I never had to do J. D. Salinger’s ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ when I was at school and it’s always been a book that I have wanted to read and yet have never sort out when I have been in the bookshop. However this all changed when I saw a copy of this in Oxfam, they go like gold dust in charity shops I have been reliably told, for a whopping 99p. I am glad I didn’t pay any more for it frankly.
There is always a danger when you have heard how amazing a classic is that it simply wont live up to the hype, ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ is certainly one such book. I am sure that writing this will be seen as some kind of literary sacrilege, I am happy to put up with that as I don’t think me panning it will stop it selling anymore copies now will it?
Holden Caulfield is the protagonist and this is indeed his coming of age tale, this confused me from the start as I simply couldn’t work out how old he was, sometimes I thought he was about ten other times I thought he was about seventeen I found it completely confusing. I didn’t like him, he started of saying how he was a liar and from that point on I couldn’t work out whether what he was telling you was the truth or not, and I sadly ended up not caring. All the secondary characters were stereotypes and I felt the book offered nothing new we haven’t read or seen a hundred times of more, this being the classic I suppose it was one of the originals to do this, but hey ho.
No I really didn’t like ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ in fact I wish I had read it at school as you always hate the books you read at school and study to death, plus I would have got a boring dull book out of the way early on in my reading life. I have kept it on my shelves though, just to show people I have actually read it. I hope the classics I have planned to read soon don’t turn out as bad as this.
Note: My mother an English teacher has just said on the phone ‘oh god why did you read that rubbish, it’s terrible’. My Gran who is extremely well read and proud of it said something equally similar though slightly ruder.