The Catcher In The Rye

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me” (The Catcher In The Rye).  J.D. Salinger narrates a story about a boy named Holden, who narrates the story about a few days in his long sixteen year old life, just after he’s been expelled from a prep school.  Holden is the kind of kid who hangs out with the troublemakers and neighborhood gangs, and sees them as role models.  In the few days that he tells the story he seems lost and isn’t sure what to do. He wanders the streets and sleeps in the park because he doesn’t know any better, and his parents never paid much attention to him. They sent him to prep school to learn the ways of life on his own.  Holden’s parents never pay any mind to him because of his only his sister, Phoebe who is still in elementary school.  As Holden is neglected by his parents and is never disciplined, he becomes a menace to society and a huge alcoholic.  He passes out in bars and gives all his money to a cab driver because he had six beers.  Holden starts to convince others to drink and “Fix up” the faces of other kids which gets him into a great deal of trouble.  Finally, Holden fears that his parents will forget about him and never pay any mind to his life.

This is a classic, hilarious book, but I wouldn’t recommend this book to young audiences, because it uses adult language and has adult humor throughout the story.  J.D. Salinger does use high level vocabulary.  Holden does seem to find a way to complain about everything in life though, and do whatever he wants to do whenever he wants to do it, however it does not really affect the plot, which helps the story move faster, but makes it seem choppy.  If you enjoy the book, I would strongly recommend the other books he has wrote, such as “Nine Stories” or “Franny and Zooey”.


Author: J.D. Salinger

Genre: Fiction