The other day I completed reading J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye after it being on my to be read shelf for a significant period of time. As I mentioned in my post here, my brother had also been asking me to read it for quite some time now, and had even offered to lend me one of his copies. I decided, while I was at the library last week, to go ahead and pick up the book to read, and I even added it to my Classics Club reading list.
Of course, I have been quite aware of this book’s notoriety, but I wasn’t sure why the book was so controversial. After I completed my reading, I could definitely see why the book was as controversial as it was in 1949 when it was first published. Foul language, the mention of sex, a boy in Holden Caulfield who clearly has some emotional and psychological issues that he must address.
While I was reading this book, I was having a hard time trying to figure out the premise, it just seemed that Holden was rambling about his activities before he was supposed to meet up with his parents in New York and they found out he had been expelled from his prep school Percey. Not until I spoke with my brother yesterday did he tell me the setting of the story was Holden telling his story to a psychologist as to how he got to where he was. Not once while reading The Catcher In The Rye did I pick up on the fact that he was telling his story to his psychologist in a mental facility. Sure, there was one clue where it was mentioned to Holden that he should be psychoanalyzed, but aside from that passage, I didn’t have the slightest clue. I thought perhaps he was telling the story to his parents. If my brother hadn’t told me that, or I didn’t think to take a look at the Cliffsnotes for the book, I would’ve never figured it out.
Aside from the language and the mention of sex, I really didn’t see the fascination with the book, I also didn’t really enjoy the read all that much. Personally, I just couldn’t see the fascination with The Catcher In The Rye aside from those points. Maybe it’s really as my brother indicated to me, I simply didn’t get the book; however, there really didn’t seem to be very complex at all to me. It just seemed like unedited thoughts and nothing more. I’m sure there’s more to it than that, and others have seen it, maybe I simply just didn’t like the book and I should keep it as simple as that. What did you think of The Catcher In The Rye? What have you been reading this past week and what do you have on tap for this week?