What is it?
The 1951 book The Catcher In The Rye by the author J.D. Salinger.
What is it about?
This is how Goodreads describe this book:
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.
J.D. Salinger’s classic novel of teenage angst and rebellion was first published in 1951.
The novel was included on Time’s 2005 list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923.
It was named by Modern Library and its readers as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.
It has been frequently challenged in the court for its liberal use of profanity and portrayal of sexuality, and in the 1950s and 1960s it was the novel that every teenage boy wants to read.
I read this book years ago during an unusual time in my life and under unusual circumstances.
I think that I checked it out at the library in the city of LC before I drove to the city of L to search for a job and get signed up for college again after trying to return to college again after dropping out years before.
I read this book while staying at various hotels in the city of L during this two-week or more period.
I had heard this book mentioned over the years, it was even referenced in the Japanese anime (animated) television show Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex, and so I finally decided to read it.
I finished reading the book while I was still staying at The S6 Hotel, I would keep it on the end table by the bed, and I would read a bit of it before going to sleep and / or randomly.
I returned the book to the library in the city of LC when I was driving back to the city of D either after I had to abandon my attempt to return to college again after only the third day of college or before when I was waiting for the first day of college to start.
I returned home until maybe a week or a few days before the first day of college, but I can not remember which.
My memory of the book is not that clear, I remember some things, and I think that my favorite line from the book is possibly from chapter 25 according to Wikiquote:
I figured I could get a job at a filling station somewhere, putting gas and oil in people’s cars.
I didn’t care what kind of job it was, though.
Just so people didn’t know me and I didn’t know anybody.
I thought what I’d do was, I’d pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes.
That way I wouldn’t have to have any goddamn stupid, useless conversations with anybody.
If anybody wanted to tell me something, they’d have to write it on a piece of paper and shove it over to me.
They’d get bored as hell doing that after a while, and then I’d be through with having conversations for the rest of my life.
Everybody’d think I was just a poor deaf-mute bastard, and they’d leave me alone.
I could relate to that line as someone who struggles with social anxiety disorder et cetera, which was worse for me back during that time, and so I could relate to it even more back then.
- John Jr