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

This week’s Throwback Thursday is that classic tale of teenage angst and rebellion: Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.

Catcher follows the adventures of Holden Caulfield, freshly expelled from his prep school, as he hides out in New York over a few days (before his parents find out).

Now, this ain’t much of a plot for a classic, instead, what separates it from the rest of the teenage angst and rebellion novels you’ve ever read is his style. Just check out this opening line:

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”

The whole book is like this. God it’s beautiful.

I can see why teenagers everywhere gravitate to it (hell, its why I gravitated to it). A book about finding where you belong in life when you’re neither a kid nor an adult will always strike a chord if you read it in your formative years.

What surprises me when I look it over again is just how fresh it still is. Every sentence drips with attitude. There are a thousand great bits in it – I bet if you asked ten different people their favourite part, they’d give you give you ten different answers. Like this:

“If you had a million years to do it in, you couldn’t rub out even half the “Fuck you” signs in the world. It’s impossible.”

See? Great.

Highly recommended. If you’re a teenager, because it might help you, “find out where you want to go. And then you’ve got to start going there. But immediately. You can’t afford to lose a minute. Not you.”

For everyone else, just read it for the fun of it. It’s still beautiful after all these years.


6 thoughts on “Review: Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

  1. I sometimes go back and re-read parts of this novel when I need some nostalgia in my life. It’s just as you say, such a classic tale of teen angst, and although I sort of take something new away from it being a little older now, it’s just as enjoyable!

    (I’m pretty sure I went through a phase of using ‘it killed me!’ as a form of expression, cringe)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This was the first time I’d gone back and read it, and it surprised me how fresh it was. I wonder bow if I was a bit too young the first time I read it. I’m going to find excuses to say ‘it killed me’ for the next few weeks I’m sure!


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