Catcher in the Rye

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by whitehall, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. OldLady
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    OldLady Diamond Member

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    Holden is 16. The rightwingers here cried and called the poor little 16 year old a "child," who got his hat stolen by the black guy. But because Holden went to prep school (we don't choose our parents, guys) he's suddenly supposed to be a mature young adult ready to cope with the work world?
    What is wrong with you people?
    It has been years since I read Catcher, but I remember this: Holden's observations were on a few different levels simultaneously. He was seeing the world through the fresh eyes of a young person who hasn't spent decades getting used to the banality and cruel indifference in the world. He was, at the same time, depressed, so he was looking through a glass darkly. He was also a teenager who felt rootless and lost, and he was also a daft adolescent male doing typical daft adolescent male stuff. It was pretty complex, both as an observation of a certain slice of society and of an individual character.
     
  2. whitehall
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    whitehall Platinum Member

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    Around page 100 and the spoiled insufferable rich kid is hiding out in a nice hotel in NYC not far from his parent's nice home near Central Park and he managed to insult some female tourists from Seattle in the hotel bar by calling them ugly and morons while playing a cruel trick on the celebrity fixated babes by faking a sighting of Cary Grant. Does the freaking book get any better?
     
  3. OldLady
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    OldLady Diamond Member

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    There have been novels I just couldn't enjoy because I really disliked the character(s). If that's the case, just close the book and shut up about it, you judgmental snob.
     
  4. Disir
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    Disir Gold Member

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    I didn't like Catcher in the Rye. At all. I didn't have to read him. It was a classic and I felt obligated to do so. Like a lot of classics that I choked down, it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. I read it some 20 years ago.

    But, J.D. Salinger is very intriguing. He wrote other stuff. He was such a private individual that people didn't know anything about it him until after he died. The mystery of J,D. Salinger is way more interesting than Catcher in the Rye.
     
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  5. fncceo
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    fncceo Gold Member

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    Beat me to it.
     
  6. Disir
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    Disir Gold Member

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    I have a crazy question. It isn't my intention to hijack the thread. It appears that many of us do not value it in the way we are told we should. This came out in 1951, I wonder if this acceptance is not a response to the beat generation.
     
  7. whitehall
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    whitehall Platinum Member

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    Apparently the book wasn't well received by the publishers at the time but somehow achieved legendary status. It's possible that teachers who assigned the book to students didn't like it either but were pressured into pretending it was a masterpiece. I'm 3/4 the way through the book and so far the little prick hasn't done much except take some taxi rides, smoke cigarettes and criticize every woman he met including nuns. The dialog is tiring and the plot is so thin it almost disappears. Here's a thought, young Holden describes his (male) roommate's physique and then finds a reason to pick a fight and get pinned to the shower floor. Later in the book young Holden has a problem with a (female) prostitute and only wants to talk. He picks a fight with her pimp and gets beaten up again. He dances with a couple of women in a bar and then criticizes their looks. Is Salinger trying to tell us something about Caufield's sexuality?
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
  8. whitehall
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    whitehall Platinum Member

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    Finished the book. It might have been titled "two days in the life of a spoiled rich kid". Would that catchy (accurate) title have prevented the maniac from murdering John Lennon? I still don't get it.
     
  9. whitehall
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    whitehall Platinum Member

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    According to the bio it seems that Jerome Salinger was a sheltered Jewish kid who was drafted into the horrors of WW2 and came back with a case of PTSD and the notion that he was a writer. He struggled with a series he managed to sell to a magazine that turned out to be "Catcher" but no book publisher wanted to use it. I ain't going to even attempt "Frannie and Zooey so it's no wonder that Salinger retired after two lame novels.
     
  10. OldLady
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    I don't really remember it being about The Beat Generation. Just a messed up kid journeying through adolescence. That's pretty eternal.
     

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