Rory’s Book Club Review: Catcher in the Rye

My next book to read on my quest to become Rory Gilmore by reading all the books she has was “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger. (Yes, this is one of the books I should have read in high school, talk to the board of education, not me). I was weary of this book because of it’s association with John Lennon’s murder, the attempted assassination on President Reagan & its place as a book that unstable people obsess over (Mel Gibson’s character owning tons of copies in “conspiracy theory” for example). This assumption wasn’t helped any when I opened up the book from the library, and the pages were filled with nonsensical notations from at least 5 people. My favorite was in code, accented with hearts, & written in gold & blue glitter pen. Would Holden Caulfield write in glitter pen? Would he?

I don’t really understand the controversy of the book.  Yes it swears, it has the F word, but it is used in reference to Holden trying to get that particular word off the walls of his sister’s school to preserve her innocence. If it wasn’t for the notoriety of this book, it wouldn’t have stood out to me on the booklist as a disturbed book or an excellent book. Wikipedia says it was the most banned book. I think that the reason this book  has such a bad reputation is because we’ve made it so.  There’s nothing wrong with the book, there are just certain expectations of it, which is why 5 different people wrote in a library book.  They wanted to appear disturbed or deep & that’s what this book has come to represent. What are your thoughts on “Catcher in the Rye”  Is it deserving of all the controversy?



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About Sarakastic

I've watched every episode of Gilmore Girls several times. I moved to a small town that reminded me of Stars Hollow. I've subconsciously had my haircut to look like Lorelai. Gilmore Girls is my life, I just have to find Luke. (Well, I didn't have a kid when I was 16, but other than that...)

4 thoughts on “Rory’s Book Club Review: Catcher in the Rye

  1. Tracie

    I read this book a few years ago, (yeah, I missed out on it in high school too!) and I have to say that I was disappointed. I guess, based on the stereotype about it that it would be about something else. I’m not sure what I thought it would be about, really, just something else. So, for the first couple of chapters I felt kind of confused.

    Once I got passed all of that, I moved on to wondering why lots of people have tried ot ban it. It doesn’t seem any worse than some of the books that I had to read in school to me.

    Honestly, even after all of that, I really just wasn’t that impressed with the book. Maybe I should try it again, but at the time I remember not getting what all of the hype was about, or why it is considered some type of classic.

  2. Trish Ryan

    I read this post-High School, too. And the only reason I could find for it being banned was because it was dull and annoying. This book is the Paris Hilton of the literary world – no one can say exactly WHY it’s such a big deal, but yet it won’t go away.

  3. James Mullooly

    This book is a genius exploration of authenticity, Holden looks to expose pharicitical traits in society, but also finds them in himself. Yes it is vulgar but Salinger
    is genius in pointing out good & bad in almost every situation, even within the same persona such as his former english professor, or his dislike for catholic outcast but his deep admoration of the nuns.

    This book is no more sultry than huk finn or the like it is an honest approch to one’s search for sincerity, both in self As well in ones enviroment.

  4. Caro

    I just finished reading this book, and I have to say I really loved it. I think it’s a brilliant characterisation of a sixteen year old kid in the 1950’s, with enough details about his own life experience to explain why he was so dissapointed in life- his brother’s death; that perpetual search of his for something meaningful.
    A part of me wanted to hug Holden, another part wanted to slap him- but all througthout the book I could understand him and his motivations, which I think is one of the most important things about a book. I can love a book despite hating its characters (after all, Wuthering Heights is probably my all-time favorite novel), but I have to be able to understand them and J.D. Salinger did a brilliant job at that part.

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