Book Review: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Wednesday, July 10, 2013
I love reading. Books are amazing. They are a form of escapism, yes, but they are also inspiration, joy, and... well. Goodness. I think in some ways I have used my appetite for reading to define parts of my personality, so it made sense for me to review some of what I read! Here we go...

Title: The Catcher in the Rye
Author: J.D. Salinger

Synopsis: Uhm yes. So there isn't really a uniform blurb or synopsis for this book, so I will just mention a few things. In case you haven't heard of this book (unlikely) or haven't read it (slightly more likely), Catcher in the Rye is a very famous American novel featuring the teenager Holden Caulfield. Holden talks about his life and the people he likes (slim amount) and doesn't like (oh-so-many). Honestly, I don't know if I can provide much more information than that without getting into my own thoughts on the book sooo that's all you're getting.

My thoughts: So the main reason I picked up this book was because I had never read it (not a requirement in school for me) and also because of John Green's crash course on literature. (YES I AM MENTIONING JOHN GREEN FOR THE THIRD WEEK IN A ROW.) I will link to the first video on Catcher in the Rye at the end of this review - but be warned there are spoilers.

So back to the book! Holden is such a weird character. He irritated me on a few levels as he just seems to hate a LOT OF THINGS AND PEOPLE and keeps talking about how fake they are and that sort of thing. However, as I read on, I found myself strangely drawn to understanding more about him and what was going on in his life.

The way this story is written I found to be a little jarring - the tone and point of view made it hard to become fully involved in Holden's life and what was happening. He also kept jumping around explaining what was happening now, and what had happened before, and he seemed to have difficult concentrating on one thing at a time. It really became something like I was actually having a conversation with him although he talked so much I couldn't get a word in edgewise. 

I must admit to not being able to understand the ending very well until John Green pointed out what it meant to me in his videos, but I did find that reading the Catcher in the Rye was a lesson in writing and what you can do with it. So, a fascinating book with a character that frustrated me.

You would like this book if: You like reading about teenage angst; you enjoy obscure books which follow the main character's internal monologues; you've never read it and need something less than 200 pages long to occupy your time.

Rating: 6/10

Find the first crash course video on Catcher in the Rye here.

If you'd like to keep up to date with what I'm reading, follow me on Goodreads here!


  1. This book appears in top 100 must-read works of fiction in many lists. I fail to understand how. I mean "Really" I fail to understand for christ's sake !!
    Language is blase, and a looser's blog types. A slow book it may be...but it was quick read for me(skip reading) because hardly anything moves in the plot and the book ends abruptly.
    Hardly a literary work with vocabulary usage of 10 year old!
    Unless your high on something to appreciate this book, go for other real "classics"/must-reads from the world of fiction.

    1. Hi! Thanks for commenting on my blog :D

      I do agree, I'm not entirely sure I understand why it IS on the must-read list, but I think it has something to do with the development of style and also American history. While Holden Caulfield may be a deplorable main character, he still encourages us to react in a certain way.

      What classics would you recommend, out of interest? I'm always looking for more things to read!


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