[Book Review] The Catcher in the Rye

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”

_Holden Caulfield_

Awkward as it seems, this quote from The Catcher in the Rye is literally true for the book: you are at the very last page of it, reading the very last line, and bang, you’ve decided to call J.D.Salinger the author for he wrote something you know you can hardly ever forget. He obviously cannot be there to talk to you about his book, but still he did you a great favor when writing it out over 60 years ago. Since then, The Catcher in the Rye has always been, and will always be, I believe, an amazing piece of art and the best coming-of-age book for young adults.

First off, don’t be fooled by the name of the book. “The Catcher in the Rye” – are you sketching in your mind a delightful and romantic picture of a green rye with hundreds of kids playing and laughing? No no, that’s not what the book is about. The picture actually is a 17-year-old boy who has been kicked out of school and is totally lost. He has no direction in life. He knows what he hates, but cannot figure out what he likes or wants. He likes nothing, as his little sister pointed out. He doesn’t feel belonged to the school (which is about to kick him out anyway) and cannot confront his parents at home either, so he gets on a train to New York and wanders around, hopefully he finds something to color his life. The whole book is about his journey in New York, from this bar to another bar, from theather with his date Sally to cinema alone, and Central Park with his sister Phoebe, and some flashback to his childhood. That’s all the book offers you. Now if you want some adventure spice in a book, The Catcher in the Rye is not going to be your favourite dish. It’s mine anyway. I enjoyed every moment reading this book and cherish every detail of it. I was like “Oh, did I happen to write this biography sometime, or this boy and I really have something in common”. Getting lost and stuck in between those ‘wants, needs and passions”, is that what growing up is all about? I found myself somewhere between the lines. And so will you, maybe.

I don’t want to give out any spoilers, so that you can enjoy the book wholefully. But why is the book named the way it is? Well well well, check out the book and find the answer for yourself.


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