The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye

Book rating: 04 Paperback

By (author) J. D. Salinger

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 208 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 18mm | 180g
  • Publication date: 1 November 2002
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 014023750X
  • ISBN 13: 9780140237504
  • Sales rank: 1,510

Product description

"The Catcher in the Rye" is J . D. Salinger's world-famous novel of disaffected youth. Holden Caulfield is a seventeen- year-old dropout who has just been kicked out of his fourth school. Navigating his way through the challenges of growing up, Holden dissects the 'phony' aspects of society, and the 'phonies' themselves: the headmaster whose affability depends on the wealth of the parents, his roommate who scores with girls using sickly-sweet affection. Written with the clarity of a boy leaving childhood behind, "The Catcher in the Rye" explores the world with disarming frankness and a warm, affecting charisma which has made this novel a universally loved classic of twentieth-century literature. J. D. Salinger was born in 1919 and died in January 2010. He grew up in New York City, and wrote short stories from an early age, but his breakthrough came in 1948 with the publication in The New Yorker of "A Perfect Day for Bananafish". "The Catcher in the Rye" was his first and only novel, published in 1951. It remains one of the most translated, taught and reprinted texts, and has sold some 65 million copies. His other works include the novellas "Franny and Zooey", "For Esme with Love and Squalor", and "Raise High the Roof Beam", "Carpenters", published with "Seymour - An Introduction".

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Author information

J D Salinger was born in 1919. He grew up in New York City, and wrote short stories from an early age, but his breakthrough came in 1948 with the publication in The New Yorker of 'A Perfect Day for Bananafish'. The Catcher in the Rye was his first and only novel, published in 1951. It remains one of the most translated, taught and reprinted texts, and has sold some 65 million copies. It was followed by three other books of short stories and novellas, the most recent of which was published in 1963. He lives in Cornish, New Hampshire.

Customer reviews

By Penny Cunningham 17 Jun 2010 3

The Catcher in the Rye is such an iconic classic about teenage angst that it would be hard to write a review and say something that hasn't been said before! I read this about 40 years ago as a teenager for exams, but didn't see then what I see now!! Typical teenage behaviour!
Holden Caulfield the central character is going through a sort of breakdown, his brother has died -- it doesn't say how long ago it was -- but it obviously affected him deeply and being a teenager he hasn't been able to come to terms with it and the way life goes on around him. He is basically a good lad, and the one he seems to care for most is his sister Phoebe, maybe as she is younger and looks up to him, he is able to feel something as she is more vulnerable than he is (my opinion anyway!)
J.D Salinger has the teenage thought process off to a tee and you can just hear Holden in your head when he is talking!
I am not sure I really enjoyed the book as such, but I can appreciate how teenagers through the years have been able to identify with Holden.

By Andrew Sheppard 09 Feb 2010 5

It has been suggested that The Catcher in the Rye takes its place alongside Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn and Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. A yet better fit might be with Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mocking Bird. Either way, it's great American literature. The book was first published in 1951 and the first-person narrator and main character, Holden Caulfield, is very much a child of his time. Born into the privilege that goes with having a father who is a hot-shot lawyer', he is a native of New York City and on the opening of the book is at a boarding school in Pennsylvania. Following a chequered career through several other schools, he has been at the school for only one term, has flunked-out' of everything but English (the boy can write!) and has been given the axe'; that is, he will not be allowed to return after the imminent Christmas holiday. He knows his parents won't take kindly to the news. In the course of the narrative we discover, with him, that even teachers he thought sympathetic have lost patience with his lack of scholastic effort and involvement in accidents such as the loss of all the fencing teams' equipment on a subway train. He leaves school early, planning to spend three days in hotels, nightclubs and on the streets of New York before returning home on the official last day of term. Thus we get a view of New York from an insider who is also an outsider. He is tall for his age, so is able to buy drinks, get drunk, and tangle with a prostitute and her pimp. Central Park, his younger sister's school, a museum, and other daytime aspects of the city also feature. Gradually, we discover why this kid is so crazily mixed-up. He is certainly someone with whom we can sympathise, and in as much as at least some of his adolescent rebellion lurks within most of us - even long after we reach an age at which we are expected to grow up' - we can also empathise. A classic coming-of-age novel (arguably, the' classic coming-of age-novel), this is a book all should read as part of their own rite of passage.

Editorial reviews

Like many teenagers, 16-year-old Holden Caulfield doesn't really know what he wants to do, although he is sure that he wants to avoid anything phony. First published in 1958, no novel betters Salinger's description of Holden's tortured adolescence as he comes to terms with the transition to adulthood and the onset of a nervous breakdown. It's the integrity of Holden's quest for meaning in his life that has made this book so enduringly popular with all ages. Its humour and deceptively light touch help too. This is the teenage novel. (Kirkus UK)