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The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye

Book - 1951
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"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."
Publisher: Boston : Little, Brown, and Company, 1951.
ISBN: 9780316769174
Branch Call Number: 813.54 S165c
FICTION Salinger 1979
Characteristics: 277 pages ; 21 cm


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From the critics

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Apr 21, 2021

The Catcher in the Rye talks about Holden Caulfield, a teenage student in New York who has just been expelled. We follow Holden’s brief stay in New York, where he expresses his dissatisfaction with society without the supervision of adults. There is a specific focus on his difficulty to adjust to adulthood, and I really like how readers can see everything through his point of view, and feel his emotions. Holden’s rebellious nature makes this story an easy recommendation to all teens.

Apr 13, 2021

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is a must read classic! Following the notorious protagonist, Holden Caulfield, on his escape from his prestigious boarding school, the novel touches on important themes of loss, growing up, alienation, mental illness, and death. While it is a short read, the novel is filled with an interesting adventure, in only a few days, and allows for the reader to learn a lot about the life of Holden and why he is how he is. Catcher has been a favourite target of censorship for decades, making the banned book an interesting read due to its content and explanation. I would generally recommend this book to others, and not because I truly liked it, but because it is just a classic novel that all should read. Salinger is a great author and genuinely interesting person, and I can see why people like Catcher, but it is not the greatest book I have ever read. Holden is a very interesting, yet off-putting protagonist, which in my opinion, makes the book a more difficult read. Overall, I would rate The Catcher in the Rye a 2/5 stars! It is a fine and renowned classic, but not the best classic I have ever read.
@readingmouse of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

I have to say, when I first started reading this book, I was a little skeptical because, in my opinion, the beginning pages of this book were quite boring. Though the more I read, the more intrigued I got, because of the main characters traits. I liked how the book flipped back and forth between past and present tense. I liked the author's writing techniques for this book. The author hyperbolized many of main character’s actions throughout the book. In the end, I enjoyed this book and would recommend this book to young adults, because it has given me a different perspective on school, learning, and people. It made me realize that everyone needs someone they can lean on, even though you may not think so. I gave this book 3.5 stars as the author could have hooked the reader a bit more from the beginning, and not wait until a few chapters in!
@Leafyreads of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

This was a book I read for school that I ended up enjoying because the tone it carries was different to other books I normally read. This book was very slow paced and carried a sense of loom and gloom that I personally enjoyed because I feel like it's something that a lot of teens can relate to at one point. To me it seemed like Holden's world view was very grey, he was very pessimistic and got upset over simple things. To others it might seem ridiculous but as a teen myself I can say that at times I can relate to him because the world does not always feel like all rainbows and sunshine. Another thing that I enjoyed was how Holden carried a sense of dissatisfaction throughout the whole book but towards the end when he made Phoebe happy with the carousel, he became happy and it seemed like he carried a slight interest in the future. This is another thing I can relate to, my interactions with people affect how my mood goes quite a lot (im sure that is the same for others as well), when i am able to make other people enjoy stuff or feel satisfaction it makes me lighten up but if i am talking to people who carry a tone of anger/aggressiveness it becomes tough to continue being optimistic. That being said, I do not think that this book is for everyone and not everyone can enjoy it but I believe that those that do enjoy it can really appreciate it quite well.
@BookYourBooks of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

CMLibrary_DJeffrey Apr 08, 2021

Holden's obnoxious but he makes a few good points.

Mar 30, 2021

A lauded literary classic, JD Salinger depicts the story of young narrator Holden Caulfield after getting kicked out of school. It shows two days in the life of this 16-year-old boy, embarking on an expedition to find the truth in life, adamantly opposed to anything fake or phony in the real world. After Holden leaves his prep school, Pencey, saying good riddance to his fellow classmates and teachers, he wanders around New York City with a bit of money to spare, for he cannot go home without getting in trouble with his parents. He engages in a variety of adult-like activity, such as drinking and going to nightclubs. Along the way, he reveals elements of his family and tragic past, most notably the death of his younger brother, Allie. He seeks to speak with his younger sister, Phoebe, embarking on a small adventure of their own.

