Friday, November 4, 2016

Review: The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I just finished the last page and I don't know what to think about this book. In a way I hated it.  I hated how it drained me.  The language was awful.. but I know that real life is that way. The cussing, the teenage boy hormones, the depression.. they are all part of real life. It just makes me sad reading it. I struggle with the point of this book. It is just a weekend in the life of a confused, angry teenage boy who has been expelled from one of many private schools.  There is no plot.  Its very character driven.  You get to know Holden.  You see his weaknesses and strengths.  Although he drinks, cusses, smokes, runs away from school, gets expelled, he has a good side that you see through his love of his little sister.  It was refreshing after the depressing chapters to see how he treats Phoebe.  He redeems himself in the end.  I wonder if he is just boxed into being what he doesn't want to be and is lashing out.   Since his parents are rich he is expected to be and act a certain way.  He obviously doesn't want to or he wouldn't have been expelled.  Given caring parents that took the time to see him for who he is and encourage those interests could of lead to him achieving something rewarding.  The ending didn't really leave me with the impression that it would happen that way.
The book is listed as one of the books recommended for 11th graders. I hesitate to hand it over to my son but I can see how it would be relateable. He has anger and anxiety issues so he would (I imagine) feel a connection to Holden but I won't know until he reads it.

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