The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
Holden Caulfield narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he's been expelled from prep school.
To be completely honest, I hated Catcher in the Rye. It's about as interesting as the summary suggests, and if we hadn't been reading it for school, I would happily have passed this one by. The writing deserves one star at best, but I'm not feeling that generous towards Catcher in the Rye. It gets one star only because of Holden himself.
I spent most of the book wanting to slap some sense into Holden, and he was definitely not likable for me. He was whiny, judgmental, and one of the most annoying narrators I've ever read. Holden is obviously pretty messed up, and the only part of the book I found interesting at all is his internal conflict. I understand that Holden's internal conflict is what the book is all about, but it's shrouded in so much junk it's not worth more than one extra star.
The writing is repetitive, to the point that I wanted to tear my hair out every time I saw the phrases "that killed me" or "I really did." There was little to no plot or character development. Holden isn't writing about anything important, just a basic three days in which he talks constantly about how phony and depressing everything is. Holden is almost exactly the same at the end of the novel as at the beginning. In the words of a friend, "Take a novel, erase the plot, bring it down to a fourth grade reading level, sprinkle it with expletives, and you've got The Catcher in the Rye."
Once Upon a Time...
As a longtime lover of stories and a believer in the power and magic of books, I've spent my life seeking out the best reads. This blog is dedicated to reviewing the books I read - good, bad, or magnificent - to help other readers find their next favorite books.