Although this is a fairly easy read, as it is told from the perspective of a sixteen-year-old boy with a youthful perspective on the world, the message behind it is far greater. The story focuses on the loss of innocence of children, a problem that is far too relevant in today’s society. Holden has no ambitions for the real world, only to be “the catcher in the rye,” saving other children from falling off a cliff, which can be interpreted as the perils of adulthood. In a world full of phonies and fakes, Holden longs to preserve the innocence in the world, especially for his sister Phoebe. While the plot does tend to drag on in some parts, it reveals an important message in the modern world.

This is definitely a must-read, especially for those who feel nostalgic, longing for the innocence of their childhood. Since this book deals with sensitive topics, such as drinking, sex, and prostitution at a young age, it is important to proceed with caution. Overall, I highly enjoyed this book as a light read with a deeper meaning, finding humor in Holden’s truthful worldview.

Age rating: 15+
Book rating: 5 stars

Barrie_Teen_Lists Mar 24, 2021

Being someone who doesn’t often read I found the book The Catcher In The Rye to be quite enjoyable. The main reason I chose to read the book is because my younger sister is named after the character Phoebe, who in the book is the perfect sister to the main character Holden Caulfield.

The main premise of the story is Holden is kicked out of a school named Pencey and he embarks on an adventure around New York while he waits for his parents to receive the letter of him being kicked out. The book won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but I found myself not wanting to put the book down after a couple chapters. I also like the way the main character is afraid to say what he thinks.

The book is told from Holden’s point of view several years later. Holden is unsure about his future and is quite lazy, being the main reason he has been kicked out of three schools. However I think Holden is quite intelligent which is evident in the way he thinks. The book has frequent use of profanity from beginning to end, which is probably to make Holden's character more relatable to teenagers.

Many teenagers are unsure about their future and I personally found it interesting to see someone else's struggle in becoming an adult, the pressure to succeed and get a good job. Although the book was published in 1951 it was still an “Instant Classic” for me and one I am looking forward to re-reading in the future.

Mar 08, 2021

The Catcher in the Rye, written by J.D Salinger follows Holden Caulfield’s journey of his own emotions after being kicked out of a major Preparatory school. This story is written in a way where it seems like Holden is talking directly to the reader. This story follows his stream of consciousness, we see Holden in a different light every time he experiences something new or different. We see how certain questions keep coming up and reminding him of his sad past. This book is an amazing read and had me thinking. This book is extremely adult, I recommend this book to an age group of 13 or over.

Jan 30, 2021

Catcher in the Rye is a good book to read. It is very enjoyable to read. The characters are well written and you feel like you know the main character very well. Catcher in the Rye is set in 1950s New York city and Pennsylvania. The main character is Holden Caulfield. He is a 17 year old boy who is a student. He shares with the reader his view on the world and people. It was overall very enjoyable to read. I highly recommend this for anyone looking for a quick read that looks at psychology of the time period.

Jan 17, 2021

I really liked this book when I read it as a teen in high school. I read it again in my middle age, and found Holden to be an annoying whiner. The book hasn't changed, I have.

Jan 15, 2021

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger is a coming-of-age novel featuring the main character, angsty 16 year old Holden Caulfield, and his depressing, sarcastic outlook on life. The book is entertaining to read through the lens of his cynical and boring tone, and sort of mocks the nuances of life. His misadventures in trying to find himself and escape his old life is captivating to read and provides an entertaining, and at times hilarious read. There are many moments with content that is not appropriate for children, so I would recommend 15+ for the reader demographic.

Nov 22, 2020

The Catcher in the Rye Book Review
When Holden Caulfield gets expelled from another school right before the Christmas break, he is challenged to spend a few days on his own without his parents finding out about his expulsion. Holden jumps around New York City reconciling with old teachers and friends and meeting up with them at cafes and pubs. He checks into a hotel and lives off of the little money he has left, barely being able to feed himself. His day to day becomes an unexpecting adventure with him calling up and getting into payment troubles with a prostitute, sneaking into his little sister’s room at night, and even underage drinking and smoking. By the end of the book, Holden tries to explain to the readers about how he’s trying to get better and mentions his concerns about going back to school when it restarts. This allows the readers to wonder where Holden may be in that moment and how he may be feeling. I recommend this book to people between the ages of 15-18, because there are mentions of heavier topics. Still, the book is a fantastic read and is full of adventure and emotion. The author is able to illustrate the plot and characters so well that we are able to feel a personal connection to Holden and see deeper into everything that takes place. The book is very interesting and I most definitely recommend the book to people who enjoy new experiences.

