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The Catcher in the Rye

by

The Catcher in the Rye Cover

ISBN13: 9780316769174
ISBN10: 0316769177
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Ever since it was first published in 1951, this novel has been the coming-of-age story against which all others are judged. Read and cherished by generations, the story of Holden Caulfield is truly one of America's literary treasures.

Review:

"Repetitive, indecent, often very funny, it is wonderfully sustained by the author, who achieves all those ancient effects to be got from a hero who is in some ways inferior, and in some ways superior, to the reader....Why, then, with all this to admire, do I find something phoney in the book itself?....[T]he adult view of adolescence, insinuated by skillful faking, is agreeable to predictable public taste....[It] is what the consumer needs....The boy's attitudes to religion, authority, art, sex and so on are what smart people would like other people to have, but cannot have themselves, because of their superior understanding." Frank Kermode, Review from Spectator, 05/30/1958

Synopsis:

J.D. Salinger's classic of adolescent angst is now available for the first time in trade paperback. Holden Caulfield, knowing he is to be expelled from school, decides to leave early. He spends three days in New York City and tells the story of what he did and suffered there.

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AdrianWear, April 2, 2014 (view all comments by AdrianWear)
The Catcher in the Rye is a novel written by J.D. Salinger in 1951. It contains 26 chapters and 214 pages, depending on the version. This widely acclaimed book was originally written for adults, but now is very common among adolescent readers. The purpose of this book is to inform the reader about the complex issues of loneliness, immaturity, sexuality, and coming of age through a young man’s journey for self-knowledge as he leaves his hometown school.
The book starts out with the main character Holden Caulfield giving the reader some background information on how he is now in a treatment center about to recount his story that is The Catcher in the Rye. He begins at Pencey Prep, his high school in Agerstown, Pennsylvania. He goes over to his history teacher’s house to have a talk with Mr. Spencer, which ends with him being scrutinized about how he will most likely flunk out out Pencey due to his bad grades. He then returns to his dorm wearing his red hunting hat, only to be disturbed by his next door neighbor Ackley, and then to engage in a quarrel with his actual roommate Stradlater. As a result, he determines that he is finished with Pencey Prep and decides to take a train to New York City, where he begins his real adventure. He checks into a hotel, where he observes that he has the opportunity to lose his virginity, yet claims that the timing never felt quite right. After a little dancing with some women in the lounge, he takes a cab to a nightclub, where he hopes to have better luck in finding someone to have a conversation with. After being disappointed, he returns to his hotel room, where he agrees to have at it with a prostitute, yet decides otherwise once she enters the room and sees her as a person just like himself. Later on, he phones Sally Hayes to arrange a meeting that afternoon to go see a play. Along the way, he meets two nuns. Sally and him see the play, and then go skating. At that point, Holden asks her to run away with him into the wilderness to start a new life. She declines, he becomes sad, and gets very drunk. He decides to head home and see his sister Phoebe. In this scene, Holden shares with her the important metaphor of “the catcher in the rye”. She asks him what he wants to do with his life, in which he replies: “What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff...if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them...I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all” (173). When his parents arrive, he slips out and goes to his English teacher’s house, Mr. Antolini. While there, he gives Holden advice on life and to live humbly as a mature man. At night he awakens to a suspicious act of homosexuality, and leaves promptly. Finally he decides that he wants to go out west to live as a deaf-mute. When he informs Phoebe of his plans, she proclaims she would like to go with him. He declines her wish, and she becomes angry, so they head to the zoo to get over it. While Phoebe rides the carousel, Holden becomes overwhelmed with happiness and joy at the sight of her riding around and around. In the end, he decides he will not talk further of his adventure, for he misses those who shared his experiences with him even more.
You should read this book for several reasons. For one, it teaches you the importance of close relationships and affiliation. Even though he is considered very lonely already, Holden would be completely alienated from society without his sister Phoebe and a couple close friends.
This book achieves its goal of highlighting the rebellious teenage mind of an adolescent boy, and his journey towards adulthood and self-identity. It takes us inside the mind of a 16 year old, and helps us understand some of the problems they face and how they feel about certain aspects of life. This book suggests that even though we may not want to escape the innocence of our childhood and enter into adulthood, one day we will realize the importance of doing so, and will gain maturity at the same time. The book leaves out the issue of self-sacrifice, as while Holden realizes everything is not all about him, he doesn’t learn that sometimes you must give up what you want in order to get what you need. The main idea of coming of age and his quest for self-knowledge is very convincing. At the end of the book, when he sees Phoebe riding around on the carousel, he becomes overjoyed, and realizes the significance of someone other than himself being happy. The tone of the novel creates the feeling of an immature, uneducated young boy trying to hold on to his childhood, not wanting to enter the seriousness of the adult world.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
al123, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by al123)
Sometimes I wish more people were like Holden Caulfield.
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rodolfo raimondi, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by rodolfo raimondi)
I loved this book. Like a picture shot on my life....
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780316769174
Author:
Salinger, J. D.
Publisher:
Back Bay Books
Location:
Boston
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
New york (n.y.)
Subject:
New York
Subject:
Runaway teenagers
Subject:
Caulfield, Holden
Subject:
American fiction (fictional works by one auth
Subject:
Bildungsromans
Subject:
Teenagers
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
1st Back Bay paperback ed.
Series Volume:
105-708
Publication Date:
20010131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.02x5.31x.80 in. .53 lbs.

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The Catcher in the Rye New Trade Paper
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Product details 288 pages Back Bay Books - English 9780316769174 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Repetitive, indecent, often very funny, it is wonderfully sustained by the author, who achieves all those ancient effects to be got from a hero who is in some ways inferior, and in some ways superior, to the reader....Why, then, with all this to admire, do I find something phoney in the book itself?....[T]he adult view of adolescence, insinuated by skillful faking, is agreeable to predictable public taste....[It] is what the consumer needs....The boy's attitudes to religion, authority, art, sex and so on are what smart people would like other people to have, but cannot have themselves, because of their superior understanding."
"Synopsis" by , J.D. Salinger's classic of adolescent angst is now available for the first time in trade paperback. Holden Caulfield, knowing he is to be expelled from school, decides to leave early. He spends three days in New York City and tells the story of what he did and suffered there.
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