October 15, 2008

The Catcher In The Rye

Filed under: Book Reviews — Robert John Ed @ 11:09 pm

I’ve been using the time before bed to get in some recreational reading, which usually causes me to be extremely tired when class starts in the morning.  I began J.D. Salinger‘s Catcher In The Rye about a week ago, and though I was more enamored with the prose at civil twilight than dawn, the hours melted away just the same.

The story is a first person perspective of Holden Caulfield, a troubled youth around 17.  His life is in disarray, as many of ours are at that time.  He doesn’t care for school or most of his peers and his thought processes are usually oriented around his dislike of people and things happening around him.  He’s not angry so much as tired.  The story is a walkabout of his four day departure from Pencey, the school he attends.

What makes Salinger’s writing so enjoyable here is the idiosyncratic precision of the character.  Holden is always reinforcing his thought process with assertions (“I really do.”  “I mean it.” etc.) that show the callow insecurity he lives with.  Holden is also quite intelligent, but speaks by cursing and alleging other people to be “phony” and using a gruff exterior to cover up his vulnerability.  It’s very well done in that anyone could see that this young man has not found his meaning in the world and sees others to be living fraudulent existences.  It’s a very simple…and very complex simultaneously.  It’s also well worth the time.


1 Comment »

  1. […] there is wonderful about literature and art.  It connects us, it shows us how we are all alike, despite our […]

    Pingback by Holden Caulfield « Redmarketer — February 26, 2009 @ 7:04 pm

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