Thursday, November 1, 2012

Book Review: The Catcher in the Rye

Sometimes, in life, I feel left out. I just don't get some of the things that other people are so passionate about. Like college football fanaticism? I don't understand why anyone cares so much. (Maybe because my Alma mater doesn't have a football team?) Or the Harry Potter books? Meh. I tried to read the first one but abandoned it a few chapters in. I thought it was very boring, and I also almost walked out on the first movie (and children are expected to sit through this?!) Or Star Wars. I suppose I've seen bits and pieces of the various movies throughout the years, but I've never sat down and watched all of them (and I really don't feel any worse off for it).

But guys, I do try to fit in... I really do! That's why I decided to read The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I hear people talk about this book all the time, and I think it's often assigned as high school reading. Here's a description I found online... sounds intriguing, right?

Ever since it was first published in 1951, this novel has been the coming-of-age story against which all others are judged. Read and cherished by generations, the story of Holden Caulfield is one of America's literary treasures.
I feel really terrible about myself for saying this, because I know I'm in the minority opinion, but this book was absolutely terrible! I have no idea what all the hype is about. The main character, Holden Caulfield, is a teenager who hates his own life. He believes that every single person in the world is "phony." He gets kicked out of school one December after failing almost every subject, so he heads to New York City for three days. For the entirety of the book the reader is inside Holden's head, following along with his rambling, random, self-centered thoughts. I could not identify with Holden whatsoever, and I felt zero sympathy for him. He is basically a pessimistic, narcissistic asshole and I didn't feel one iota of pity for him or the situations he put himself in.

The Catcher in the Rye is supposed to be a timeless tale of a teenager struggling with society and himself. But really, it's a book about nothing, except the convoluted egotistical inner thoughts of a very whiny, anti-social, spoiled brat who in my opinion deserves everything negative that comes his way. Blah. What a complete waste of time. Sorry guys, but I just don't understand what y'all think is so amazing about this book. The only silver lining is that now I will understand any Holden Caulfield references that come my way. 

2 comments :

  1. I have also never ...
    * read a Harry Potter book
    * seen a Harry Potter movie
    * watched an entire Star Wars movie

    I prob also have this book on my shelf, thinking I should read it some day.

    Maybe it'll sit there a little longer.

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  2. Bek - I can't thank you enough for helping me feel like less of a misfit! :-)

    ReplyDelete

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