Of course, Catcher in the Rye! Everyone has heard of Catcher in the Rye. A heckuva lot of people have read it. I decided i had to finally read it after Six Degrees of Separation. The con artist in that book does this whole discussion about how so many serial killers have this book.
Plus, it looked short. This was a nice diversion from the very long books I haven’t been finishing lately.
Well. Having finished the books mere moments ago, and having read absolutely no criticsm of it, I can give my opinion.
Holden Caulfield is an incredibly annoying kid. I don’t know why all the people in the story were so nice to him.
It’s hell to be an adolescent. All dressed up and nowhere to go, basically. Holden is stuck in a very stuffy period in history, growing up in the very late 40s.
But I guess his main problem is that he can’t find a way to get to where he wants to be. He is so caught up in all the details of his life, he doesn’t know what he wants. He gets vague and foggy ideas from the books he reads and some snatches of moments. But in the end, all he comes up with is empty.
He seems so involved in his dissaticfaction with his life that I’m not even sure he wants to be satisfied. Once in a while, he seems to want to find something that makes him happy. But he can never grab onto it.
Is that how every kid felt in the 50s? Like Rebel without a Cause?
My dad was in high school then. He tells me he felt that way a lot. What is up with that?
Is that the sort of vague dissatisfaction the was the 50s? Is that what led to the sort of vague protest of the foggy “establishment” that was the 60s?
Maybe serial killers like this book because it is so vague. It lets them bank the fire that fuels the logicless reasoning for their actions.
I don’t know. I’ve met some rather disasffected youth., and a lot of times I’ve felt like sitting them down and talking with them.
That’s what Holden makes me feel like doing.
But with the fictional Holden, and with the real kids I’ve known, it’s a little harder than a single convesation. The problems are not in their heads.
But the solution, at least the start of it is in the individual control. I do believe that.
But really. This book is also about more than just Holden’s problems.
what i DID like about it was the way Salinger wrote it. He wrote in a way that would drive English teachers nuts. Repeating, and inarticulate sometimes.
But the book is from Holden’s perspective, and the way Salinger writes takes the reader exactly into his head. He writes inarticulately because Holden is 16 and inarticulate.
I love the fact that this book is so “canon” while being so technically ‘bad’. I mean, If I were peer-reviewing this book, I would have to redpen the crap out of it.
And I hate doing that. Because i don’t like the arbitrary and inaccurate rules about what makes “good writing” in an English class.
So. I don’t think that Catcher in the Rye changed my life, but it was worth the time to read it.