he novel details two days in the life of 16-year-old Holden Caulfield after he has been expelled from prep school. Confused and disillusioned, Holden searches for truth and rails against the “phoniness” of the adult world....
The Catcher in the Rye is a story by J. D. Salinger, partially published in serial form in 1945–1946 and as a novel in 1951. It was originally intended for adults but is often read by adolescents for its themes of angst and alienation, and as a critique on superficiality in society. It has been translated into almost all of the world's major languages. Around one million copies are sold each year, with total sales of more than 65 million books. The novel's protagonist Holden Caulfield has become an icon for teenage rebellion. The novel also deals with complex issues of innocence, identity, belonging, loss, connection, and sex.
Jerome David Salinger ( January 1, 1919 – January 27, 2010) was an American writer known for his novel The Catcher in the Rye.
Salinger published several short stories in Story magazine in the early 1940s before serving in World War II. In 1948, his critically acclaimed story "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" appeared in The New Yorker, which became home to much of his later work.
The Catcher in the Rye was published in 1951 and became an immediate popular success. Salinger's depiction of adolescent alienation and loss of innocence in the protagonist Holden Caulfield was influential, especially among adolescent readers The novel was widely read and controversial.
The book has 26 chapters
Let's just say that this book is certainly one open to a lot of controversy and debate, yet that is what makes it such an interesting read.
The Catcher in the Rye certainly wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, however I find it an exciting and compelling read, with a gallon of brutal reality poured in along with some humour, contrasting with moments of depression.
Despite being written in 1951, I think many teenagers would be able to relate to the various themes present in the book. It is a modern classic of the coming of age genre. I find the main character, 17-year-old Holden Caulfield, absolutely intriguing and as I read the book, it was fascinating to get inside the head of the strange, rebellious protagonist.
The book begins with Holden directly addressing you, the reader, and he begins to retell the events over a three day period from last December. His story starts at Pencey Prep, a prestigious boarding school filled with "phonies", as Holden likes to call them.
What strikes me the most is the way Salinger creates the a brash atmosphere from the very beginning of the book with Holden being portrayed as insolent, lazy and quite frankly, completely clueless about his future.
Almost all of the story is one long flashback of this three day period with occasional references to the present. One thing that sets The Catcher in the Rye apart from other similar novels, I think, is the fairly frequent use of profanity - be warned! The heavy use of colloquialism is effective in making the reader relate to the characters better and make the characters seem realistic, but on the other hand, if you're under fourteen, I would certainly not recommend the novel to you! It isn't only the language used that makes The Catcher in the Rye unsuitable for younger readers, but also the themes discussed, centred around the idea of morality.
J.D. Salinger's novel is a wake-up call to all teenagers and in a sense, is an inspiring read because it sends out the message that we should all remain hopeful and true to ourselves. Teenagers can relate to it because of its complex themes of rebellion, identity and independence but I would recommend you read it before you're an adult otherwise you may have the urge to slap Holden for his actions when reading the book!
The book highly recommended for teens 14 and up though.
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