Book number 29: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. The first ebook I’ve ever read as an ebook! Thanks to LJ for the copy (and thanks to iBooks for making reading ebooks agreeable).
What it is: More than fifty years has passed since the first printing of The Catcher in the Rye and many times I have seen it mentioned on lists of the best books of all time, sometimes even the first. The book talks about the head spinning quality of being young, the pains of growing up, the challenge of fitting in and not fitting in, and trying to find yourself in an environment which could not supply you what you need or at least tries but still falls short. It discussed a great deal about humanity, society, morals, and education among others – about what is expected and why it all sucks.
What I liked about it: You know how sometimes you read a book and it has one element that you happen to really like, like it is witty, or entertaining, or smart, or light, or fast, or insightful, or truthful? The Catcher in the Rye captures all of them in one short story that is funny, direct, influential, affecting, and current. How it is current after so many years is the exact reason why it is a classic (similar to The Great Gatsby). 😉
Everybody can relate to Holden Caulfield because everyone has gone through the confusing, mad, and sometimes revolting stage of adolescence. It is not easy to be not too young and not too old and his gripes about his peers, about girls, about school, about authority, about society, about life, about everything – is an all encompassing phase that everyone has gone through to varying extents and recalling that vibrant, trying, whimsical time through The Catcher in the Rye is a treat.
He might be melancholic, almost suicidal but you have to admire his passion. As I told LJ, I would love, love it to have a friend like Holden. He smokes as shit but I’d tolerate it just because I know he is brilliant. His confusion, his audacity to not conform, his idealism – it is remarkable. He may be rebellious, twisted, and lousy as hell but he has the right things in mind, well, most of the time. The wisdom of The Catcher in the Rye is beautiful and I wish everyone can read it, particularly the young ones who think they have got it made.
What I did not like about it: I would love it if my copy of The Catcher in the Rye is paperback so I can hold on to it 😆 Seriously, I wish Holden would have gotten through Jane, the girl he really likes on the book. But like real life he just thought endless about her and never called. 🙄 I hate the unfair elevator guy with the prostitute but that scene has to happen to prove a point, but I still think that sucked. I wanted to hear his parents berating him about flunking out of school for the fourth time – that would have been hilarious. I guess I enjoyed The Catcher in the Rye so much I just want more. Also, I’m thankful I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower first before The Catcher in the Rye because I think the former is a copycat of some sort of the latter.
Recommended for: Young ones and the not so young ones who want to revisit old times, get your hands on The Catcher in the Rye. 🙂