Book Review: Catcher in the Rye
I first read Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger’s first novel when I was in high school, not because it was assigned as the subject of a book report, but because I found the title fascinating. I didn’t know what the words meant, and I’m still not sure what they mean now, but whenever I look at my almost worn-out copy, the same inviting feeling overwhelms me, yet this is not my favorite book at all. For me, the book just appeals to my inner child or youth somehow, not to mention that it brings back a lot of memories.
Catcher in the Rye is about Holden Caufield, whom I consider as a ruffian and a cynic. He narrates his story of when he was sixteen years old, and in his adolescence, his storytelling skills seem to fit him to a T, for he doesn’t tell his tale all that well—all the cursing and odd ways of speaking. However, his experiences and thoughts seem to speak to me, and they were more than enough to make me include this book in my rereading list.
The way I see it, you either love Catcher in the Rye or hate it depending on whether you can relate to Holden or not. If you can identify with Holden, you can understand Salinger’s genius. If you can’t, you’d probably think that the main character’s just a self-absorbed, whiny brat. In my opinion, Holden is just struggling and battling against a numb world full of hypocrites, which he doesn’t even have to do.
When I reread the book recently, its impact was different from when I was a teenager. In a way, I sort of saw myself again and reminded of how I used to look at the world and people. Although it may have a negative tone, it somewhat creates a positive outlook. In other words, I reminisce bittersweet moments thanks to Catcher in the Rye, and I will definitely reread this occasionally as I grow up.
Vincent Robert Lanaria, a self-taught musician and avid learner, he spends his free time learning languages and reading.
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