- Publisher: Turtleback Books
- Format: Hardback | 214 pages
- Dimensions: 107mm x 170mm x 20mm | 159g
- Publication date: 1 October 1999
- Publication City/Country: Saint Louis
- ISBN 10: 0808514032
- ISBN 13: 9780808514039
- Edition: Prebound edition
- Edition statement: School & Library ed.
- Sales rank: 6,480
In an effort to escape the hypocrisies of life at his boarding school, sixteen-year-old Holden Caulfield seeks refuge in New York City
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By Najla Qamber 12 Mar 2013
A reader of mine suggested that I read outside of my usual genres (Teen, Paranormal,etc) and review it for all to see. Even if the review would end up being a one to three star out of a five star rating. And for some reason, I decided to start with The Catcher in the Rye.
Now, being from Bahrain and at the same time home-schooled, I wasn't able to read this in school like the rest of the world. And the only time I heard about this book was from spoken references on TV and in Movies. And as one who reads a lot, I don't feel like a genuine reader without reading the ultimate classics of the 20th Century. So, I begun with The Catcher in the Rye.
Now, let's start with how the book began. We meet Holden narrating that he would be telling us a story about a certain event rather than his entire life like David Copperfield and others of that sort. I actually felt really draw to the book because of the beginning. But slowly, the narration and the dialogue began to annoy me. Holden does admit that he may be a little bit more stupid and childish than normal teens but honestly, Holden just went over the top with his immaturity. He would fake an injury just to get into a conversation with random people on the street or in a subway.
Throughout the book, all we read is how Holden lies his way through a few days in his life. And it's not the kind of lying that will get you to high places and actually accomplish something with. It's the useless kind that is done because you're bored and you need something to do. Likewise, Holden is reckless, impulsive, and a compulsive liar but he is sincere in his own way. When he speaks about his siblings, you know his love for them is true and honest just by the way he describes them.
The terminology and dialogue is very different and sometimes, I had to stop and think about what Holden really means. They're using slang we don't use anymore and it's not the 'radical' kind its the, 'I don't know it too hot (too much)' kind. What irritated me the most was the repetition in some dialogue. For example, a conversation between Holden's so-called-girlfriend speaks and Holden: "Look, I have to know. Are you or aren't you coming over to help me trim the tree... I have to know" And more of this type of repetition goes on and on in the book.
To be utterly honest, I expected the book to be all about Holden's out of the world experience. Only to have it about his thoughts and experiences within a couple of days or so. I guess, the greatest journeys do happen the shortest of times. I enjoyed the book and found it captivating in its own irritating way. And I will always remember my favorite parts, the conversations he had with Cab Drivers and the little time he spent with his sister, Phoebe.
Overall, I liked this book a lot more than I expected. The writing style, dialogue, storyline (or lack of it), and characters hold their own uniqueness that we can't find in books now-a-days. And I can't help but admire that about classics like 'The Catcher in the Rye'.