The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it. There are many voices in this novel: children’s voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden’s voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.
Classic Challenge – Book Review by Audrey
My first impression of this book was not a very good one. The famous rule of never judging a book by its cover is one that I did not put into use. I was not very excited to read it as it was assigned reading for school. I mean who ever gets excited about a book they have to read for school? As I read, I was surprised at how much I actually enjoyed the book.
Although Holden was a high schooler full of sass and also a rule breaker, I related to him as he was struggling with inner demons. This is something all of us can relate to without having to say it out loud or shout it. We all have something that is a daily struggle for us, and for Holden it was a few different things. Salinger could not have created a better main character for the story. On top of having Holden, minor characters pop up and every chapter introduces a new people that have shaped him to be the person he was. As the story progresses, I will admit, weird scenarios come up, making the story something quite unique.
At the beginning, you know that Holden is in a hospital of some kind, and the whole story is told leading up to why and how he is where he is. Clues are shouted throughout the book and his thoughts are not thoughts a typical person would hold. This only made me connect to The Catcher in the Rye even more.
I could talk for a while about this book because there were a lot of different emotions portrayed throughout, but I sadly cannot put all my thoughts into this review. All I can do is say that this book has impacted my life, mostly good but also in a way that can’t be explained but felt. I know that sounds cheesy but it is the truth. I have discovered that these are the books that you strive to find in life.