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Add Age Suitability
Mar 10, 2021

violet_turtle_275 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Nov 12, 2020

LycheeLily thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Oct 27, 2020

alexqise thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Aug 21, 2020

blackarrows7954 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Aug 18, 2020

karyn8787 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jul 24, 2020

IshaanGupta30 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Jun 30, 2020

gurleen03 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Jun 10, 2020

jpedone21 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

May 08, 2020

lkim17 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Mar 26, 2020

anne1212li thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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Add a Quote
Oct 07, 2020

“The man falling isn’t permitted to feel or hear himself hit bottom. He just keeps falling and falling. The whole arrangement’s designed for men, who at some time or other in their lives, were looking for something their own environment couldn’t supply them with. Or they thought their environment couldn’t supply them with. So they gave up looking. They gave it up before they ever really even got started.” p.207

Oct 07, 2020

“Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in a big field of rye and all... And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff—...” p.191

Oct 06, 2020

“When we were at Whooton, he’d make you describe the most personal stuff that happened to you, but if you started asking him questions about himself, he got sore. These intellectual guys don’t like to have an intellectual conversation with you unless they’re running the whole thing.” p.163

Oct 06, 2020

“Certain things they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone. I know that’s impossible, but it’s too bad anyway.” p.136

Oct 04, 2020

“I slept in the garage the night he died, and I broke all the goddam windows with my fist, just for the hell of it. I even tried to break all the windows on the station wagon... It was a very stupid thing to do, I’ll admit, but I hardly didn’t even know I was doing it, and you didn’t know Allie.” p.44

Jul 10, 2018

I hope to hell that when I do die somebody has the sense to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetary. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you’re dead? Nobody.

Jan 25, 2018

“Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.”

Jul 19, 2016

"I can't explain what I mean. And even if I could, I'm not sure I'd feel like it."

Jul 20, 2015

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.

Jul 05, 2015

All the kids kept trying to grab for the gold ring, and so was old Phoebe, and I was sort of afraid she'd fall off the goddam horse, but I didn't say anything or do anything. The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off, they fall off...
(Salinger, 273 – 274)

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Add Notices
Sep 06, 2013

Coarse Language: an extreme amount throughout the book

Sep 06, 2013

Violence: some, very descriptive

Sep 06, 2013

Sexual Content: some

Aug 01, 2013

Coarse Language: There is a LOT of cursing through the book. Holden's favorite term seems to be G-d and uses it constantly. Towards the end of the book he finds the phrase F-you a few times.

Aug 01, 2013

Violence: Slightly descriptive violence involving fights with other guys.

Aug 01, 2013

Sexual Content: While nothing happens sexually, there is a lot of talk and the main character (Holden) does attempt to purchase a hooker for the evening with the intention of sleeping with her but chickens out after she arrives.

Jul 13, 2013

Coarse Language: a lot of it - but that's what makes it funny

Jul 12, 2013

Violence: Some

Jul 12, 2013

Coarse Language: A lot

Jul 12, 2013

Sexual Content: Some

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Add a Summary
Jun 21, 2016

When a boy gets kicked out of his school, he wanders into New York to avoid the wrath of his mother. During this time, he reflects on his memories and catches up with old friends.

Jun 29, 2015

Holden Caulfield is trying to transition into the adult world. He leaves his prep school; Pencey, and goes to New York City for three days in attempt to relax before going home. Holden has many encounters with people that give us insight to his view of the world and the people around him.

Jun 25, 2015

This story is about a college dropout... well, kicked out boy who takes his time getting home over the span of a few days before he has to break the news to his parents that he was kicked out of school. Again. This story is about what he does in the time being while in the north east coast exploring the cities.

May 12, 2013

Events that occur in the days after Holden Caulfield gets kicked out of highschool.

valentinavl Mar 29, 2013

Holden Caulfield is a 17 yr old boy has been kicked out of Pencey, wants to save children from adulthood by metaphorically being the Catcher in the Rye.

Dec 11, 2012

Basically a summary of Holden Caulfield's uneventful life for three days. He gets kicked out of his High School and journey's back home for Christmas.

Jun 22, 2011

"And so, that made me kind of depressed."

"But then I didn't feel like it."

The end.

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