The Catcher in the Rye
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The Catcher in the Rye

3.79 (2,146,445 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Holden Caulfield is a seventeen-year-old dropout who has just been kicked out of his fourth school, in 1950s New York. Precocious, sensitive and confused, he blunders through a haze of teenage failures, disappointments and anti-climaxes and delivers to the reader a bitter-sweet, biting commentary on all the 'phony' aspects of society and the 'phonies' themselves. Through his direct first-person narrative emerges one of the most touching, funny and nuanced portrayals of the confusions and frustrations of youth that exists in the literature of the English language, and a sparky and colloquial style that influenced generations of writers afterwards.

Innovative and revolutionary for its time, The Catcher in the Rye is as much a testament to and reflection of that time and its frustrations as it is a timeless and universal reflection on life, disillusionment, and growing up.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 14mm | 157g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 014023750X
  • 9780140237504
  • 95,854

About J. D. Salinger

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. Salinger also wrote several novellas and short stories, including Franny and Zooey, For Esme - With Love and Squalor, and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction.
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Rating details

2,146,445 ratings
3.79 out of 5 stars
5 33% (718,970)
4 31% (669,309)
3 21% (460,193)
2 9% (187,518)
1 5% (110,455)

Our customer reviews

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.show more
by Penny Cunningham
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.show more
by Andrew Sheppard
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