonesome and funny book -- which reminded me of The Catcher in the Rye, in many ways.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Never Fails To Amaze Me, May 4 2005
By 
The Catcher in the Rye is a book about a young man named Holden Caulfield who gets traumatized by the death of his brother Allie. This story is narrated by Holden himself as he tells the story to a Psychiatrist in a psychiatric hospital.
Holden is a troubled young adult who is afraid of growing up because he doesn't like grown ups and he wishes he could stay a child. Throughout the book Holden describes why he doesn't like grownups (I don't want to completely ruin the book for you so I won't tell you any reasons.) and why he loves children.
When I read Catcher in the Rye I was really moved at how J.D. Salinger used various symbols throughout the book to help you get inside the mind of Holden Caulfield. The main symbol in the book when holden talks of being the catcher in the rye and standing on the edge of the field keeping the children from falling off. What Holden means by this is that he just wants to keep kids from falling off the cliff and dying (child dying and becoming an adult). Holden beleives children are innocent and he respects them completely. I really thought it was neat that although Holden curses every five to six words throughout the book, when he talks about any child he doesn't curse at all. This is one way that J.D. Salinger shows holdens respect for children in the book.
I must add that even though I absolutely loved this book, friends of mine said they didn't like the book because there were too many symbols and they didn't catch them all therefore the book didn't make much sense to them. I must say this could be a problem for many people. I have read The Catcher in the Rye several times and every time it never fails but I seem to catch something new that I missed before. This is one of the many reasons why this book is one of my favorites. Give it try! Another recent Amazon purchase I loved is THE LOSERS CLUB: Complete Restored Edition by Richard Perez -- it also takes place in New York City and is about loneliness and not fitting in -- and reminds me in certain ways of The Catcher In the Rye.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great in High School, July 16 2004
By 
Grozarks "grmissouri" (St. Louis, Missouri United States) - See all my reviews
I read this first in high school and thought it a masterpiece. I've read it since and I wasn't quite so impressed. It is however a very important work in our collective catalog and no literate person should miss out on it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read for any Writer, July 14 2014
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S Legend (Vancouver B.C.) - See all my reviews
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Story wise, hated it. But the writing? Epic genius. The character was real, if you know what I'm saying. I don't know that we get to read work this raw anymore. Any writer worth their salt, should take a read... Now I know why they made most of us read it in high school. Fantastic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Glad I read it., April 28 2014
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P M - See all my reviews
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I understand why this is such an enduring story. I consumed it quickly, and I will read it again. I recommend it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Too old to enjoy Catcher, April 1 2014
As a 35 year old reading Catcher I felt like I was 15-20 years too old to get the full experience out of this classic. I found Holden to be a spoiled brat who didn't appreciate anything and was floored when (spoiler alert) the book didn't end with his suicide. After seeing the documentary on Salinger I get that he was a lot like Holden, someone a little mad trapped in his story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Holden Caulfield - First World, Rich, Spoiled Brat, March 21 2014
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Farheen Orya (Toronto, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
An entertaining book that I first read as a teenager and now again, in middle age. My teenage impression of 'The Catcher in the Rye' was that it was 'kind of funny'. I appreciated, and still appreciate, the writing style - it's entertaining and I get the point - it's hard growing up, people are phoney, losing your innocence is sad etc. But, now, I think Holden Caulfield is a rich, spoilt, white boy who seriously needs lengthy, first-hand exposure to impoverished men, women and children in the third world. I bet that would snap him out of his lousy, crumbly, WASPy, privileged angst.
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5.0 out of 5 stars book, Feb. 23 2014
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very good book and excellent story the most interesting that I've read so long I recommand it to all my friends
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The Catcher in the Rye
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (Hardcover - July 16 1951)
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