The Catcher In The Rye – J D Salinger

catcher-in-the-rye-2READ FOR BOOKCLUB

Chosen by Suzy

The Catcher in the Rye tells the story of two days in the life of Holden Caulfield, a 16 year old who, days before his expulsion, leaves school to mill about in New York City.

Published in 1951, the book created a characters the likes of which was not really seen in this time period and who instantly became a hit with teenagers and young adults for his carefree and rebellious nature.

An underachiever, Holden drops out of school four times and is about to flunk school for the fourth time. He ends up getting so annoyed with his school and his school mates that he leaves in the middle of the night on the next train home to New York City. Arriving a few days earlier than his parents expect him, he hangs out in the city to delay the inevitable confrontation with his parents.

In a period of time that seems to last days, Holden mingles with all sorts of people and glides through all sorts of interesting encounters some of which were slightly taboo in 1951. His brief period out in the world on his own represents many of the emotions and considerations associated with growing up and moving out of adolescence and into manhood such as considering the future, guilt about family and fear of failure.

I keep picturing an these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around-nobody big, I mean-except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to eaten everybody if they start to go over the cliff I mean if they’re running and they don’ I look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be. I know it’s crazy.

❖ “This is my all-time favourite book, I rarely re-read but I have read this every 2-3 years since high school.  Holden’s observations about people, his surroundings, life in general are perfect.  He is literature’s best slacker & cynic – I heart you Holden.” – Suzy

❖ “A book which is ideal for reading and reading again. Holden is uber cool and easy to connect with, despite, or because of, his rebellious nature. It’s easy for any person on the cusp of adulthood to see a part of themselves reflected in Holden, especially that desire to just run away from all the responsibility. Love him. Love his world.” – Rachel

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Published 1951
Little, Brown & Co
210 pages

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