Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Catcher in the Rye

Teen angst: a common theme that runs throughout movies, televsion shows, literature and music. One notable example of teenage angst in literature is J.D. Salinger's debut novel The Catcher in the Rye.

Holden Caulfield has been expelled from his school for his poor grades. Instead of going back to his home he roams the streets of New York City, encountering "phonies" along the way.

Salinger definitely hits the mark with making his readers connect with Holden (yes, I'm one of those readers). Unfortunately for Mr. Salinger, his best-known work is associated with many infamous crimes. For instance, Mark David Chapman was found reading a copy of The Catcher in the Rye shortly after shooting and killing John Lennon. Apparently, Chapman identified with the lead of the book so much he wanted to change his name Holden Caulfield. Looks like the connecting with the readers has a negative effect.

My Rating: *****


  1. I'm actually studying this book for school right now. It is quite lovely. Thanks for that tidbit about Chapman though. Weird.

  2. I was once told that you had to read The Cathcher In The Rye when you were a teenager otherwise it was too difficult to identify with. I did but I still struggled to sympathise with Caulfield.

    If you liked this try a book called Ripley Bogle by Robert McLiam Wilson. It's about a young tramp living in London and deals with his perceptions and dissafections. An interesting story although I can't guarentee you'll like the narrator!

  3. One of my absolute favourite novels. I too can wholeheartedly say that I too identifies a lot with Holden Caulfield - esp. his teenage angst, when I'd read the book. And the pitch-black cynicism - ah, that was freaking amazing!!!


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